The courses are off road, taking you throughout the park as well as Lake Huron for the Swim / Kayak/ SUP disciplines. Remember folks this is a "virgin" trail system - we literally just cut it, came up with it with the DNR in June. It has not been a trail system in the past. Your run along the shoreline is a shoreline - it is not a trail along the shore - remember this is XTERRA, and you will be challenged by the ruggedness of Rockport!!
Opens - 6:30am - it will be dark folks, there are no lights in the park, we will have a few up, but if you arrive this early.
No friends or family members allowed in the transition area for any reason. The race director and race officials will close the transition area 30-45 minutes before race start to ensure all athletes are at the starting area for mandatory course meeting and announcements. Once the transition area is closed, you will NOT be permitted back in before the race starts. Family/Friends will not be permitted in for any reason at any time throughout the event.
When the last cyclist is off the course and has headed out for the run. This time is variable and we will make announcements at the event when the transition area is ready to re-open.
Any athletes removing gear from transition areas before the announcer or race director has officially opened the transition area will be DISQUALIFIED from the race! This pertains to all athletes of all distances. All athletes deserve a clear transition.
In the event of inclement weather, it is recommended you have warm, dry clothing outside the transition area to put on following your finish due to other athletes still being on the bike course.
When you have completed the race, please do NOT enter the transition area wearing your timing chip. PLEASE remove your chip before re-entering the transition area and exiting again. This will cause a timing error.
You must rack according to your race number, based on the sequence numbers placed at the end of each row. Please remember racks will hold 7 bikes racked with the seat tip on support bar. Please be courteous to fellow athletes to ensure there is space for 7 bikes on a rack. If there is not enough room for your bike on your designated rack, please see a 3D Team member and we will help. Please do not move another athletes bike or gear.
Located at the run in/out chute with water and electrolyte replacement.
Run In/Out and Bike In/Out chutes are clearly marked on the large structures at either end. It is your responsibility to go the right direction while racing in the transition area.
Swim: 500m or 1000m
New for all events will be a Time Trial swim start. For safety reasons it is important we ensure we are doing all we can to alleviate stress at the start and turning at buoys. A time trial start ensures everyone has a clear, stress-free swim. You will SELF SEED according to your 500m swim time. (THIS IS YOUR ACTUAL swim time, not what you THINK you will swim, or want to swim) this is important to ensure you are not swam over or create congestion by seeding yourself faster than you can swim. Don't be that athlete that creates a traffic jam. See yourself appropriately and everyone will have a great time in the water.
Each athlete will report their number to the timer before crossing the timing mats and entering the water. Again your responsibility to report that number to the timer.
Time trial starts: Long course athletes first, followed about 30 minutes late with Sprint, then 20 minutes later Super Sprint athletes.
You will be swimming in Lake Huron. We will make a rectangle swim course that will take you along the north wall. It is still susceptible to the lake temperatures.
Wetsuits will be allowed, temps can range from 52 to 75, watch the website for updates. Wetsuits are available for rent. Reserve by Monday before the event. Wetsuits after that will be first come at registration/packet-pickup.
Swim course will be patrolled with lifeguards, search and rescue, as well as coast guard personnel. It will be a beach start.
Wave starts will be posted at packet pickup/registration.
Kaya-Tri athletes will start in your designated wave, on the beach down from the swimmers start, heading out along the breakwall 1 following neon green buoys.
Your turnaround point on the water course will be indicated by an orange and neon green buoy. From there, head back to the finish on the opposite side of the swim start, placing kayaks in the flagged area. From that point head into the Transition Area for your final disciplines.
You are required to have a life jacket on board per Michigan DNR boating rules.
