Athlete Guide

FirstTry Triathlon

Athlete Guide 2022

Welcome to the 11th Annual FirstTry Triathlon. We expect that you will have a wonderful day at your first triathlon. We have a lot of information that we would like to give you that will help you on race day. Remember to visit the website for the maps and location of venue as well as basic information for the race: www.firsttrytriathlon.com

When and Where:

Starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 18th

Clover Beach/Byram Lake, Linden County Park

15349 S. Linden Road

Linden, MI 48451

Packet Pickup on Thursday June 16th & Friday June 17th

Thursday packet pickup will be at Fenton Winery and Brewery from 5 to 8 pm

Friday packet Pickup will be from 5-8 p.m. at Linden County Park near the finish line

Packet Pickup on Saturday, June 18th

6-7:30 a.m. at Clover Beach Pavilion (swim start area)

Race Day Check-In:

6:00-7:30 am at Clover Beach Pavilion (swim start area)

6:00-7:30 am Body Marking and Transition area open

Race Meeting - 7:30 a.m.

National Anthem, sung by Malori Pickell - 7:55 a.m.

Race Begins - 8:00 a.m.

Wave Starts (wave starts are subject to change, waves will be 3 minutes apart)

Rules: Each athlete is responsible for knowing the rules of this event. For a complete list, visit www.usatriathlon.org.

Rental Timing Chip: Registered participants agree to use a rental transponder timing chip provided by the race and will return it after the race. If the rental transponder is not returned at the conclusion of the race, the participant will be charged a $35 fee.

Transition Area/Bike Check-In: Please, athletes only are permitted in the transition area. Bikes will be racked according to your wave. Your race bib has a tear off portion that you can attach anywhere on your bike. You will not be able to leave the transition area with your bike unless your bike has your corresponding bib number on it.

Awards: For FastTry only! Top 3 in each age group. Starting at approximately 10:30 a.m.

When to Show Up: It is recommended that you arrive at the park by 6:00 a.m. This will allow you time to park your car, head down to the registration area and get your race packet, body marking, and get your bike racked in the transition area.

Recommended Approach to Race Morning

After you check in, get your bike and everything you will need for the race, and head to the transition area. The transition area will be in the beach parking lot. Rack your bike and pay attention to where it is, so that you can easily find it during transition. This is where you will return your bike when you are done with the bike portion of the race. Lay out everything you will need for both the bike and the run. Be sure you put your chip on your ankle (not too tight, but definitely not too loose). Grab your swim gear and head to the body marking area. After you have your body marked with your race number, and your swim gear on and you are ready to swim, move down to the beach toward the swim corral. You can warm up in the swim area, away from the course, but please return to the corral area before the first wave starts.

Swim:

Please pay close attention to your wave and the color of your cap. We will have two waves in the corral at a time. When you enter the swim corral, please make sure you are counted by the volunteers. Swim counts are critical to safety so please enter the corral one person at a time.

Each wave will start with 3 minutes between them. If you seeded yourself correctly, you can keep pace with those around you. Keep the buoys on your left and count them going out and coming back (there are 3). There will be flags and volunteers to guide you into transition.

You can rest on a boat if you need to, but you cannot advance. Remember, if you are with the boat, the life guard is rendered ineffective, so please pace yourself. If you are having trouble and need assistance to come to you, the signal is to tap the top of your head (called “Tap Out”). If you are struggling and cannot signal, a lifeguard will find you. We are going to allow folks who cannot complete the swim (i.e. don’t start) to complete the race but they will not be eligible for placing or awards. If you are rescued, you will not be allowed to continue the race (for your own safety).

Transition area – Transition will be at the top of the hill in the beach parking lot. We did this because we want people to have adequate room in transition. The downside is you have to climb the stairs after the swim to get to the transition area. The interesting thing is that the distance to transition is longer than the entire swim course. It is not uncommon for races to have a bit of a trek to transition. Often, and in this case, the lake is downhill and there is nowhere to go but up.

In transition, you need to be sure that you have your bike helmet, you will be required to have it on and fastened at the mount line. You must not get on the bike until you reach the mount line. There is two-way bike traffic exiting the park and we are asking that you keep the pace slow until you get onto Linden Road.

Bike:

Helmets are required!

No headphones!

The bike course is what we call an “open course”, which means it is not closed to cars. There will be tons of signs and marshals on the course so this should not present a problem. It does mean that you need to be aware and predictable, just like you would be if you were out on a training ride. If you need to pass other cyclists, pass on the left and let the rider you are passing know you are coming by saying, “On your left”. Do not cross the center line. Crossing the center line could result in a penalty or a disqualification (DQ).

Out of transition you will make a right turn onto Linden Road and head south. Make sure you are on the right side of the road, and moving with traffic throughout the entire ride.

When you are out on the course, you will pass through the Lobdell Rd intersection and your first turn will be a right onto Bennett Lake Rd. There will be marshals there to guide you. You will proceed to Argentine Rd. where you will be making a right and heading north. This road will change name to Seymour Rd before coming to the Silver Lake Rd intersection. At the intersection take a right onto Silver Lake Rd. You will take a right turn on Glen Hatt Rd and then take another right on Lobdell Rd. You will follow Lobdell back to Linden Rd.

Once you approach Lakeview Park Dr just before the bend in the road approaching transition, please be alert and caution of traffic and other participants. When you get to transition please note Bike In is the 2nd entrance to the park (ride past where you started the bike course). Once you reach the Bike In entrance cautiously turn left and slow down. We are calling this a “no pedal ” zone, but keep the speed down as you come up to the dismount line. You must keep your helmet buckled and on your head until you are off your bike. Return your bike to transition and rack the bike where you found it. Your bike must be racked in the proper place. Tossing your bike off to the side somewhere will incur a penalty.

Drafting – Drafting and blocking are complicated concepts that you don’t need to worry about in your first race. Let’s just say USAT does not allow drafting, so please maintain at least 3 bike lengths between each other out there. You have 15 seconds to pass someone, so don’t worry if you find yourself too close. Obvious violations will incur a penalty.

Run:

No headphones!

When you exit transition for the run, you will leave the parking lot and cross Linden Rd. After a short jaunt on the grass, you will turn right onto the bike path. The run is 2 miles and for the most part it is an out and back. When you are coming down the stretch to the finish line, be sure to give a big smile to your family and friends as you finish!

Photography – We will have a professional photographer snapping photos of you, so don’t forget to smile! FREE photo downloads for all participants!

Final Thoughts

We are excited to have you be a part of First Try Triathlon 2022! We are a passionate group and this has been a very rewarding experience for all of us. We hope we are grooming fellow triathletes that we can train with and watch grow in the sport. Enjoy the journey as triathlon is not only a great personal challenge, but a very social event with lots of like minded athletes all pushing their limits to accomplish their goals.

Be safe out there and we'll see you at the finish line!

Brad Brown

FirstTry Triathlon, Race Director