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bigfish500 Course Information

May 28, 2023 7:30 am

Ortonville, MI
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This event has become so popular that after registration closed in 2009, we had over 100 calls and emails asking to open more spots. But because our number one goal is keep athletes as safe as possible, this event must be capped at 500 athletes. Demand is high, so register early.

The swim is in the small confines of Big Fish Lake, which means a two loop swim course for Olympic athletes. Typically there are a few weeds right at the swim start. 

The bike course and run course are what everyone loves; very fast, but a challenging, rolling course. Flat in the middle and back, rolling in the first and last 5k. Same for the run but reverse, flat in the beginning and rolling in the back side. It is on a dirt road that rolls along scenic farmland where you can see horses on either side.


Opens – 6:00am 
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. 

Timing Chip
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. 

Aid Station
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.


Olympic Distance athletes start at 7:45am. You will begin in the water. We will be shooting for a traditional triangle swim course. Olympic Distance athletes will swim a 2 loop course. You will exit the water under the swim structure up the carpet to the Transition Area about 50m away.

Sprint athletes you will start about 30 minutes later. 1 Loop triangle swim course.

Super Sprint athletes will start around 8:30am. Your course will be an out and back to the first yellow buoy.




Exiting the Transition Area, you will follow the bike chute lined with cones out of the park exit to a RIGHT turn on Hadley Rd. You will stay on Hadley Rd. through Hadley Township, following the winding road.

Super Sprint athletes will turnaround at the 5k mark on Hadley Rd. Your turnaround will be marked with ‘SS’ turnaround on the ground, a Super Sprint Turnaround sign, and Support Crew Volunteers. Please use caution when making the turnaround.

Sprint athletes your turnaround is just at the S turns at Stewert.

Olympic athletes turn LEFT at Stewert, RIGHT at Stewert, and RIGHT at Lipponcott to the turnaround before Baldwin Rd. There are few homes out here, most being farms.

Terrain is predominantly rolling country roads. This course will challenge you. Intersections will be patrolled by course officials. After the turnaround, you will simply head back to the park, making a LEFT into the park. We will have police here, but please use caution when making a left. On your way back to the Transition Area, use caution when inside the park as runners will be exiting.


Exiting the Transition Area you will follow the run chute out of the park to a LEFT turn on Hadley Rd. to a RIGHT turn on the dirt Sawmill Lake Road to a RIGHT on Honert.

Sprint athletes your turn around around will be located at 1.55mi.

Olympic Distance athletes you will continue to the 5k mark and turnaround. 

Super Sprint athletes will go to the end of the park road and back. Approximately 1 mile.

ALL ATHLETES STAY ON THE RIGHT SHOULDER on Hadley Rd, to a LEFT back at the park, then back in the park for the 150m finish next to the Transition Area. 

You will have iced water, lemon-lime Gatorade Endurance Formula and energy gels at every mile. 

The entire run course is well shaded and rolling to hilly.


Route map for Big Fish Triathlon Run Course by Kenny Krell on


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.  

Finisher Memento 
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.


You will start at the Duathlon start flag just in front of the finish chute.  About 5 minutes before your start you will be directed to this area where the run course coordinator will be awaiting for further instructions.  He/She will lead out the first run, a 2.5k jaunt out and back.  Your FIRST RUN Turnaround sign is a 4′ tall – A Frame with DU TURNAROUND on it.  You will simply turnaround at that point and head back.   You will run down the finish chute to a left turn meshing in with the swimmers entering the transition area.  From that point you will head out on the same bike and 2nd run course as the rest of the athletes.  

Super Sprint

One of the first to launch the Super Sprint back in 2014, the goal with it was to provide an intro to Triathlon.  No matter your age, 6 yrs to 80+ yrs. the final wave of the day to start gets you out of the chaos of the start, and keeps you with like-minded athletes.  A perfect introductory distance that we try to keep non-competitive with no awards, but of course, everyone gets a finisher medal.  Come on out and Try your first TRI.  Questions, don’t hesitate, any question is a good question!

200m swim – your swim will always start following the final sprint athlete in every super sprint event.  These will be an out to the first buoy, over and in.

10k  bike – will be an out and back.  Following all signs indicating SUPER

1 mile run – will be an out and back as well.  Following all signs indicating SUPER

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