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.