General GR Tri Questions
Sprint – Swim: 600 Meters, Bike: 20K, Run: 5K
Olympic – Swim: 1500 Meters, Bike: 40K, Run: 10K
Half-Iron – Swim: 1.2 Miles, Bike: 56 Miles, Run: 13.1 Miles
Maps of Courses and Interactive Maps can be found here.
There are no requirements for clothing wore during the event. You may choose to wear a wetsuit or not. You may wear a one or two piece tri kit, you may wear a swimsuit, and put clothes over it, wear what you find comfortable keeping in mind there are no changing tents to use between disciplines. USAT has no rules regarding men wearing tops or at what level the zip is on your tri kit. Women must be covered appropriately, but are allowed to run in cropped shirts or sports bras.
Children 14 and older can take part in the Sprint distances.
Children 16 and older can take part in the Olympic distances.
Adults 18 and older can take part in the Half distances.
If your child does not fall within those age ranges and would like to participate in an event or relay we ask that you complete our Minor Information Form (click for online form). The race directors will review the details you provide or may contact you to get more information to see if our event is a good/safe fit for your child. Decisions to make exceptions for these age restrictions will be made on a case by case basis depending on the kid’s experience and ability.
Athletes and spectators can park at the below locations. There will be trolleys available every 15 minutes to pick you up and drop you off at the ”Athlete Drop Off” area.
• Vitale’s Parking Lot
• Bank Parking Lots
• Parking lot past Grand River Drive
Preliminary results and live tracking are available during the event. These can be accessed by clicking on the “Athlete Tracking” or “Results” buttons on our website home page. Please remember that the results appearing on the SportStats tracker app are not official results. This app is for tracking purposes only. Penalties have not been calculated into the times showing on the app.
Usually there will be live tracking of each athlete. Your spectators will be able to track when you finish each discipline and when you move from each transition to the next discipline.
Weather & Weather Cancellation Policy
The official water temperature for the 2019 Grand Rapids Triathlon was 72 degrees. In all past years the water has been wetsuit legal and in general in the 70’s. There have been athletes every year who have chosen to participate without a wet suit.
Yes, registration will be open. You will still need to bring a valid form of identification (drivers license, etc.). Only cash or credit card will be accepted.
No, there is no race day packet pick up! Only those who make arrangements in advance will have their packets available on the race site on race day. In order to make arrangements for race day pick up, please contact Lori at firstname.lastname@example.org
No, per USAT regulation, only you are able to pick up the packet, as we check your ID. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTION TO THIS. If you need to make arrangements for picking up your packet at an alternate time please contact Lori at email@example.com
Yes! The portion of the Thornapple River we are located at resembles a lake; therefore, the current is minimal.
Historically, the Thornapple River is in the mid-70’s. In 2014, it had a 10 degree jump in one week, and was recorded at 72 degrees on race day.
- 2016 Race Day Water Temp – 73 degrees
- 2017 Race Day Water Temp – 71 degrees
- 2018 Race Day Water Temp – 69 degrees
- 2019 Race Day Water Temp – 74 degrees
No, there will be multiple waves for the swim start, depending on race age, gender, and distance. The Sprint event will also offer a “newbie” wave in for those who have never done a triathlon before or want a less competitive wave.
No, the Grand Rapids Triathlon does not offer an elite or pro division. This allows any athlete to be eligible to win the cash purse.
The new regulation, which falls under Article 4.4 Wetsuits of the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules, states: Effective January 1, 2013, any swimmer wearing a wetsuit with a thickness measured in any part greater than five millimeters shall be disqualified.”
The type of wetsuit is not mandatory but depending on water temp, we recommend with sleeves!
You can rent a wetsuit for $30.00 (on average) from this sponsor: Striders.
*We recommend you renting the wetsuit at least one week before the race, so you are able to give it a test drive, and get used to the feel swimming in it. If you would like more information on wetsuits, check out beginnertriathlete.com.
