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The 2020 event is now VIRTUAL!!
Sprint, Olympic, Half Iron, Aquabike, Kids, 5k Run
Signup now through November 15th
Race info
UPDATE: We are currently sold out of the 2020 Medal & Necklace. NEW PARTICIPANTS: During registration you can choose an alternative medal & necklace or receive $10 off when selecting no medal or necklace.
Sprint, Olympic, Half Iron, Aquabike, SUP/Kayak, Kids

Tri it! Du it! Love it!! Join the Mermaid community for a VIRTUAL Triathlon or Duathlon.

You'll have until November 15th to complete your event! Do it all at once or break it up over multiple days. You can choose from a VIRTUAL Sprint, Olympic [Mighty], Half Iron Distance [Sirena], Paddle Triathlon, Relay Tri/Du, AquaBike or a 5K Fun Run. You can even inspire the next generation of athletes by bringing out your kids for our Virtual Kids Triathlon and Duathlon!

HOW DOES A VIRTUAL EVENT WORK? The virtual event gives you the freedom to choose how, when and where you want to complete the event. You can break up the distance over multiple days or do it all at once. You can bike first, then run and then swim, or run, swim, bike... it's all good and it's all up to you! You can choose from the distance that best motivates you!!


We're inviting the entire Mermaid Community to join as we inspire, encourage and motivate each other to stay healthy! 

Download and personalize a color or black and white virtual bib!


Covid19 Update

Athlete Update


Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon
Tri: 750 Meter Swim, 20K (12.4 mile) Bike, 5K (3.1 Mile) Run

Du: 1.5 Mile Run, 20K (12.4 mile) Bike, 5K (3.1 Mile) Run


Mighty (Olympic) Mermaid Triathlon & Duathlon

Tri: 1500 Meter Swim, 40K (24.8 mile) Bike, 10K (6.2 Mile) Run

Du: 5K (3.1 mile) Run, 40K (24.8 mile) Bike, 10K (6.2 Mile) Run

Alt Tri: 1500 Meter SUP/Kayak/Paddle, 40K (24.8 mile) Bike, 10K (6.2 Mile) Run


Sirena (Half Iron) Triathlon & Duathlon

Tri: 1.2 Mile Swim, 56 Mile Bike, 13.1 Mile Run

Du: 10K (6.2 Mile) Run, 56 Mile Bike, 13.1 Mile Run

Kids Triathlon & Duathlon

The goal is to inspire the next generation of Triathletes and Duathletes.

Distances are suggested. There is no timing or results for the kids event.

**Kids receive a finisher medal & necklace **

8 & Under Tri:  50 Meter Swim, 3 Mile Bike, 1 Mile Run

9 & Older Tri: 100 Meter Swim, 8 Mile Bike, 2 Mile Run

8 & Under Du:  .5 Mile Run, 3 Mile Bike, 1 Mile Run

9 & Older Du: 1 Mile Run, 8 Mile Bike, 2 Mile Run

Entry fees

Note: Participation requires a USA Triathlon Membership. There is no additional fee for a USAT sacntioned virtual event.

Before 9/18/20

Tri, Du, Aquabike: $50

Relay: $30 /per person

Fun Run: $30

Kids: $15.00 (Does not include shirt)

After 10/1/20

Tri, Du, Aquabike: $55

Relay: $35 /per person

Fun Run: $35

Kids: $20 (Does not include shirt)


We are happy to issue you a credit toward a future Mermaid Series event. To receive a credit, please email us at a minimum of 10 days before the event date. We will email you back a confirmation along with the amount of your future race credit. Please keep the confirmation email for your records.


Our event credit and event cancellation policy is outlined on the event "Participant Waiver" which is agreed upon when you registered:

Mermaid Series (pdf) Wavier


The following credits will be issued: 

• Duathlon - Entry fee minus $10 processing fee
• Triathlons - Entry fee minus $10 processing fee
• Run - Entry fee minus $10 processing fee.

Packet pickup

Packets will be mailed out the second week of October!



Packet Pickup - Registration 

What do I need to bring with me to packet pickup?
You must bring a PHOTO IDENTIFICATION, either a valid drivers license or a valid passport.


Are we required to pick up race numbers the day before?
No, but we strongly recommend that you pick up your packet the before the race at a pre-race day packet pickup. This allows you to put your bike number, helmet number, and race number on prior to race morning.

Can I pick up my friend’s packet for them?
Yes! Bring a copy of their photo ID and we’ll give you their packet. Either a paper copy or digital image on a smartphone works.

