The Portofino Tri Series Offers Something for Everyone


Posted by Coach John Murray

Here we are near the start of season six of our Pensacola-based Portofino Tri Series! We will have six super-sprint races this year, one each month April through September, including a duathlon (April 9), and a Ladies Only race (September 17). Two are on Thursday evenings and four are on Saturday mornings. The distances are short enough for beginners, while experienced athletes can use the races for a tune-up or a chance to live in the pain cave for 30+ minutes.

Team MPI, along with company friend and advisor, Evan Malone, came up with the idea of a quick Thursday evening race back in 2011. For that first year we had four races that drew a primarily local crowd. Competition was there for the racers, and the short swim, bike and run was a big draw for first-time triathletes.

Still one of our favorite photos - from the very first race! Photos below also from the first race.


Over the years the race has evolved. Last year we added some Saturday morning races for those who can't make the Thursday evenings. For multisport athletes who aren't crazy about a cool early-season swim, we added a duathlon. Knowing that many triathletes are "numbers" people, we added chip timing and all races now offer a relay option. And to recognize some of the faster performances we offer awards.

Thanks to our dedicated sponsors we have been able to enhance the races and shift a little bit from where we started. However, we have maintained the same original feel of that first race. A smaller race means it's a bit less intimidating than one that might have 500 triathletes. Our registration is limited to 70 athletes and the race entry cost remains attractive.

Knowing that some of our race fields may be comprised of more than half beginners, we still cater to our first-timers. The swim course is short and certified lifeguards patrol the waters in kayaks. Swim waves keep the number of swimmers in the water very low and minimize congestion. The bike course is on a single road, and the run is on a dedicated path. These ingredients have helped us to be the very first triathlon for over 400 athletes new to the sport.

The Portofino Tri Series can be competitive, too. We have had former pro triathletes, top-ranked (nationally) triathletes and the local cadre of super fast men and women. Triathletes from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia are a common sight at the starting line. We invite you to join us for a unique and enjoyable race experience that will satisfy both beginners and seasoned athletes.

For more information and to register to race, visit

~ Coach John

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