Try Body Glide or similar products.
Bike racks will be assigned by bib number. However, you may rack anywhere on your assigned rack. You must rack with your bike facing the opposite direction of the bike next to yours. Racking is first come first serve, you may not move other athlete’s bikes to get preferred positioning.
Approximately 100 yards from swim to the beginning transition.
Bike racks will be staged on Buttrick between Thornapple and Grand River Drive.
Due to road closure constraints, we cannot stage until the morning of the event.
Yes, security personnel will be posted at all entrances into transition. No spectators will be allowed into transition and all athletes race and bike numbers will be checked to ensure the security of equipment.
Nutrition & Aid Stations
What will be offered at the aid stations for the run and bike portion for the Half Iron? For the bike will aid stations be on both sides of the road or just the right side?
For the Half-Iron distance, fuel in the form of liquid and gel along with water will be offered at the run. Liquid fuel (no gel) and water will be offered at the bike. Aid stations will be available both out and back on the course.
Run aid stations are every 1.25 miles and 15 miles on the bike (bike aid stations are only on the Half Iron distance course). Fruit, pretzels, Gatorade, Pepsi, water and other snacks will be available at the run course aid stations. Half Iron run will also offer Hammer Gel.
Olympic and Sprint distances will have water and Gatorade available at the run aid stations.
Yes, additional fuel and food will be available post-race near the finish line.
Aid stations are every mile on the run course.
On the bike portion will there be someone there to ”exchange” water bottles or do you stop and fill up?
Volunteers will hand you a bottle running like a crazy person to keep up with you while you grab it. The bottle exchange is located at approximately mile 10 on the bike. For safety purposes of both the volunteer and athlete, YOU MUST SLOW TO 5 MILES PER HOUR or a bottle exchange will not be attempted.
To see a full menu of items available at the aid stations and finish line on race day check out the Aid-Station-Menu(PDF)
Grab your friends or family and get them involved with the sport you enjoy! The Grand Rapids Triathlon offers relays in every triathlon distance (there are no relays for Aquabike events). In a relay, each person completes one or two legs of the event depending on the number of people on the team. Once they complete their portion of the event, they hand off the chip to the next team member in the relay.
Yes, all members of relay teams must be present to get their packet. You all need to show ID and sign a USAT waiver. You do not need to come together as your packet will be divided up based on discipline. So each of you can collect those portions that apply to the leg of the race you are doing.
We have a relay chip exchange coral located at end of the transition area. The receiving team member waits here for the hand off of the chip.
No – all relay team members must wait in the relay chip-exchange coral. Only the relay member doing the bike portion will be in the transition area.
Is there a separate location for the chip exchange for the swim/bike exchange and the bike/run exchange?
No – all chip exchanges take place in the same chip exchange coral.
Yes, two or three people can be a team in a relay and one person could do two of the disciplines.
Yes, our relay teams are mixed and can consist of male/female if you choose.
Yes, our relay teams are not separated by age group.
Awards are given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall for relays. We do not divide out by age or gender.
Yes, each team member is treated as any other athlete except for sharing the one chip.
Yes, every one shall receive a finisher’s medal at the end of the race! Those who place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in their age group will receive an additional award. Those who place 1st, 2nd or 3rd overall in each triathlon distance will receive cash prizes along with an award (There are no cash prizes for Swim-only, Aquabike, or Relay events.)
I couldn’t make the awards ceremony, will they be mailed to us, or will we have to pick them up somewhere?
Awards will be announced at the awards ceremony after each distance. You do not have to wait for the ceremony. Please make sure you pick your award up by the end of race day. If you did not get your award on race day, please contact Jim Vidro at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can make arrangements to pay the shipping to have it sent to you.
For every race distance a prize purse will be awarded to the top 3 individuals (both male and female).
For more information about the Grand Rapids Triathlon please contact us here.