Triathlon Clubs


Reston Area Triathletes

RATS Box #322
11654 Plaza America Dr
Reston, Virginia 20190


Club President: Katie Davison
Board Member(s): Yes, Their Names - Kevin Kunkel, Events Coordinator and Nate Miller, Memebrship Director
Total Membership: 190
Club Dues: $35 individual/$45 household

General Information

Club Info: The Reston Area Triathletes, or RATS, started during triathlon's first boom in the early 1980s. In fact, if you look at Dave Scott's 1986 "Triathlon Training" book, RATS is one of the few clubs listed in the index (and Jim Desrosier, the original contact, is still an active member). The club was re-started in February of 2001 with some of the original members working with some newer triathletes in the area. The informal club grew out of the long-standing weekly bike ride that follows the Reston Masters Saturday swim workout. While most members live or work in the Reston area (including Sterling, Vienna, Oakton, Cascades, and Ashburn), there are members from Arlington, Chantilly, and even Maryland.

RATS hosts several events throughout the year that are free for members, and $5 for non-members. These are semi-organized training days with door-prizes raffled off to all who attend, including volunteers. Past prizes have included $75 gift certificate to Tri-nergy, Spinerval videos, Endurox, Accelerade, free massages, and more. Membership is $30 a year, and members receive a 10% discount at Tri-nergy, as well as discounts to other nutrition and clothing vendors. First-time members get a free t-shirt and a free Spinerval video or DVD.

RATS became an official USAT club in October of 2002 and now has more than 100 members. Almost 1,000 people subscribe to our publicly available email list. To subscribe simply send an email to For more information contact
Club Sponsors: What are the benefits of being a RAT?

First time members get a free RATS t-shirt, some awesome RATS tattoos, and the latest Tri-DC Magazine.

You also get an account on this website! This will allow you to create a Bio, use the Race Calendar, and create Race Reports to share with everyone.

While we do offer many training/racing opportunities, RATS philosophy is focused on helping athletes connect with one another. The goal of this mailing list, the socials, club racing events and even the "mini" events is to expose athletes of all abilities to the vibrant triathlon community in and around Reston. By doing this we hope that athletes of all abilities will learn from and teach their fellow athletes.

Membership benefits also include access to sponsorship deals.
Club Discounts: Bonzai: SAG and material support at our big events like TdS, 15% off all merchandise, and 5% off all bike purchases

Rudy Project: 20-50% off glasses and helmets

The Sock Guy: During the year, RATS can place two orders for socks and other items at special club prices. For example Sock Guy's socks usually retail for $9.95; RATS members get them at $4.25

Hometown Chiropractic & Acupuncture: provide RATS members with a FREE initial exam and consultation, a $150 value, and discounted therapy services

Spa Noa: Provides RATS members with a 15% on all services (except for nails). They also provide generous gift certificates for our events. Lastly, they have helped RATS provide a location for picking up club material

DeSoto Sport: 20-40% discount on DeSoto products, and supply of FREE door prizes and RATS training/social events

Hammer Nutrition: FREE nutrition supporter at all RATS training/racing events, and as yet undiclosed discounts on product

Potomac River Running: 10% off everything plus nutrition and hydration support on TdS

Amaiza Fitness: 10% savings on CompuTrainer classes and 5% savings off coaching and A-Team fee

The Triathlon Swim School: 10% savings on classes
Directions to Workouts & Meeting Location(s): What group training does RATS offer?

The key training event for RATS is the weekly Satruday bike ride that follows the Reston Masters 7-8 a.m. swim workout. We head west on the W&OD trail, which allows people not to be stuck with a set distance. For those wishing to ride more than 30 miles round-trip, past Leesburg, we often leave the trail in favor of roads. RATS have been known to ride anywhere from 50 to 130 miles on Saturday, so it's a great way to meet new riding partners and learn some of the good biking roads in the area. Anyone is welcome as long as you ride courteously, obey the rules of the trail and roads and you must wear a helmet.

Many RATS also swim with Reston Masters, run with Reston Runners (specifically the Sunday 10-miler), and bike with the Reston Bike Club on Tue/Thu nights. We encourage you to investigate these clubs as well.

How do I meet people for the Saturday ride?

The RATS Saturday ride leaves immediately after the Reston Masters morning practice (time details in the next paragraph). Some folks ride and others drive to convene at the Herndon Train Depot on the W&OD Trail (MP 20). Plenty of parking is available. This should be obvious, but you don't have to swim in order to ride. In fact, most of the riders these days do not swim first. Too bad, it's a great combo workout.

During Daylight Savings Hours (Apr-Oct) we meet at 8:30 a.m. (allowing people to swim the 7-8 Reston Masters workout). During the remaining months (Nov-Mar) we meet at 9:30 a.m. (allowing people to sleep in and swim the 8-9 Reston Masters workout). The later start for the winter months changed as of November 2005. It allows us to start in warmer weather and get a bit more sleep (or extra swimming, you can swim both workouts :)

Where is the Saturday swim?

Reston Masters meets at the Reston Community Center in the Hunter's Woods Plaza shopping Center from mid-September to mid-June. During the summer, swim practice is normally at the Lake Newport 50 meter pool, with some exceptions. It's best to check the Reston Masters web site for a complete schedule.

Can I swim in the Reston Lakes?

Official Reston Association policy is that swimming is not allowed in the lakes except for property owners with easements on the lakes or the participants of officially sanctioned events. Currently, the only such events are the Reston Triathlon and Jim McDonnell Lake swims.

Please realize that while you may not be scolded for doing an early morning swim, the organizers of the Reston Triathlon (and to some degree, the Reston Masters) certainly do get an earful throughout the year. Swimming in the afternoons is likely to get you scolded in person as waterfront landowners are trying to enjoy themselves.

We realize that swimming happens ... we just want people to know what the rules are before they make their own decisions.

What is Hunter Station Road, and how steep is it?

Hunter Station Road is a popular hill in the Reston area for doing hill repeats (primarily on the bike, but you can run it as well). The bottom of the road nearly intersects with the W&OD trail. The W&OD crosses Hunter Mill Road near mile post 15. Hunter Station Road begins at the southwest corner of the W&OD/Hunter Mill intersection (recognizable by the small --- seven cars --- parking area at that corner).

According to Topo USA 4.0 software, Hunter Station Road (the steepest section from just after the bridge to Roundhouse Road) averages about 9%, with a few parts at 15% and more parts at 12-13%. You could probably safely say that it's a 10-12% climb over .2 miles.
Club Workout Schedule: Please see above.
Club Meetings & Events Schedule: We hold monthly informal socials as well as several annual events like Tour de Skyline, Camp RATatouille in ther Pyrenees, RATMan, etc.
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