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TCKRA Martindale Triathlon

45th Annual Martindale Triathlon October 28, 2023

The Martindale Tri is reputed to be the oldest triathlon in Texas. It is brought to you by the Texas Canoe and Kayak Racing Association.  It is unique in that the swim leg has been replaced by a paddle leg (canoe, kayak, or SUP) down the beautiful San Marcos River. 


The Tri kicks off with a 7-mile run through the quaint little town of Martindale, TX.  Next up is the bike (note the bike route change this year), which covers 22 miles (on a paved road) just outside of Martindale and Staples. Finally, a 5.5 mile paddle from Shady Grove Campground (aka Spencer Canoes) down to the 1977 bridge in Staples. 


Sign up solo, as a two-person team (one person runs, the other bikes, and both paddle together in a 2-person boat), or as a three-person relay (one person per leg).

There will be no packet pickup on Friday evening.  We will be setting up the course, thank you for your understanding.

Race morning, the campground will open at 6:30am and Transition will open at 7 a.m. at Shady Grove Campground, 9515 FM 1979.

Bike Transition area will be set up by your assigned number and the canoe staging area will be marked with caution tape (this area is unassigned but a volunteer will be there to help you put your boat into position – stern to caution tape with bow pointed towards put in). Find your assigned race number in the bike transition area, it will contain your bag(s), race number, t-shirt and swag.  


Safety Briefing will begin promptly at 8:30am. 

Electronic liability waivers will be mandatory--we will provide a link closer to the race. 


Map of the course: HERE

RUN:  The run portion begins and ends at 9515 FM 1979 at the entrance of Spencer’s (Shady Grove Campground). The run portion will begin promptly at 9am. Please distance yourselves on the road to maintain a distance.  Give everyone space on the road.  There will be a water station with water, gatorade, Gu packets and trash can available. This is NOT a closed course.  There will be cars—do not assume they will give you a wide berth—Be aware!  We will have Guadalupe sheriff deputy at the entrance, and volunteers on the run at a few corners.  There may be photographers—Please smile.  

BIKE:  The 2023 Martindale Tri will have a new bike route this year! Please remember that these roads are open to traffic!! Due to an increase in construction truck traffic, we have modified the course as follows: Two Loops for a total of 22 miles but fewer hills. We are extending the bike cutoff time to 12:30pm (you must be off your bike by the cutoff to continue to the paddle portion).

Upon leaving the transition area, turn right onto 1979, across the bridge and right on 103 (E River Rd) down to 1977, turn right on 1977 across the river and up to Staples, TX, turn right onto 621 down to 1979- turn right on 1979 and head back to Spencer’s/Shady Grove Campground. TWO Loops. See the map to view the new route.

Bike Helmet is MANDATORY! A volunteer will be present on 1979 and at all the corners to assist you. The police officer is to alert vehicles to slow down but again—this is not a closed course. After two loops: DISMOUNT bike before the Driveway! There may be photographers—Please smile.


CUT OFF is 12:30 pm to be off the bike!!!! No exceptions.

Paddle:  Per Insurance rules—you must have a life jacket in your boat, but it is not required for it to be worn.  If you use an inflatable lifejacket, it must be worn while in the boat. There are no exceptions to this rule.  From the bike transition - Run down to boat holding area and follow signs to put in.  ½ mile down will be Tekin’s rapids, and there may be a tree across the river halfway down the course—if you need to portage, there will be a sign there! Staples Bridge (FM 1977) is the Finish line, there is a log jam in the middle of the bridge so paddle under on river left.  The exit is river left by house just past the bridge.  Do not go over the dam.  If you rented-leave boat, life jacket & paddles there. 

There will be photographer—please smile!

Parking at Shady Grove:  Please park near the pavilion or the campground office. The campground management asks that you please be courteous of those who are camping and in the driveway areas. There are lots of people coming in and out of the transition areas along with spectators so be aware of your surroundings.  Plan on wearing a mask if you cannot distance 6 feet from others and in the bathhouse.

Parking at Staples Bridge/Finish Line/FM1977:  Please park on either side along the road on the NE side of the bridge. The parking lot at the boat take-out is for loading only.

Shuttle: Ideally, competitors are responsible for their own shuttle from the finish line. We are working on getting a shuttle--but there will be a limited number of spots. We will update once things are finalized.

Boat Rentals: A limited number of plastic canoes (2-person, $40) and kayaks (1 person, $35) are available to rent through Shady Grove/Spencers Canoes. Less experienced people are better off and faster in the kayaks because they spend less time swimming. Email Patty at  to make a reservation.

Food & Awards:  We will have a meal and awards back at Spencer’s in the pavilion.  Seating is limited so if you can bring a chair, that would be awesome! Please give our timing team peace and quiet while they are tabulating results.  Once we get a majority of the folks finished, we will do the awards!  Everyone receives a medal again this year, so don’t leave without yours! 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each catagory get trophies, so come back to Shady Grove Campground.


There will be photographers – please smile!

Paddlesport is our insurance provider for this event.  **All participants must electronically sign the attached waiver prior to the event start (we will email you a link closer to the race date).  

Visit our facebook page for the Tri here

Important Dates

12 pm (noon) Friday, October 13, 2023 - Last day to register and guarantee a racer t-shirt.

Registration for the 2023 Martindale Triathlon is closed

Race Day Schedule – Saturday, October 28, 2023 @ Shady Grove Campground

  • 7:00am – 8:45am Race packet pickup-All racers must turn in signed insurance waivers--we'd prefer that you fill out the online waiver that will be emailed to you (We are using Paddlesport Risk Management. Waivers will be emailed the week prior to the race.)

  • 8:30am Pre-race Safety Briefing (onsite review of the rules, course description, and safety info)

  • 9:00am Race start 

  • 12:30 pm Bike cutoff time (into transition area)



Race Classes:

  • Solo $60 (Men’s Open, Men's Masters 50+, Women's Open, Women’s Masters 50+) 

    • Solo racers do all three activities (Run, Bike, Paddle)

  • 2-Person Tandem $110 (Men’s Open, Men's Masters 50+, Women's Open, Women’s Masters 50+, Mixed, Mixed Masters 50+)

    • Tandem teams have one person run, one bike, then both paddle together in a 2-person canoe or kayak.​

  • 3-Person Relay $120 (Men’s, Women's, Mixed, Masters 50+)

    • Relay teams have one person run, one person bike, and one person paddle.​


You don't have to enter Masters 50+ if you'd rather enter Open.

Start: Shady Grove Campground, 9515 FM 1979, Martindale, TX


Finish Line: Staples Bridge FM 1977

Race will start at 9:00 am Saturday.  There is no race day registration.


Camping is also available at Shady Grove Campground. Please call them at  (512) 357-6113 to make a reservation.


If you are interested in sponsoring the 2023 race (and having your logo on our webpage, shirts, and flyers), please contact our race director, Patty Geisinger:

Special thanks to our 2023 sponsors!!

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