**COURSE MAPS ARE TENTATIVE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE** The overall course is mostly set due to travel from Seward to Girdwood. However, construction schedules and other changes to road conditions may necessitate course modifications.
POINTS OF INTEREST MAP
The interactive points of interest site map (above) is done in Google Maps. Once pulled up, simply scan the points of interest list on the left side and as you scroll over each listed item the point will highlight itself on the map. You'll have to zoom in from there to the desired area to see where each on is in more detail.
1.90-Miles / 3,050-Meter SWIM COURSE
Miller's Landing's Rescue Boat Captains and Professional Kayak Guides, Team One Medical & Race Management/Officials reserve the right to pull any competitor from the course, at any time, for any reason we deem necessary.
The Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon Swim Course will start just offshore from Miller's Landing in Seward, Alaska. The water averages about 50°F in June. Full neoprene wetsuits (to ankles, wrists, and neck), neoprene booties, neoprene swim cap, and an additional swim cap (silicon event cap) are REQUIRED for the swim portion of Alaskaman. Also, ear plugs, and Vaseline/Aquafor are highly recommended on all open skin areas. Full neoprene hoods that cover your neck are also permitted. Non webbed swim gloves are permitted.
The Swim Course is an in-water start meaning all athletes will enter the water at Miller's Landing and swim approximately 100-meters offshore to the start that will be marked by a single boat we will identify to all athletes that morning. Approximately 10-kayaks and 4-rescue boats will be on course with the swimmers at all times. Due to the depth of the water, current, and tides we cannot set buoys effectively in the water. Instead we will position flood lights along the shoreline leading into Seward from Miller's. Swimmers are to keep kayakers on their right, land and lights on their left while staying far enough (100m) away from the shoreline rocks to stay safe. Simply follow the shoreline and 1.9-miles later the swim exit boat ramp, complete with flags and inflatable, will become visible.
SOME SIGHTING AND BREATHING ADVICE: Practice bilateral breathing. The sun, waves, and tide will be coming at you from behind and the right side. If you can only breath to your right the swim “may” be a lot tougher than you anticipate. Although kayaks will be a majority to your right they will spread out a lot after the start as well. Your primary sighting will occur by maintaining a set visual and constant distance from the shore as you progress forward. That shore is always on your left. Something to keep in mind.
Athletes may enter the water whenever they like from 4:20am-4:30am but the event will start from the kayak line at 4:30am sharp, when the horn/gun sounds. From there all athletes are to swim a point-to-point course keeping the shoreline on their left and kayaks their right. Because of the kayak to swimmer ratio, about 1:10, there should be at least one kayak or rescue boat within view for most of the swim. You may not always see them but they are there, if you need help remember your will float in your wetsuit if you stay calm. Simply wave your hands above your head so I kayak can see you. Kayakers will have headlamps on each of the guides to help with swimmers spotting them on the course. At the end of the swim we will have an inflatable and large flags for you to site off of. These items will also be highly visible from quite some distance out, helping swimmers keep the line as they advance along the course.
This will be a very cold swim with very low visibility (less than 1’ due to glacier runoff/silt). It will take each swimmer at least 5-15 minutes to acclimate to the cold water, some may take longer. Swimming at a faster pace in the beginning will elevate your heart rate and help to warm you up. Once your body acclimates there will be some numbness in your hands and face making it much more tolerable. Having a good wetsuit, neoprene cap, booties, earplugs, and Vaseline/Aquafor will make all the difference in the world. We will host a social swim practice (must signup online for) the day before that we HIGHLY recommend all athletes attend to get a feel for the water so they're not shocked the morning of the event. If the water is below 50°F throughout we will reevaluate the course and distance to keep all swimmers safe.
Beyond the cold, the sheltered nature of the bay, may, in rare cases, lead to fog, but the chances of it effecting the event are minimal. In our first year (2017) we had major fog roll in and swimmers couldn't see much of anything for the first 800m or so. Everyone did great and kept swimming in the correct direction and got through it. Because of this we have made some light additions to the kayaks (headlamps) and shoreline generator lights, to help. Rough waters in the bay are rare that early in the morning. In almost any rough water situation the event will go on according to plan. If the water is too rough, the event crew will evaluate the situation and make a decision on what to do at that time that is in the best safety interests of the athletes. Certain wildlife spotting on the course may also cause course adjustments or cancelations.
