Mere Mortals

2017 Mere Mortals starts 5/28!

Tri Gulf Coast is proud to announce the tentative start of Mere Mortals Triathlon training on Sunday, 5/28! The first session will be held at the quietwater beach boardwalk amphitheater, and all session after that will be held at the casino beach pavillion. Training starts at 6:30, so be sure to arrive 20-30 minutes ahead of then (6:00 am) to get signed in and set up.

Here’s what there Mere Mortals are able to do once they’ve completed their training:

Video courtesy

2017 schedule:

Other events MM? Date Plan Swim Bike Run Notes
  Y 05/28/17 Orientation & swim pier repeats     QUIETWATER BOARDWALK (Memorial day weekend)
  Y 06/04/17 1st Brick!   10 1 Tom off
  Y 06/11/17 1st time all 3! short loop 12 1  
Father’s Day Y 06/18/17 SWIM DAY! SWIM DAY!     SWIM DAY! (Father’s Day)
  Y 06/25/17   100y loop 14 2  
4th of July weekend Y 07/02/17   100y loop 12 3.1 4th of July Weekend
Blue Angels N 07/09/17 OFF OFF OFF OFF Blue Angels
  Y 07/16/17   150y loop 16 2
  Y 7/23/2017   200y loop 10 2-3 BIKE FAST!!!
  Y 7/30/2017   200y loop 14 3.1  
  Y 8/6/2017   300y 18 2-3 Tom off
  Y 8/13/2017   200y loop 14 3.1  
  Y 8/20/2017   200y loop 18 2  
  Y 8/27/2017 Big Swim 400y 14 3.1  
  Y 9/3/2017   200y loop 40 3.1 Bikini/Boardshort run OR long bike
Labor day weekend Y 9/10/2017   300y 14 3.1  
Members Only Triathlon! Y 9/17/2017   600y 18 3.1 Taste of the Beach 15/16
  N 9/24/2017 OFF OFF OFF OFF  
  N 10/1/2017 OFF OFF OFF OFF  

Table of contents

  1. Background
  2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
  3. Want to know more?


In 1996, Ann Knight and her friend Janet Boylan put on the very first Santa Rosa Island Triathlon. On race day, as they watched a few hundred new triathletes struggle to complete the race, they decided that a training program for new triathletes might be a good idea.

And so the Mere Mortals program was born in 1997. Ann teamed up with her husband Charlie to plan for the second annual SRI Tri, and Janet took on the task of organizing a free training group for those who might want help getting ready for their first Triathlon. In those first few years, 20-30 people would meet on Pensacola Beach and work their way up from short drills of swimming, biking, and running, eventually building up to a combined practice Tri that covered the full distance of the SRI Tri on the very same course they’d use on race day.

Mere Mortals cycling discussion

In the years since then, Mere Mortals has grown from an informal gathering to an organized event with attendance often exceeding 200 members. It is now managed by Tri Gulf Coast, the local triathlon club, and staffed by numerous volunteers who handle sign in, water safety, bike course monitoring, run water stops, refreshments, and weekly expert guest speakers!

If you’re thinking of trying out your first triathlon and you live anywhere near Pensacola beach, there is no better way to prepare than Mere Mortals!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who in the world are the Mere Mortals?
We are a training group that meets almost every Sunday at 6:00am (training starts promptly at 6:30, so be there early to check in)from June through the end of September. We help new triathletes prepare for the Santa Rosa Island Triathlon or other Multisport Events. Helmets are required

What do you do for me?
We’ll help you learn the ropes of swimming, biking, running, and combining the three back-to-back! During our training, we’ll show you how to swim in open water, get you used to swimming in groups, and share tips and tricks so you don’t have to learn them the hard way. We teach you how to transition from swim to bike, called “T1”, safely and quickly. We’ll teach you about safe cycling and inform you of the rules of triathlon cycling. Learn and practice “T2”, the second transition from bike to run, and learn how to complete the 3.1-mile run course after an 18-mile bike and a 1/3-mile swim. We have you train alongside experienced triathletes, and you’ll see presentations from experts in many aspects of fitness and triathlon.

Who can participate?
All active members of Tri Gulf Coast are welcome! You must be 16 or older. If you’ve never done a triathlon before, don’t worry! That’s just what mere Mortals is designed for! Just join Tri Gulf Coast and we’ll see you on the beach! To learn more about joining Tri Gulf Coast Please, click here

How much does it cost?
All participants must be members of the Tri Gulf Coast triathlon club. Once that’s taken care of, it’s free! To learn more about joining Tri Gulf Coast Please, click here

When and where we meet?
Starting in June. Sunday mornings at the Casino Beach stage on Pensacola Beach! Be sure to arrive early and get your gear ready, our speakers start on schedule at 6:35, and we start our workout immediately after the speaker of the day is finished. You may join in at any time during the training season, but you’ll get the most benefit if you’re there from the beginning.

What equipment will I need?
There are all kinds of goodies you can buy to help you in triathlon, but only a few you really need for your first race. If you’re looking for local stores who actively support our sport to supply you with the best gear, take a look at our sponsors on the right side of this page for the best of the best!

Here are the basics:

  • Swim: Goggles, a bright swim cap
  • Bike: A Bike and a cycling helmet. Helmets are required both during training and in the race. (Recumbent and three wheelers are not legal in triathlons.)
  • Run: A good pair of running shoes. We run during the summer, so you’ll also want to carry fluids with you on the run.

What sort of physical condition do I need to be in?
As with any new physical activity, you should talk with your physician about your plans to do a triathlon and listen to his/her feedback. We’ll help you get ready for the race, but here are some good guidelines for what you should be ready for:

  • Swimming: You need to be able to swim 200 yards without stopping. By the time we finish training, you’ll have been farther than 200 yards from shore, so being able to make it in would be a good thing! We’ll help you get used to open water swimming, but you might want to spend some time training in a pool prior to June.
  • Biking: We’ll ride at least 20 to 60+ minutes every time we bike. You’ll want to practice riding before June, and by spending time on your bike ahead of time, you’ll handle the bike safely and more confidently. This is important, because we train on the road with vehicles.
  • Running: Speed doesn’t matter, and it’s perfectly legal to walk during the race. By being able to run or walk 2-miles without stopping by the time we start training, you’ll be better prepared to build up to 3.1 miles, even after swimming and biking first!

Want to know more?

For additional information, send an email to

This article has 8 Comments

  1. Hi Salina! Generally the whole thing is done by 7:30, but there’s no reason you can’t leave early if you need to in order to get to work. They get in the water at 6:30, so be sure to arrive no later than 6:15.

  2. I was wondering how long the Thursday morning open water swim was as I have to be at work no later than 8 am.

  3. Visiting Pensacola, open water swimmer looking for a group to swim with. Ready to jump in any time anywhere without alligators.

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