Bike: Off Road Mountain Bike - 14 mi. +/- OR 8 mi. +/-
We have designed a truly incredible course for you that will take you along the lake, through varying canopies of White Birch, Oak and between towering Pines. Then all of a sudden it is like you have been transported to another country and you are riding along a 30 foot cliff along the rim of a rock quarry, then back into a dark forest beside 100 foot deep sink holes, finally bringing you back down a logging road for a fast finish into the Transition Area. If it rains the week before you will be plenty muddy. Remember this trail was literally just designed and cut in June. It has not been ridden by many people, so you will be the first out there.
Run: Trail Running - 5k or 10k
5k and 10k courses for you and a few special treats only Rockport can deliver on. You will start out right up the crushed quarry stone pile trail which overlooks Lake Huron, along that for a short jaunt then down into the Birch and Pine tree-lined trails to your turnaround point which is where the "treat" begins. You will run right next to, in most cases a step away from, Lake Huron, right on the shoreline. This is a shoreline along basically untouched forest of Lake Huron - there is no trail system, so it could be sandy, it could be rocky, it may even be getting in the water as the "splash zone" is where you must stay. The DNR is insistent on having NO ONE above the splash zone of the lake as there are endangered species of plants that are growing in sections. So you may actually be in the lake in a few spots. There will be NO PR's set here, so take advantage of "RUNNING" on the way out. If it is a blustery day, you may be dodging a few big waves along the shore. Then your final "treat" is the CLIMB up from Lake Huron which is basically straight up a rock pile, before you hit three final whoop de do's and then 300m flat back into Finish. Extra points for acrobatics here.
You will start with your specific swim wave. Check the information cube at the event for wave start information.
You will complete the Swim and Bike disciplines of the event. Following your Bike discipline, you will dismount your bike, cross the Bike In timing mats and place your bike back at your spot on the rack in the Transition Area. You will then proceed across the Run Out timing mats and you are done! Your finish time will be when you cross the timing mats at that point.
DO NOT re-enter the transition area through Run In/Out or Bike In/Out. This will cause a timing error.
If the event offers a finisher’s memento, please proceed to the finish area to receive the item. Tell the support crew at the finish line you were in the aquabike race and they will hand you the finishers memento.
You will keep your timing chip & strap on until all the bikes are off the course. Once we announce the transition is open, you may turn your chip & strap in at the designated collection point and retrieve your gear at that point.
Well folks, after spending several hours both biking the course and running it to get it all marked for this inaugural year, but not actually racing it, these will be our tips: First this will be one of your most enjoyable swims if the water is flat. It is like a swimming pool and just awesome, but you must be able to navigate the final 200m and that means sighting A LOT. You are coming into a small protected harbor with about a 20' inlet, then into the harbor itself where you can lose time if you are not swimming straight to the boat launch. Shoes on and head to T-1.
The bike is basically 4 sections - fast, fast with lots of turns, slow and technical, then fast out and back on the road. So you definitely need to take advantage of what we are calling "The Highway." This is your first 3.5 miles of the course - it is fast, two track out and back section until you dive into the forest. Especially if you are not strong on the bike or a technical rider this is where you need to use it to your advantage. The next section in the forest is still kinda fast but it will take you around a lot of turns in the woods, you just need to keep the pedals turning through here and don't let up. The next section is the rim - does not matter how fast you are through here you will need to use some caution and the mandatory dismount will slow some down depending on how you decide to get your bike down the 10' drop into Pine trees. The final section for the Olympic Distance athletes is just to get the legs loose and wind it up a bit - just a fast out and back on the actual park road. That should loosen the legs up, get the lactic acid flushed for the run as you will need it.
The run again fast out on "The Highway" until you turn off to the RIGHT into the forest before popping out on the beach. The beach is the beach - you probably are not going to be thrilled about it except of how beautiful it is. This is XTERRA so deal with it, there is not much trail here - you are running along rugged Lake Huron shoreline with rocks, beach, water, mud, for 2.5 miles for Olympic and 1.3 for Sprint, all to get you to the "HILL" - this will be a crawl fest back up where a triple whoop de do awaits before your final 300m to the finish. So take advantage of "The Highway" folks, the rest will be a slow go, grinder out there.