McLain Cycle and Fitness

The Traverse City Triathlon

presented by McLain Cycle and Fitness

August 21, 2016

Dividing West and East Grand Traverse Bay, Old Mission Peninsula offers stunning scenery and a challenging landscape. The half-, Olympic- and sprint-distance races start in the calm, clean waters of Bowers Harbor on West Grand Traverse Bay for a loop swim. The bike courses point athletes past picturesque orchards and vineyards and over a few tough climbs. Heading out on the run, racers follow Neahtawanta Road along the water before turning up a dirt road into the Pyatt Nature Preserve. Athletes then return to the pavement for the final stretch to the finish line at Bowers Harbor Park. The Traverse City Triathlon delivers a beautiful course, professional race management, and great racing; this is Northern Michigan’s most memorable triathlon. See you at the start line!

Schedule of Events

Saturday, August 20, 2016

5:00-7:00 p.m. Registration and packet pick up – Location TBD

Sunday, August 21, 2016

6:00-7:00 a.m. – Registration and packet pick up at Devils Dive Rd.

6:00-7:45 a.m. – Transition area open for all athletes to set up
7:15 a.m. – Race briefing at transition (required for HALF athletes)
7:20 a.m. – Transition area closes for half distance athletes
7:30 a.m. – Wave 1: Half distance triathlon and relay (all), and open water swim (all)
7:45 a.m. – Race briefing at transition (required for sprint, Olympic, duathlon athletes)
7:55 a.m. – Transition area closes for all remaining athletes
8:00 a.m. – Wave 2: Olympic triathlon (men)
8:02 a.m. – Wave 3: Duathlon (all)
8:05 a.m. – Wave 4: Olympic triathlon (women), Olympic relay (all)
8:30 a.m. – Wave 5: Sprint triathlon (men), sprint relay (all)
8:35 a.m. – Wave 6: Sprint triathlon (women)
9:20 a.m. – Swim course cutoff (swim course closes for all athletes)
10:40 a.m. – Sprint/duathlon bike course cutoff (sprint bike course closes)
10:45 a.m. – Transition area opens for sprint/duathlon bike/gear retrieval
10:50 a.m. – Sprint/duathlon awards ceremony at Devils Dive Rd.
11:05 a.m. – Olympic bike course cutoff (Olympic bike course closes)
11:15 a.m. – Transition area opens for Olympic bike/gear retrieval
11:20 a.m. –Olympic awards ceremony at Devils Dive Rd.
1:00 p.m. – Half distance bike course closes
1:05 p.m. – Transition area opens for half distance bike/gear retrieval 3:30 p.m. – Half distance run course closes (race concludes)
3:35 p.m. – Half distance awards ceremony at Devils Dive Rd.


  • Brew

  • Century 21 Northland

  • M22-Logo

  • matuli logo

Registration Fees

Frequently Asked Questions

The Traverse City Triathlon is much more than just a triathlon. We offer a sprint, Olympic and half distance triathlon, a duathlon, as well as a sprint, Olympic and half distance triathlon relay, duathlon relay (2- or 3-person teams), and open water swim (1.2miles). The three legs of the triathlon are swimming, biking, and running, in that order. The sprint triathlon is a 750-meter swim (0.47 mile), 20-kilometer bike (12.4 miles), and a 5-kilometer run (3.1 miles). The Olympic triathlon involves a 1500-meter swim (0.93 mile), 40-kilometer bike (24.8 miles), and a 10-kilometer run (6.2 miles). The half distance triathlon consists of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and a 13.1 mile run.  The duathlon is 2.8-kilometer run (1.75 mile), 20-kilometer bike (12.4 miles), and a 5-kilometer run (3.1 miles).

Here’s a recap:

Sprint Triathlon & Relay: 750m swim / 12.4 mile bike / 3.1 mile run

Olympic Triathlon & Relay: 1500m swim / 24.8 mile bike / 6.2 mile run

Half Distance Triathlon & Relay: 1.2 mile swim / 56 mile bike / 13.1 mile run

Duathlon & Duathlon Relay: 1.75 mile run / 12.4 mile bike / 3.1 mile run

Open Water Swim: 1.2 mile swim

In order to help keep all athletes safe while participating in the Traverse City Triathlon, we have the following course cutoff times.  Athletes must finish the following portions of the race by the following times in order to move on the the next portion of the race:

Swim (all athletes): 9:20 a.m.

Sprint Bike: 10:40 a.m.

Olympic Bike: 11:05 a.m.

Half Bike: 1:00 p.m.

The race takes place on Sunday, August 21, 2016. All athletes must be checked in by 7:00 am. The half distance triathlon is the first wave of the day, starting at 7:30 am. Refer to the schedule of events for a complete listing of times and events.

The race takes place twelve miles–roughly a twenty-minute drive–from downtown Traverse City. Parking, registration, and the race finish are held the new addition to Peninsula Township Park, off of Devils Dive Road, Traverse City, Michigan 49686. From there, it is a 5-10 minute walk to the swim start and transition area at the Bowers Harbor boat launch.

Prices are listed in the columns above. We never charge processing fees, so when we say $55, we mean it. You’ll notice that prices increase as the race date nears. We would LOVE for every athlete to register for the lowest possible price by registering as early as possible; increasing prices allow us to compensate for the cost of timing services, race shirts, and food without knowing exact participation. *All racers must be USA Triathlon members or purchase a one-day license for $12. If you are racing as a relay team, every member must have a USAT membership or one-day license. If you would like to purchase an annual membership, you can do so at for $45. (Youth memberships for athletes 17-years-old or younger are $15 for a year.)

Registration includes a technical fabric t-shirt, swim cap, chip-timed results, post-race snacks, and the satisfaction of knowing you’re better than the lazy schlubs that didn’t wake up until 11 am on race day. Half distance finishers also receive a finisher’s medal.

Your entry fee also covers the permit fees, medical and police support, volunteer swag and food, and various other expenses that come with putting more than 400 athletes on public roads. Along with those tangible benefits, we believe that every Endurance Evolution race offers something more than the typical endurance event in the way of customer service and professionalism. You can read more about our philosophies and our policies on our About Us page.

The following age groups apply for male and female in the sprint, Olympic, half distance, duathlon, and open water swim individual events: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-84, 85 and older. Relays are not awarded according to age, just an overall sprint, Olympic, and duathlon winning team.

The minimum age to participate in all events at the Traverse City Triathlon is 12 years old as of December 31, 2016. This means that if an athlete is 11 years old on race day, but will turn 12 by December 31, they may participate. If an athlete will not be 12 years old by December 31, they’ll have to sit this year’s race out.

The bike racks in the transition area are numbered according to your bib number. Look for your bib number range on the rack and hang your bike on the rack so it hangs off the rack toward you, on the same side as the number. If you need any help, or there’s someone in your spot when you arrive on race morning, ask a volunteer in an Endurance Evolution shirt for assistance.

The overall male and female winners of the sprint and Olympic and half distance races receive an award plus free entry into next year’s race. The top three individuals in each age group also receive a pint glass award. Relay awards are given to the winning sprint, Olympic, and half distance teams.