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    Given the current public health concerns, how will the race be different in 2022?

    The “Covid Procedures” for our races has evolved as the nature of the threat diminishes, so we will continue to keep our athletes informed as Race Day approaches.

    I haven’t raced an Olympic, 70.3 or 140.6 in a few years. Can I still register?

    Yes, but you will need to complete an Olympic triathlon (or longer) at the qualification standard in the upcoming months between your registration and race day. We advise submitting proof of having actually registered for that qualifying event at the time of your SOS registration; then submit the proof of completion before our race.

    Why do I need USA Triathlon insurance?

    This event is covered by an insurance policy administered by the governing body of triathlon: USAT. You must either be a USAT annual member, or you may purchase a one-day membership for $15.

    Can I transfer my entry / transfer to another athlete?

    No transfers are allowed in the SOS Cape Cod Triathlon due to the difficulty in tracking qualification times.

    Are there local hotels?

    For those traveling from afar, Cape Cod is awash with hotels, motor lodges, inns, bed and breakfasts, vacation cottages and AirBnB offerings.

      Do I need to attend the pre-race meeting? Where is it and what is the time?

      The pre-race meeting is mandatory and all athletes — including their support crew — must attend. This year the meeting will be virtual, held via Zoom, at 7 pm the Sunday before the race. All athletes and crew will receive invitations by email. The meeting will be recorded for later viewing.

      Why is the pre-race meeting mandatory?

      Because we’d like to hold the race again next year. There are seven permitting authorities for this event, and it is critical that our athletes and their support crew follow the rules they have set for us. You are being given a unique opportunity to traverse fragile lands and our permitting authorities wish to be reassured that you will take care of it.

      What happens on race morning?

      Vehicles may park (temporarily) at the Town Pier, which is on Commercial Street a few hundred yards from the race start at Mayo Beach. Do not park at the Mayo Beach parking lot. Bring your bike to the start area by 6:30. Race will start at 7. After the cyclists have left, support designates/friends/family should remove their vehicles from the Town Pier area.

      How does weather affect the race?

      Like any race, unusual weather might affect the SOS. However, weather need not be severe to create a need for course modification. Heavy fog might cancel swim segments (in which case you’ll simply keep running around the ponds). Or, the bike or run course may be changed due to damage from storms or ongoing road construction. The SOS-Cape Cod Facebook page will have weather-related updates in the days prior to the race.  If we are expecting serious weather, it will be discussed at the pre-race meeting and the final call for any race modifications will be made early on the morning of the race.

        Is it a mass start?

        The race begins with the bike stage. To help avoid congestion on the road, we will have a wave start. The waves are separated by one minute. Due to public health concerns this year, it is possible we will switch to a time trial start. In any event, no drafting allowed!

        Will there be signs along the bike course?

        Yes, there will be signs, pink in color, and a sample will be shown to athletes at the pre-race meeting. You will need to stay alert! We suggest reviewing the course map or riding/driving the route prior to the event.

        Is the race draft-legal?

        No, all competitors must follow USAT regulations for non-draft-legal races. A space of a least 3 bike lengths is required except when passing, which must be completed within 15 seconds.  All riders must remain on the far right side of the course except when passing. Marshals will be on the bike course. Further details will be provided at the athlete’s meeting.

        Which is better: road bike or tri-bike? What about wheels?

        You will encounter a mix of open flats and short, steep hills. And yes: some tight turns. Conditions may be windy, sometimes extremely so. Good luck with your decision! Whether you decide to go with road or tri bike, full disc wheels are not allowed at this event due to frequent strong crosswind gusts in North Truro.

        Can a friend/crew person ride alongside or near me?

        Whether by bike or by vehicle, the answer is no.

        Should I wear socks?

        It is up to each athlete to decide what to wear on race day. We suggest that whatever you decide, train with it . Do not try something (anything) new in a race!

          What do I do with my shoes during the swim?

          Athletes must wear or carry their shoes, swim caps, goggles and any other gear from the bike transition through to the finish. How to carry one’s shoes is an ongoing debate among many who have competed at SOS’s New York State race. Many athletes place their shoes in a dry bag for the swim, or stuff them inside their tri-suit or tri shorts. Also available on the market are fast-draining running shoes (never take them off!).

          What is the typical temperature of the ponds?

          Each pond is different in size and depth, and temperature is also affected by the amount of rain and average air temperatures in the weeks before the race.  However, in most years the ponds in early June register about 68-70 degrees. Temperatures will be announced at the Athlete’s Meeting the week before, and on our Facebook page during Race Week.

          Can I wear a wetsuit? Use fins or paddles? What about swim caps?

          Wetsuits are allowed for the three swim portions of the race, however they must be worn or carried by the athlete for the entirety of the run/swim legs. Fins and paddles are not permitted. The race will supply you with a swim cap which must be worn during each swim leg.

          How will I know which way to swim?

          There will be orange and yellow buoys in each pond. You must pass close to the orange buoys (20 yards or less). The yellow buoys mark swim exits. Further instructions will be given  at the mandatory pre-race meeting.

          Will there be signs and volunteers on the run course?

          Every turn and intersection will be marked with signs. Some will also be staffed with volunteers. However, National Park Service restrictions limit us to the use of small ground-level signs, which will be pink in color. (An example will be shown at the pre-race meeting.) You need to be extremely observant while running.

          Will there be lifeguards on the swim course?