It says the registration opens at 6:00 a.m. Does that mean the race starts at 6:00 a.m.?
No, packet pickup opens at 6 a.m. so you can have plenty of time to rack your bike and warm-up. The final start times will be posted to the website and sent out in one of the race updates.


How early would you recommend us to arrive on race day morning?
At least 60 to 90 minutes before your start time. Allow plenty of time to get there, park, and to set up your gear.


In your estimation when do the masses begin getting set up in the transition area?
6:30 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.


Is it better to get there early to set up/park/etc?


How soon does one need to register for the event?

The earlier, the better. Mermaid events have sold out in the past so to guarantee your entry we recommend you register early. Plus, the prices increase as the event date gets closer.


If the event closes, will there be a waiting list?


If I cannot race, can I give someone else my race number?
No. Race entries are non-transferable.


How long does it takes to check in, warm up, and set up at the transition area.
Allow a minimum of 60 minutes. If you checked in the day before and you have all your numbers on and ready to go you will probably want to give yourself at least 45 minutes.


How do I know you received my entry?

You should have received an email confirmation from our registration provider. If you can’t find it, you can email us at We will verify your participation from our registration list.


Can I get a refund?
We are unable to refund your entry fee, but if you give us 10 days notice, via email at we will give you a credit (minus a transaction fee) toward a future race. Please read our credit policy.


What are the Age Groups?
Age groups are broken out in 5 year increments:
Mermaid Age Groups = 10 to 12; 13 to 15; 16-19: 20-24: 25-29, etc.


What is the minimum age to participate?
10 years of age.


Race Categories

Should I register for an "Individual Age-Group" the "Family & Friends" or the "Athena?"
The Family & Friends Division was developed for athletes that want to start with friends or family. This category is also for anyone who wants to do the race without the pressure of "racing" in their age group. The "Family & Friends" division allows athletes of any age to start together and is often very popular with the first time and novice athletes. Please note: awards are NOT issued for 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the "Family & Friends" division. The "Individual Age-Group" division means that you are racing against the other athletes in your age-division and we award prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. The "Athena" division is for athletes 165 lbs. and over who want to race against similar athletes for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize. NOTE: There is no "Family and Friends" category for the Mighty Mermaid or the Duathlon.

Is the relay division for both the triathlon and duathlon?
No. Relay division is only for the triathlon and you can do it as either a 2 person or 3 person team.


Are wetsuits required?
Wetsuits are not required, but highly recommended as the water temperature is usually in the low 60's. Wetsuits can be rented at Sports Basement.


What is the water temp? Do most participants wear a wetsuits?
The water temp for the Pacific Ocean is chilly and is typically in the low 60's degree range. Most all participants will wear a wetsuit.


Does the swim start on the beach or in the water?
The Mermaid is a beach start with a run approximately 30 feet into the water.


Will there be opportunity to get in the water and swim a warm-up before the start?
Yes, there will be a swim area off to the side of the swim course that is open for warming up. We just ask that once the race has started you do not warm-up on the swim course.


What if I cannot do or complete the swim the morning of the event?
If you happen to struggle the morning of the event, get out of the water, peel of your wetsuit, notify the head lifeguard and have them write down your race number. You can still finish the race but your time will not be official.


Is a face mask is allowed? Could the mask be a snorkel mask? If so, is only the mask allowed or is the entire snorkel apparatus (breathing tube, etc.) allowed?
Yes, a face mask is allowed, however you are not allowed to use a snorkel. In addition, you are not allowed to use any artificial propulsion device, including but not limited to fins, gloves, paddles, or floating devices of any kind.


Do I need shoes to run from the swim to the transition area?
Most athletes don't wear shoes but it is a long run up to the transition area. We recommend that you have a towel and an extra bottle of water to wash off your feet before you put on your socks or shoes in the transition area.


Do we have official swim caps?
Yes. We will issue specific colored caps to each division/wave start. You MUST wear the swim cap that we issue.



Is the bike course hilly?
There is one climb on Porter Gulch Rd. It is a very narrow road and riders are required to ride single file and stay to the far right.



Is the run hilly?
Most of the run is on a flat paved path, however there is one gradual uphill at the beginning of the run as you go out Cliff Dr from Capitola.


What kind of liquid/food is on the race course?
Water, Ultima Replenisher
electrolyte drink, bars and gels.


Transition Area (Bike racks and Gear)

What time does the transition area open and how is it set up?
6:00 AM. The Transition Area (racks) are first come, first served.


How is the transition area set up? Can I leave non racing gear in transition or should I leave those items in my car?
Space is limited to race related equipment and clothing. Any items that are not related to the race, please leave them in your car or with a friend, relative, etc.


