2014 Long Course Nationals FAQ’s:
The Grand Rapids Triathlon is proud to announce that our event has been chosen as the only triathlon in the US to host the USAT Long Course Nationals for 2014.
Q: Do I have to qualify to participate in the 2014 Long Course (70.3)Nationals?
A: No, you do not have to qualify. Anyone who registers for the 70.3 distance in the Grand Rapids Triathlon for 2014 is automatically registered for nationals.
Q: How many other triathlons are there in the US that are also designated as Long Course Nationals for 2014?
A: None. The GR Tri is the only triathlon in the US that is hosting Long Course Nationals for 2014.
Q: What is the purpose of Nationals?
A: Long Course Nationals is to find national champions either overall or age group winners. If you finish within the top 20 of your age group at Nationals, you will be invited to represent the United States at World’s in Sweden in 2015. If not all top 20 accept the invitation, then up to the next 5 athletes will be invited.
Q: Do I need to have an USAT membership to be able to qualify for Worlds?
A: You can qualify for Worlds by participating in the GR Tri on a one day pass, but you must purchase a USAT membership to participate in the Worlds event in Sweden in 2015 if you do qualify.
Q: Is it really the top 20 in each age group?
A: Yes, really 20. The top 20 automatically and 21-25 on a roll down list. Once results are submitted to the USAT, those who qualify will be contacted within a week. They will then have 2 weeks to claim their slot. As athletes decline or miss their deadline, the USAT will begin moving down the roll down list until we have a full roster, 20 athletes, or until 25th place.
Q: Will there be a cap for the GR Tri Nationals?
A: The Grand Rapids Triathlon will cap at 1,800 athletes for 2014. This will be on a first-come, first-serve basis between Sprint, Olympic and Half-Iron (Long Course). We encourage athletes to register early.
Q: How long of a distance is “Long Course”?
A: This is the ½ iron distance or 70.3 miles total including: 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run
Q: Will this change the course for the 70.3 at the GR Tri?
A: No, the course will be the same as it was last year.
For further information on the qualifying process click here.
For more information on the age up rule click here.
GENERAL GRAND RAPIDS TRI FAQs
Q: What are the distances of each leg of the race for Sprint, Olympic, and Half-Iron distances?
A: 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.
Q: What roads are going to be closed on race day?
A: Buttrick will be closed from Ada Drive to Grand River Drive so you will be fine to turn right onto Grand River Drive and get to Ada Moorings entrance. Also, there will be officers directing traffic at every traffic light and intersection.
Q: Are we swimming in a river?
A: Yes! The portion of the Thornapple River we are located at resembles a lake; therefore, the current is minimal.
Q: What should I expect in terms of water temperature?
A: Historically, the Thornapple River is in the mid-70′s. Last year, it had a 10 degree jump in one week, and was recorded at 72 degrees on race day.
Q: Will there be only 1 heat for the swim starts for each of the distances?
A: No, there will be multiple waves for the swim start, depending on race age and distance. The Sprint event will also offer a “newbie” wave in each distance for those who have never done a triathlon before.
Q: Will there be a pro or elite wave?
A: 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.
Q: 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?
A: 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 1/2 Iron distance). Fruit, pretzels, Gatorade, Pepsi, water and other snacks will be available at the run course aid stations. 1/2 Iron run will also offer Hammer Gel.
Q: Will food be available after the event?
A: Yes, additional fuel and food will be available post-race near the finish line.
Olympic and Sprint distances will have water available at aid stations.
Q: How far apart are the run aid stations?
A: Aid stations are every mile on the run course.
Q: On the bike portion will there be someone there to ”exchange” water bottles or do you stop and fill up?
A: 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 10 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
Q: Are bike racks in transition pre-assigned or first come, first serve?
A: Bike racks will be assigned by bib number.
Q: How far will we be running to get our bikes?
A: Approximately 25 yards from swim to transition.
Q: Where will the transition area be located?
A: Bike racks will be staged on Buttrick between Thornapple and Grand River Drive.
Q: Can we drop off our bike the day before the race?
A: Due to road closure constraints, we cannot stage until the morning of the event.
Q: Will there be security in the transition area?
A: Yes, security personal 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 ensure security of equipment.
Q: Is registration still available in person at the packet pick-up today?
A: Yes, registration will be open. You will still need to bring a valid form of identification (drivers license, etc.)
Q: Can I pick up my packet on race day?
A: Yes, we strongly advice you not to, as it is going to be hectic, and we want you to be in your best form on race day.
Q: I will be out of town on packet pick-up, can someone else pick up my packet for me?
A: 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.
Q: Is there a list of approved wet suits put out by USAT?
A: 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.”
Q: What kind of wetsuits do we have to wear, sleeveless or with sleeves?
A: The type of wetsuit is not mandatory but depending on water temp, we recommend with sleeves!
Q: Where can we rent wetsuits?
A: You can rent a wetsuit for $30.00 (on average) at these locations: Striders & Gazelle Sports.
*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.
Q: Any suggestions on preventing neck irritation from the wet suit?
A: Try Body Glide or similar products.
Q: Will there be awards for everyone?
A: Yes, everyone 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 will receive cash prizes.
Q: I couldn’t make the awards ceremony, will they be mailed to us, or will we have to pick them up somewhere?
A: 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, as we will not be mailing them or having a pick-up spot.
Q: Is the prize purse awarded to overall top 3 individuals of each distance?
A: For every race distance under each age group a prize purse will be awarded to the top 3 individuals.
When will the results be posted?
A: Results will be posted on our website, under the tab ”Results”, within 24 hours end of race.
Will there be online tracking of the racers?
A: We hope to have this great feature at future races, but as of right now, we do not!
Q: Where can we park?
A: 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
Area & Location
Q: I am not from the area- where in Grand Rapids is the race location?
A: The race is actually located in the village of Ada and flows into Cascade just 10 minutes east of Grand Rapids. You can find partner hotels on our site under lodging and maps under ”About the Area” tab.
Grab your friends or family and get them involved with the sport you enjoy! The Grand Rapids Triathlon offers relays in every distance (excluding Aquabike). 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.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding relay’s:
Q: Do all three people have to be present at packet pickup?
A: Yes, because you are all part of the team and sharing the same chip, you must all come together and show proper ID.
Q: How does the chip exchange work?
A: 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.
Q: Can the other team members wait in transition?
A: No – all relay team members must wait in the relay chip-exchange coral.
Q: Is there a separate location for the chip exchange for the swim/bike exchange and the bike/run exchange?
A: No – all chip exchanges take place in the same chip exchange coral.
Q: Can one person do more than one leg of the relay?
A: Yes, two or three people can be a team in a relay and one person could do two of the disciplines.
Q: Can you mix male/female teams?
A: Yes, our relay teams are mixed and can consist of male/female if you choose.
Q: Can you mix age groups for teams?
A: Yes, our relay teams are not separated by age group.
Q: How are the awards determined?
A: Awards are given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall for relay’s. We do not divide out age or gender.
Q: Do all team members receive a schwag bag, t-shirt and medal?
A: Yes, each team member is treated as any other athlete except for sharing the one chip.