          Yes, there will be guards on each of the three ponds at levels that meet or exceed USAT guidelines. However, if you are concerned about the swim please consider using a Safer Swimmer, a SwimSafe, or other similar safety device. Raise an arm or both arms to signal a lifeguard if in distress.

          What is the running surface like?

          The first three miles of the run will be on narrow, sandy paths through wooded areas and grassy clearings. You will emerge from the Truro Highlands to enter onto dirt/sand single-lane roads for the remainder of the race — with the exception of the last mile, which will be alongside a paved two-lane road.  While the total run distance is 9 miles, the nature of the terrain is such that the distance will feel like it was longer.

          Can a crew person or friend run or ride their bike alongside me?

          No, this is not allowed.

          Can a crew person take my wetsuit, googles and cap after one swim and then give it back to me before the next swim?

          Not only is this not allowed, but support people can not be present at ANY swim entrance/exit points. Additionally, you must keep all your gear with you for the swim/run segments. Violators will be assessed a time penalty.

          How many aid stations are on the course?

          There are eight aid stations between the start and finish. Each offers water and Gatorade®. Most also offer Clif® products. Note: due to the current public health situation, these stations may need to be unmanned/help yourself. In order, their locations are:
          1 –   bike/run transition (medical assistance available)
          2 –   4 miles into the first run, at the start of first swim
          3 –   end of first swim
          4 –   1.5 miles into second run (medical assistance available)
          5 –   2.5 miles into second run, at the start of second swim
          6 –   end of second swim
          7 –   1.5 miles into third run, start of third swim
          8 –   end of third swim (medical assistance available)

          Are there any cut-off times?

          Yes, our permit with the National Park Service requires that we close the run course at 1pm on race day. To meet this deadline, no athlete will be allowed to cross Long Pond Road on the way to Great Pond after 11:30am (04:30 Race Time). More details will be provided at the Athlete’s Meeting.

            Do I need to be at the pre-race meeting?

            Each athlete’s Crew Person must attend the virtual Athlete’s Meeting the Sunday before the race, along with his/her athlete. You will receive an invite by email. If you cannot attend, you must watch a recording of the meeting which will be posted during race week.

            What happens on race morning?

            Vehicles may park (temporarily) at the Town Pier, which is a hundred yards from the race start at Mayo Beach. Do not park at the Mayo Beach parking lot. Your racer should bring his/her bike to the start area by 6:30. Race will start at 7. You are welcome to stay and watch. After the cyclists have departed, support designates/friends/family should remove their vehicles from the Town Pier area. You may drive to Truro or Provincetown to cheer on your racer, but you should be parked at T2 well before your racer finishes the 27-mile bike (anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the speed of the athlete).

            What happens at the bike/run transition?

            We will email detailed instructions on this process to all racers well in advance of Race Day, but support designates will safely park their vehicles on the side of the road in advance of their cyclist’s arrival. They will take the bike from their racer and provide any items needed for the swim/run leg.

            While my athlete runs, can I run alongside or ride a bike on the course?

            No, this is not allowed.

            Can I watch the run or swim legs?

            From T2 until finish, all non-racers must avoid driving on roads near the run/swim course — by order of the Town of Wellfleet and the National Park Service. This especially applies to any and all dirt roads. Also, you cannot give or take away anything from an athlete at any point between the start of the run and the finish line. While the run leg is underway, vehicles may park in the back parking lot of the Wellfleet Congregational Church, where you can greet your athlete as he/she crosses the Survivor Line. Note for 2021: the location of the finish line may be changed to allow for better social distancing. Check back here as race day nears.

              Will there be an after-party in 2022?

              Athletes and support persons are invited to an after-party and awards ceremony with a full meal in Wellfleet. Additional meals can be purchased for $30. Friends and family members are welcome for a slight additional charge to cover their meal. The awards ceremony will be held at this venue.

              Do I have to stay for the entire awards ceremony to get my award?

              Usually we encourage SOS Survivors to support fellow athletes at the awards ceremony, but it is not mandatory to remain until the end of the ceremony — and this year we understand the need to remain safe. See an SOS Race Committee member to receive your award during the post-race luncheon.

              How can I qualify for the 2022 SOS Championships at this race?

              The top 3 men and top 3 women will be awarded the opportunity to compete at the 2022 SOS Championships in New Paltz, NY.  Since the New York race usually sells out minutes after registration opens, this is a valuable benefit. A completed registration and payment of the registration fee is required to enter the 2022 event. If a winner bypasses his/her award, the opportunity rolls down to the next finisher.


                For those athletes with time for a visit to the Cape of several days or more, we recommend The Harbor Hotel, located by the shores of Cape Cod Bay in Provincetown. This hotel serves as the outermost turn-around point for the bicycle leg of SOS Cape Cod, and is located on Commercial Street which is lined with restaurants, shops and art galleries. It’s a 17-minute drive to the start/finish line but well worth it.


                The Holden (Inn – 4 stars)

                Oyster Cove (B&B – 5 stars)

                Gull Cottage (B&B)

                Buoy House (B&B)

                Mainstay Motor Inn (Motel – 3 stars)

                The Southfleet (Motel – 4.5 stars)

                The Even’tide (Motel – 4 stars)

                Wellfleet Motel (Motel – 4 stars)

                Blue Dolphin Inn (Motel – 4 stars)

                Viking Shores (Motel – 4.5 stars)

                Four Points Sheraton (Hotel – 4 stars)


                SOS Cape Cod Triathlon in Wellfleet, MA.