This will be the final event update unless something out of the ordinary comes up.

Weather – looks good so far. But this is Michigan and things can change rapidly. We can deal with, and race in rain. It is electrical storm activity that throws a wrench into the works. We can delay our start a maximum of 1/2 hour. If we have lightening or thunder much past 8:30 we have no choice but to cancel. We cannot take a chance with anyone being outside in an electrical storm.

Water quality is awesome. I’ll post the latest water quality report from the county at the bottom of this post.

We open check in at 7:00. Remember, we start the 10-13's at 8:30. Once they are off the course, we reset and start the 6-9's at about 8:55. But don't be late. It is a good thing to let the younger athletes watch the older ones as they race and maybe learn a thing or two.
Either things to do, or maybe things to avoid.

We will have check in set up with separate lines for last names beginning with A-M, and N-Z, or close to that.

Chip timing - your athlete(s) will be supplied with a velcro strap and a timing chip. It goes on one ankle or the other. Nowhere else. It stays on
them for the duration of the race and we gather those up after they finish.

We supply latex swim caps. If your athlete is latex intolerant - bring your own - no problem.

Transition setup - there are two rows of "rack lines" for the 6-9's, and another two for the 10-13's. Each line, or row, has tape a couple feet apart, designating athlete transition spaces. You may set up on either side of a rack line in the appropriate section. Do not set up along the outside perimeter flagged ropeing. Keep your area tight. You aren't camping - you are setting up for a race.

10-13’s – when you are finished, please stay out of the way of the 6-9’s while they are racing.

Parents/Guardians – you are allowed in the transition area during the race if you feel the need. Do not block or impede the progress of any athlete. If you really don’t need to be in transition, please don’t go inside during the race. This is a good way for kids to become a little more independent, especially if you have worked with them in preparation for the race.

Our goal is to provide the atmosphere at this event to let your young athlete(s) get a good taste of what multisport racing is all about. And have fun with the process. Lots of kids who have done our events are now racing Adult Sprint and even Olympic distance events.

If you have not read the Kids Triathlon Basics linked on the event site home page, please take a couple minutes and go over it. That can help prevent issues from developing race morning. The more you and your athlete(s) know about how to prepare and what to expect,
the smoother everything will progress.

Don’t forget to print and bring the Parking Pass with you Saturday morning. It is on the home page of the event site and also below the first update text.

We are looking forward to seeing you Saturday morning.

Questions? Don’t hesitate to call or send an email.

Jim Mishler
[email protected] 

8.7.2017 Update

Lets's go over the basics in advance of Saturday's race.

If you have not read the "Kids Triathlon Basics" linked on the home page of the event site, take a few minutes to do that now.

Check in opens at 7:00 AM.

The City of Portage has changed it's race day set up this year. You may encounter park staff at the gate house or front entrance looking for a daily admission fee. That is why it is important that you print the parking pass on the home page of the web site and bring that with you. If you do not see anyone from the park staff, leave the pass on your windshield. I wil also add the pass below this update.  Don't forget to bring it.

Bib (race) numbers will be provided. Athletes only need to have those on for the run course but no problem if they wear them for the bike too. They can be pinned on a shirt or top or you can use a number belt, or make one with elastic strapping. Body marking will be on one hand only. We'll have some extra marking pens if you want to add to the body marking.

We’ll have the master list of athletes and bib number assignments posted at the event tent next to transition. Please check that alpha list for your athlete bib number first before coming up to check in.

The transition area will be set up real simple and open. Adults may be in transition at all times but please be aware of everyone else and stay out of the way. There will be rows for the 6-9 year olds and separate rows for the 10-13's. There will be a gap between the two primary age group rows to keep the potential of interference to a minimum. Each row is set up with a nylon line, and tape about every couple feet. The tape notes the separation between transition slots, one on each side of the line. You may not set up along the flagged rope aroound the outside of transition.

The water quality at Long Lake is great. It has been all summer.  I’ll post the latest test results on the board Saturday morning.

At 8:30 we will start the 12-13 year olds first. Then a short  (2 minute) gap and then we’ll start the 10-11 year olds. Once they are finished and off the course we will start the next group with the 8-9 year olds first followed by the 6-7 year olds. Figure on the younger age group athletes starting around 8:55-9:00. But don't be late arriving. The check in crew also doubles as timing crew assistants so once we are ready to go that's it.

We use a linear swim course. 10-13 year olds start 100 yards from the swim exit. The 6-9 year olds start 50 yards from the exit. The marker buoys are set for the inside minimum depth which will be set shallow enough so any athlete may touch bottom if they are not comfortable swimming the entire way. Their/your pick at which depth they will use. Athletes may use flotation aids and snorkels if desired in the water. No flippers, or fins.

We have finisher ribbons for all athletes in addition to the trophies and medals for top age group finishes. We also have custom finisher certificates that will be available to download post race from the results page. You may print to frame at home, or use the links on the page to shaare on social media, or email to someone. Whatever you'd like to do.

We have light refreshments for the kids post race, water, cookies, and big freezer pops.

After the race, consider hanging around the park for a while and take in the sights and activities of the health and fitness fair presented by the Portage Parks Board. A number of area merchants and groups will be there offering a little bit of everything from activities to learning programs. Our event support crew includes members of the local multisport club, the Trikats, Athletic Mentors, Jeter's Leaders, and the Kalamazoo Sport and Social Club.
We will also have a Portage Public Safety unit on site assisting on the bike course. The swim course is monitored by certified lifeguards with the City of Portage Parks and Recreation Department. Pride Care also has a unit assigned to us for the duration of the race.

We are again using chip timing this year so results will include transition times.

Helmets are required while on the bike. We supply the swim cap. If your athlete has an issue with latex, bring please bring your own.

Pedal Bicycle will be on site for professional bike assistance - last minute minor items. They are not there to do major repairs or tune ups. If you have a question about a potential major issue with the bike your young athlete will be riding, please get that checked before race day.

Don't forget, all registered athletes get a $20 gift card to use at Pedal Bicycle. Please let Pedal know how much that is appreciated.

It would be a good thing to review and practice transitions and exactly how your athlete will be switching from swimming to biking, and then biking to running. The clock is running the entire time so consider the fewer moves, or actions involved, the faster the process goes. You can do as much or as ittle as you would like. But practicing the transitions will help things go smoothly.

Lots of you are driving in from some distance to be at the race. Please give yourself plenty of time to make the drive safely.

I look forward to seeing you Saturday morning for some great multisport fun.   Don't hesitate to let me know
if you need anything between now and then.

[email protected]

Jim Mishler