PLEASE NOTE - There is no swimming In Resurrection Bay before the scheduled and permitted Alaskaman events: Resurrection Bay is a wild and dangerous place. We work for nearly a year securing US Coast Guard, DNR and City of Seward permits to have the Friday Social Swim and Saturday Alaskaman Swim. Additionally we plan the event day(s) around tidal patterns and sunrise to be sure our athletes are as safe as we can make them during the swim. We also monitor currents, wildlife, and weather to the best of our ability to further add to that safety. Swimming in Resurrection Bay without approvals from the parties mentioned above and without consideration and monitoring of the other factors is hazardous to the swimmer and boaters in the area. It may also effect local businesses and ultimately whether or not the event will be allowed to continue. This is why no swimming of the course is allowed outside our Friday Social Swim and Saturday event swim. Please respect this, it's for your safety and for our event.
LIVE INTERACTIVE MAPS
Once you click the link above be sure to click between the two bottom sheet tabs.
CELL PHONE COVERAGE MAPS
Please note that we require all athletes to be logged into the RaceJoy tracking app during the event. Beyond that due to the high risk nature of this event we require that the athlete's cell phone be on them full charged not only for the tracking but also so that they have a constant means to communicate if/when needed. Foreign competitors will likely need to swap their SIM cards for a US one when they get to Anchorage at a local carrier. This is not expensive and will allow for international usage for data plans at MUCH more affordable rates. Anyone that has a US plan should be good to go but please be aware 10-18 hours of data usage will likely eat up a lot. If you're not on an unlimited plan it may make sense to be on one for the month of July. When looking at the maps below you are searching for Seward, Alaska and making your way up the Seward Highway (Highway 1) and following it all the way up to Bird Creek Campground (basically) then back to Girdwood. The bike is the only area of concern with coverage. The run is pretty much acceptable/great for everyone.
113-MILE / 182-kilometer BIKE COURSE
The Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon Bike Course starts in Seward and takes the Seward highway north out of town. In 2018 we are eliminating the out and back section at Portage Glacier. All athletes stay on the Seward Highway for approximately 100-miles until they get to the Bird Creek Camp Ground. From there all athletes will exit the Seward Highway and u-turn onto the Bird-to-Gird paved bike trail. This trail is open to the public. We will be posting warning signs about the event to educate anyone beyond the event that may be entering the trail system but it's a RULE that once you're on the bike path you are NOT allowed to be in the aero position. With the possibility of pedestrians and wildlife on the trail you need to be as alert and in control as possible. The paved path section of the bike follows the highway back towards Girdwood for about 12-13 miles with about 850' of climbing. Once in Girdwood riders will turn left onto the Alyeska Highway (road) and ride to T2 at the Alyeska Day Lodge. This is also the Run Start, Mountain Checkin Point, and Finish Line. The entire bike has about 4,635' of total gain.
Air temp highs/lows for July in Seward and Girdwood are 50°-65°F. The air temperature for a majority of the event should hover around 50°-60°F. Air temps may drop considerably if it’s raining (as it often times is). All riders must be prepared for this. Please keep in mind that when riding in general the air temperature typically feels quite a bit colder than it actually is especially if winds are present. Athlete support crews will ONLY be able to assist their athlete between miles 30-85 of the Seward Highway. Because of the rerouted course we may adjust the allowed range of support miles on the bike in the 2-3 weeks leading up to the event. We will let everyone know if that changes. Support crews are not allowed in the first 30 or last 25 miles miles basically. Every rider should be able to carry enough in the beginning and after mile 85 to get through those areas with hydration/nutritional issues. The reason we don't allow support in those miles is due to narrow roads and high probability of congestion and accidents in adding 200 more cars to the road in those areas.
Keep in mind this course is on a highway and completely open to all traffic. All riders should be aware of their surroundings at all times and obey all normal cycling and vehicular traffic laws. Also be aware that the wind can be your best friend or your worst nightmare on the Seward Highway. At times the course has been known to have 25-30mph sustained winds for the entire duration of the ride. If it’s at your back it’s a dream but there’s a good possibility it could be a devastating headwind the entire time. Be prepared.
