News Release

Grand Rapids Triathlon Offers Unparalleled Virtual Race Experience

Race Includes Timing, Courses, Finish Pictures, Personalized Finish Announcement and more!

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – With the postponement of the 10th anniversary edition of Grand Rapids Triathlon to June 13, 2021 due to COVID-19, the organizing committee, Tris4Health, has been gearing up to host a world-class virtual race experience with the Grand Rapids Virtual Triathlon 9.5 that brings a new hope, direction and sense of community to the threatened endurance sports industry.

While many endurance sporting events across the nation are providing virtual options in lieu of the global pandemic causing race cancellations and postponements, the Grand Rapids Virtual Triathlon 9.5 stands alone in presenting a robust racing experience that is customized for every participant as well as still providing a lot of race benefits that typically are included in the standard in-person event and thus welcoming a lot of the elements for athletes who are feeling a sense of loss from missing out on race day.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the racing landscape. Triathlons depend on hundreds, or in our case, thousands of people gathering together in order to challenge themselves and push their limits. We simply can’t do that now. During these extremely difficult times, our racing community needs an event that they can apply their many months of training to,” said Co-Race Director Jon Conkling. “This isn’t a situation where you just do the race on your own and you are mailed a medal and shirt. Grand Rapids Virtual Triathlon 9.5 is a fully immersive virtual racing event complete with timing, virtual courses, photos, virtual-event specific medals and more. We are working nonstop to give new and experienced triathletes a robust experience and get that sense of community back. It’s time to start thinking outside the box and find new ways to move endurance events forward.”

The Grand Rapids Virtual Triathlon 9.5 is a way for triathletes to swim, bike and run whenever and wherever it works for them from June 1-30. They can choose to do any of the event legs indoor or outdoor and staged however works best for them. Complete a sprint, olympic or half triathlon, duathlon or aquabike or even a swim-only category. Registration for the virtual event is $100 and a portion of the registration fee will benefit the primary charity partner, Make-a-Wish Michigan, along with Kids’ Food Basket.

The Grand Rapids Virtual Triathlon 9.5 offers:

Specially designed Finisher’s Medal, Shirt and Bib: A newly redesigned virtual event logo has been printed on all finisher gear so participants can commemorate the special edition race. The medal is also USA-made and comes from 100% recyclable materials.

Free Timing: Sportstats will be providing race timing to allow for participants to how they rank compared to other competitors.

Virtual Courses and Area Routes: Participants using a smart trainer can ride the actual Grand Rapids Triathlon courses virtually using Rouvy. In addition, alternate course routes are being made available so that participants can stage their personal event from wherever they are around West Michigan.

Free Finisher’s Pictures: FinisherPix allows every participant to capture the moment they crossed the virtual finish line by uploading a photo to a Grand Rapids Virtual Triathlon 9.5 background.

Age Group Awards: With the ability to keep track of finish times due to Sportstats official virtual race timing, a virtual podium will take place to allow crowning the top triathletes in each perspective age-group category.

Digital Race Program: Download the digital race program, where virtual triathletes will have access to information about the sponsors, race staff, athlete interviews and more!

Customized Race Annoucement: One of the iconic features of the Grand Rapids Triathlon is crossing the finish line and getting a shout out by longtime announcer Larry Crabbe. Virtual participants don’t have to miss out on their moment! Every finisher will receive a specialized finisher’s announcement message personalized by Larry Crabbe himself.



About Grand Rapids Triathlon
The Grand Rapids Triathlon is the largest independent triathlon in Michigan. Since its debut event in 2011, it has grown to host over 2,000 triathletes from across the nation. The Grand Rapids Triathlon’s flat, fast course is ideal for the new and experienced triathlete alike where athletes enjoy a beautiful swim in the lake-like Thornapple River, ride the flat country-road bike course then run the scenic and shaded run course in Ada township with loads of local support. It offers Sprint, Olympic and Half Iron distances in addition to Aquabike, Relays and Swim-Only events. In 2019, Greater Grand Rapids residents, Jon Conkling and John Mosey became the new owners and Race Directors. They also co-own the Michigan Titanium and The Dirty Mitten Gravel Triathlon, both local events in addition to Tris4Health Virtual Challenges.