Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ramona Park   Portage, Michigan     map link to venue

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Start time 8:30
Check in opens at 7:00


Several items to review in this final update.

1) Weather - is threatening. 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.  So 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.

2) Part of the transition area is dirt. The city did some construction at the site and attempts to grow grass so far have failed. Bring an old towel (or two) for your transition spot. Always a good idea to do that no matter what.

3) 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 approx 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.

4) We will have check in set up with separate lines for last names beginning with A-M, and N-Z.

5) Chip timing. Your athletes 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.

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

7) 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 about 4 feet apart, designating athlete transition spaces. You may set up on either side of a rack line in the appropriate  section. Do not try to set up along the outside perimeter where the flagged roping is at. Keep your area tight. You aren't camping - you are setting up for a race.

8) We will have seasoned triathletes from the local triathlon club, the Trikats, along with Team OAM Now in and around transition. Let them know if you have questions, or call or email me yet tonight.

I hope your young athlete is ready to have some fun tomorrow.


Final items to review in no particular order.

Check in opens at 7:00

There is no charge to enter the park Saturday morning.

Quick mention about bib numbers and body marking. Bib 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 4 feet. The tape notes the separation between transition slots, one on each side of the line.

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.

We have finisher ribbons for all athletes in addition to the trophies and medals for top age group finishes.

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, the Kalamazoo Masters Swimming group, Team OAM Now, and community supporters.

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.

Bib numbers must be visible on the front of the athlete when approaching and crossing the finish line. The bib number may be pinned to a shirt or jersey, or a number belt may be used. The bib is only required for the run portion of the race. Athletes do not need the bib number with them on the bike course. It is okay, but not necessary

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.

It would be a good thing to review and practice transitions and exactly how your athlete will be switching from one 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 little 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

Short Update #1 email format only