Your Most #Awkward Triathlon Moments

By Stephen Meyers | April 01, 2019, 2:13 p.m. (ET)

Awkward moments

A couple weeks ago, #AwkwardMomentsDay was trending on social media. Hilarity ensued.

Those of us in the office here at USA Triathlon shared our most awkward triathlon moments working at our national events. There was the time when one of our staffers had to stop athletes who just crossed the finish line from trying to jump into the Gatorade and water tubs. 

"No sir, that is not a cooling tub."

There was also the time a group of college athletes unplugged a timing mat so they could plug in their Cappuccino maker.

Yo, we know you need your caffeine, but don't do that. 

We also wanted to hear your most awkward triathlon moments.  

So we asked, and you sure delivered.  

We heard a lot of wardrobe malfunction stories. Some bathroom issues. And just plain goof ups. 

We laughed. We sent gifs. We learned. 

No matter your triathlon experience, we're all prone to making funny mistakes at an event. Who among us hasn't started the run still wearing our bike helmet? 

So, share in the fun and read these submissions from fellow age-group athletes who shared their most awkward triathlon moments. They are a fun reminder that we were all once newbies in this sport and just didn't know any better. And that funny, unfortunate, awkward moments can happen to all of us.  

awkward moments

"Flying down the road on my bike at Nationals in '12 in Burlington, VT and I see my shadow on the road as the sun came up behind me. "What's the dark shadow coming up out of my head?? And, who stole my straw out of my aero bottle??? Wait..." I reach up and pull the straw out of my helmet and put it back in the bottle. I'd set my helmet upside down on my bars/aero bottle when setting up T1, putting the straw through the top of my helmet to keep it secure. When I pulled my helmet up to put it on after the swim, the straw came with it and of course I had no idea. Ha. Have never heard of this before or after... Went on to win so maybe it helped." — Lincoln Murdoch

"Couldn't find my gloves in T1; gave up looking. Four hours later (I'm a turtle) I enter T2 and take off my helmet ... Found the gloves! I wore them on my head for 56 miles!" — Allison Wagner Espinosa

awkward shoess

"For my very first tri, I bought the Gel-Noosa shoes that I was told were for triathlon. Thought that meant you wore them for running, biking, AND swimming! So there I was down at the swim start with my running shoes on! — Kelly Huban

"You get to mile 2 on the run and wonder “why do my feet hurt so bad” and then realize ... wait those aren’t my new shoes ... and realize you took the shoes of the person next to you in transition because they were the exact match to your old shoes, just smaller." — Jay Sutton

"Coming out of the Ironman swim and realizing my speedo was inside out." — Bruce Daniels 

"Put the wrong bottle on the bike. Instead of a sports drink. I had chocolate Milk for the bike ride!" — Gary Mappin

"Helmet on backwards! It was strapped on but felt horrible. Someone yelled at me as I left transition that it was on backwards and good thing he did! Not sure how long I would have gone with it on that way!" — Richard Martin 

awkward wrong bike

"Got to the bike mount line and realized I had someone else’s bike 😳😳" — Kelly Morris McConie