What time does everyone need to clear out of the transition area before the start?
You should be out of the transition area and down at the swim start 15 minutes prior to your wave start.


By what time do I need to clear out of the transition area?
We will begin to tear down the transition area around 11:30 a.m., so we ask that you remove your gear by this time.


USA triathlon (USAT)

The Mermaid Tri & Du is a USA Triathlon Sanctioned event. All participants are required to purchase a one-day USAT license or be an annual USAT member. One-day memberships can be purchased at checkout for $15.00.

Training and Equipment

Can I bike and/or jog with my headphones?
No. Headphones are not allowed.


Do most people wear the same item of clothing for the entire race (aka cycling shorts)?
YES. Most people will swim in spandex or cycling shorts that don't have a seat pad and then bike and run in them as well.


How many hours per day do I need to train?
There is no set number of hours needed to train. You should be comfortable working out for 90 to 100 minutes.


Are road bikes necessary, or can we ride a hybrid or mountain bike?
Road bikes are not necessary. Mountain bikes or hybrid bikes will work fine. Actually, a lot of women use mountain bikes. The only bikes not allowed are recumbent and tandem bikes.


Is there is a time limit on the Mermaid Triathlon?
No. there is no time limit.



I belong to a club and got a discount last year. Will you be offering the discount again this year for the Mermaid events?
Yes - Make sure your club president or representative emails us at to get the discount code.


I am signing up for the event as a group. However I am not a swimmer and was wondering if I could participate in the duathlon as a member of the group and receive the discount?
Yes. We will accept combinations of triathletes and duathletes for the group (6 to 11, 11 or more) discount rate.



What is body marking?
We need a number on your arms, legs and calves. This helps us track you on the course and gives our announcers an opportunity to see your number and look up your name to let the crowd know you are near the finish.


Do I have to wear my paper, race number?
You are required to finish the run, with your race number being worn on the front. It is optional on the bike, however you will be responsible to remember to put it on prior to starting the run. If you do not have your race number on during the run you will be disqualified!!


I heard this event uses Chip Timing. What is Chip Timing?
We issue each participant an ankle strap with a computer chip. The computer chip is encoded with the athlete's name, race number and other information. This computer chip will help track your progress through the course (over special mats) and help get your finish time to our timer the second you finish!


What is a WAVE start?
A wave start is a triathlon term that means group of athletes. Athletes are assigned to a specific wave that has a specific start time. Everyone in the same "wave" is issued the same cap color. Generally, there will be about 80 to 100 athletes in each wave (group).

Results and photos


2019 Mermaid Capitola - All Results

2018 Mermaid Capitola - All Results
2017 Mermaid Capitola - All Results

2016 Mermaid Capitola - All Results

2015 Mermaid Capitola - All Results

2014 Mermaid Capitola - All Results

2013 Mermaid Capitola - All Results

2012 Mermaid Capitola - TriathlonDuathlon


2011 Mermaid Capitola
Sprint - OverallAge GroupAthenaRelay TeamsFamily & Friends
Duathlon - OverallAge Group
Mighty Olympic - OverallAge GroupRelay Teams I Athena

2010 Mermaid Santa Cruz
10K - Age Group | Overall | Friends & Family | Mighty Mermaid

Triathlon - Age Group | Athena | Relays | Overall

Sprint - Athena I Age Group | Overall | Relay Teams

2009 Mermaid Santa Cruz
Mighty (Olympic) - Age Group | Overall | Relay Teams

Sprint - Age Group | Athena | Overall | Relay Teams | Friends & Family  

Duathlon - Age Group | Overall

Beach run to the top of the Stairs

2008 Mermaid Santa Cruz
Mighty Mermaid Age Group

Sprint Triathlon Age Group

Duathlon Age Group


2007 Mermaid Santa Cruz
Sprint Triathlon Age Group

Duathlon Age Group


2006 Mermaid Santa Cruz
Sprint Triathlon Age Group

Duathlon Age Group


2005 Mermaid Santa Cruz
Triathlon - Overall | Age Group

Duathlon - Overall | Age Group Athena

Triathlon - FOR FUN | Athena | Relay Team


Photos will be available approximately one to two weeks following the event. 

2018 photos

2017 photos

2016 photos

2015 photos

2014 photos

2013 photos

2012 photos

2011 photos

2010 photos

2009 photos

2008 photos

2007 photos

2006 photos

2005 photos


Event photography by: Facchino Photography specializes in off-road event photography. Capturing athletes in their moment and allowing them flexibility in viewing and ordering convenience.

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