GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Tris4health is thrilled to announce the official race details for the 10th Anniversary event of Grand Rapids Triathlon by Huntington Bank. After canceling the in-person race in June in consideration of health and safety due to COVID-19, the anticipated event has been rescheduled and is set to take place in-person in the summer of 2021.
Significant changes to the course, format and experience can be expected, with the biggest change being that for the first time in Grand Rapids Triathlon history, the race will be completed over the course of a two-day weekend – Saturday, June 19, 2021 through Sunday, June 20, 2021.
Participants will compete in the Sprint and brand-new Super Sprint distance events on Saturday while the Olympic and Half distance events will then follow on Sunday. Relay and Aquabike course options will also be available. Athletes wanting even more challenges will have the option to register for multiple events and compete on both days.
“While we were disappointed that we had to postpone the 10th Anniversary Grand Rapids Triathlon this past summer, we knew that it was the right decision as health and safety of our West Michigan triathlon community will always be our number one priority,” said Jon Conkling, co-owner of Tris4health and co-race director of Grand Rapids Triathlon. “However, we have been hard at work preparing for 2021 and are very excited for all of the participants to experience the new race changes and updates we have made. We truly believe that we will have a safer and more successful GR Tri anniversary race!”
With the addition of the Super Sprint distance, which is a 300-meter swim, 10-kilometer bike and 2.5-kilometer run, is a perfect distance geared for new triathletes.
“Adding the Super Sprint event makes GR Tri even more accessible for anyone who has ever wondered if they could do a triathlon,” said John Mosey, co-owner of Tris4health and co-race director of Grand Rapids Triathlon. “Since it is the shortest distance and only half of a sprint, it is the perfect entry into the sport. We hope to welcome a lot of new triathletes to our event in June.”
Another race modification will be the location change of the transition area. In previous years, the transition area was held solely on Buttrick Avenue and took up almost one-third of a mile of the street. This format was tight and could cause a bottleneck with the growing number of athletes each year. In addition the area was not ideal in adhering to social distancing and safety measures for the participants and staff onsite.
Therefore, the new transition area will be located in Ada Park on the corner of Buttrick Avenue and Grand River Drive – increasing space and adding separate bike entrance and exit zones.
The finish line will also be moved to the park on Buttrick Avenue and will allow for the opportunity of a tree-lined and picturesque finish.
Numerous safety measures will also be implemented, such as social distancing, minimized touch points and other COVID-19 related best practices to ensure that safety of the staff, participants and spectators remain as the top priority. For any athletes wanting to participate in a more thorough socially distant capacity, there will also be a virtual race option available.
Registration will begin on Monday, December 28 for all 2020 deferred athletes and will remain open for two weeks before being made available to the public on January 11, 2021. Participation will be capped each day at 500 to start, with more spots to open as guidelines and protocols change and it is safe to do so.
For more 2021 race information and how to register, please visit grandrapidstri.com.
About Grand Rapids Triathlon
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.