Rules and Procedures

Also see the FAQ page for more information



Don't forget any of your gear including:

  • Race ID wrist band
  • Timing chip and ankle strap
  • Swim cap
  • Swim goggles
  • Wetsuit (optional)
  • Properly fitted bike (with number affixed to bike)
  • Approved bike helmet (with number affixed to helmet)
  • Tire repair kit
  • Socks
  • Cycling shoes
  • Running shoes
  • Running bib number
  • Sun screen
  • Towel
  • Filled bike water bottles
  • Energy bars and gels




The transition area opens at 5:30 AM and regardless of your wave, your equipment must be checked into transition by no later than 7:15 AM. The racks provided will be numbered according to your race number. You must rack your bike accordingly. You must also return your bike to the same location in the racks after the bike portion, before your run. You will not be able to pick up your bike until the last cyclist is back from the bike course. Your equipment must be removed from transition by 1:00 PM. THE EVENT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR LOST OR STOLEN ITEMS.


ONLY participants and event volunteers are allowed in transition area and an event wristband is required for access.

Extra equipment (wheels, 2nd helmet, 2nd wetsuit, etc.) will not be allowed in the transition area. Transition is fenced and secured. Gear bags over 24" will not be allowed in transition. NO COOLERS, EITHER!!

Current ANSI, CPSC or SNELL approved helmets are required during the cycling portion of the event. You will be prohibited from participating if you don't have a helmet (NO REFUNDS). Helmets MUST be buckled in place during ALL aspects of the bike, including transition area. Failing to have your helmet buckled could result in a DQ.

You must WALK your bike in the racks & walk or jog with your bike in the transition lanes to the designated mount and dismount areas at the perimeter of the transition area.



Your race number must be visible on your body, bike frame, bike helmet and the front of your race jersey or race belt.

Body marking will be written on shoulders, lower quadriceps, right calf and left calf



This race is timed with the IpicoSports Timing Tag system. Participants are required to wear the provided timing chip, strapped to their ankle, throughout the entire race.




The first wave of the swim starts at 7:45 AM (unless there's a weather delay). Each wave is designated by event (sprint or olympic), gender and age group. Waves will be designated by a specific color swim cap. The same color swim cap may be used for more than one wave. Do NOT change waves. If you lost your cap, see a race official at the swim start to get the correct color cap. You need to confirm your wave start time at packet pick-up.

The swim course will parallel the shoreline in front of the Grand Haven State Park and Grand Haven City Beach. You should seed yourself according to your swimming ability (faster swimmers in the front). You are prohibited from intentionally striking or swimming over another swimmer(s). Failure to heed the warnings and commands of an official or lifeguard will result in a DQ and ejection from the event.

The swim exit is just under ½ mile to the transition area. The water depth is between 4 to 7 feet and water temperature in July can fluctuate between 56 and 74 degrees. If the water temperature is 78 degrees or less, wetsuits will be allowed. If you are new to using wetsuits, it is suggested you purchase an "open water swimming specific" triathlon wetsuit from a reputable dealer and insure a proper fit. Heed the manufacturer's suggestions and warnings. It is also recommended that you train in your wetsuit under supervision before wearing the wetsuit in a competition.

Please don't bring any extra gear to the swim start.



It is strongly encouraged that you have your bike properly fitted, inspected and tuned no more than 3 weeks before the race. This would also include inspecting your brake pads and tires. Breakaway Bicycle and Fitness will be on site Saturday and Sunday providing technical support. The bike leg takes place on city streets and county roads that are open to vehicular traffic. Although the traffic will be relatively light and volunteers and police agencies will be assisting on the course, you need to stay highly alert at all times to your surroundings. It is always very easy to get caught up in your cycling and the race itself, however, you NEED to be watchful of what's going on. This includes watching for vehicles, intersections, turn around area, watching out for fellow competitors, and paying attention to instructions by course volunteers. It is the athlete's responsibility to know the bike course.

Since the race shares the road with vehicular traffic, you are required to ride to the far right of the roadway if you are not in the act of passing. You are only to pass other riders on the left. If you are not passing another rider, but riding to the left, that is termed as "blocking" and is a DQ offense. BY NO MEANS SHOULD YOU BE RIDING 2 OR 3 ABREAST ON THE ROAD. Drafting marshals on motorcycles will be on the bike course and will strictly enforce rules including the prohibiting of drafting. Failure to heed the commands of an official may result in being DQ'd and ejection from the event.

There may be areas on the bike course (transition, sharp turns, turnarounds, bumps)where you will be given instructions. Again, race officials will be on hand and failure to heed their commands will result in a penalty or being DQ'd. YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED FROM USING A CELL PHONE, OR WALKMAN-LIKE DEVICE (RADIO, CASSETTE PLAYER, CD PLAYER, MP-3 PLAYER, ETC.) while on the bike course. Use of such equipment is an automatic DQ offense. NO QUESTIONS ASKED!!!!

If you break down on the bike course, you must get at least 6 feet off to the side of the road to tend to your repairs. If you are unable to repair your bike, you must remove yourself from the bike course. Vans or trucks will be circulating the course to bring you back to the transition area, however, you must turn in your ChampionChip at that time. If you feel you are close enough to the transition after completing most of the course, you may run or walk your bike to transition and continue the race.



The run courses take you from the Tri – Cities Family YMCA to the boardwalk and run along the scenic riverfront. Aid stations will be located at 1 mile intervals with water and Gatorade. The race finishes back at the YMCA with a post race picnic, awards and raffle prizes. Most of the course is on the boardwalk or trails, however there are some areas where you might run on a small area of roadway and cross intersections. It is strongly suggested to keep your eyes open to all things around you and watch out for vehicles or any other adverse conditions. It is the athlete's responsibility to know the run course.