EVENT MECHANICS & SAG SUPPORT
It is each athlete's individual responsibility to get their bike to and from Alaskaman™ in working and safe order and maintain/fix it while on the bike course. We will not transport or be responsible for bikes in any way, at any time. We will be inspecting each bike in the morning as they enter the Swim/Bike Transition (T1) and securing them until the swim cutoff at 7:00am (or whenever you claim it to start your ride). Beyond that your bike is in your hands, and the hands of your support crew. Upon entering the Swim/Bike Transition (T1), If your bike is deemed to be unsafe and cannot be easily fixed, you will not be able to event. We "may" have limited bike support onsite but do not count on it. Seward is a remote location and getting qualified mechanics to drive over 100 miles to work on bikes is not easy. We will do what we can but remember that that is just another part of what makes this an "extreme" triathlon. Each athlete and their support must be responsible for themselves and reaching that finish line.
27.5-MILE / 44.25-Kilometer RUN COURSE
The Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon Run Course starts just outside of the T2 Area located in the Alyeska Day Lodge Parking lot located at the end of the Alyeska Highway in Girdwood. This area serves as the T2 Area, Run Start, Mountain Checkin, and the Finish Line. Air temp highs/lows for July in Girdwood are 50°-65°F but will get colder as the day progresses and as athletes climb Mount Alyeska to the finish (miles 20-27). Plan accordingly. The air temperature for a majority of the event should hover around 50°-60°F.
Runners leave T2 and head south along the Alyeska Highway on the paved bike trail all the way to where the bike portion of the event turns off the path onto the road (Alyeska Highway). Once runners reach just before the bike turn point (Monarch Mine Rd) they will u-turn on the trail and head back the way they came. Runners will run out on the path on the left side and run back on the left side (against the typical flow of traffic). This is because on the way back runners will vier left onto Crow Creek Road and head further north to the Winner Creek Trailhead. The Winner Creek Trail is not paved. Most of the run from that point on will not be paved. Once on Winner Creek Trail runners will take the trail all the way until they meet up with the Nordic Loop just outside of Alyeska Resort. A major point of interest and potential difficulty on Winner Creek trail is the hand tram just after mile 8. All athletes must use the hand tram. Athletes will have preferential treatment (vs non athletes) in line. We don't expect a line and if there is it shouldn't be long. A good place to rest for a minute and regroup. This is equal for everyone in the order the approached. It takes about 2 minutes for the cart to go round trip. Meaning about 60-90 seconds to get across then 30-60 seconds for the cart to come back. We will add a couple minutes to the mountain cutoffs to keep this fair for all and if you're stuck there for longer we have staff at the tram to take note and we will take that into account at the cutoffs if necessary. However, cutoffs are in place for a reason (safety, light, wildlife, manageability) so if you miss a cutoff time(s) and we do not feel you're close enough to it or can make it up it will not matter if you burned time waiting for the tram, you may still be diverted to the low course (at our discretion). Tram and cutoffs do not come into play at mile 23 if the cutoff issue is the top 65% qualifier (see below).
Once turned off Winner Creek Trail and onto the Nordic Loop athletes will complete the entire loop as an out and back maximizing the available distance and gain. Once out of the nordic loop athletes will find themselves back on the paved bike path that goes from just outside the Nordic Loop all the way back to T2 at the Day Lodge. This total distance is about 17.5-miles and about 2,400' of gain. The remaining 10-miles and 4,000' of gain are all on the mountain. Once back in the Day Lodge Parking lot runners will checkin with their support before entering the mountain. This will be a medical and backpack check for both athlete and support. Those without support, the mandatory supply kit, and/or are not of sound medical health, will not be permitted to enter the mountain. Remember that we are allowing support crews to run the entire run course with their athlete this year although the only mandatory support run section is the last 10-miles on the mountain. Athletes and their support have a choice, run the entire course together OR run only the last 10-miles together (athlete runs the first 17.5 alone). That's it. Support cannot start running anywhere they want with their athlete. We have to checkin support and athletes at the beginning of the run and the mountain start.
When entering the mountain the remaining 4,000' of climbing will take place in the last 10-miles over very steep MTB and hiking trails made up of dirt and rock. This is the most extreme part of Alaskaman and contributes some of the most spectacular views on the entire course. This is also why we require at least one member of your support crew to accompany you to the top over two different climbs and back down twice, once to the resort for the second climb and once after that second climb, to the finish line.
*In the event of bad weather event management, Team One Medical, and Alyeska Ski Partol reserves the right to change and alter the course as we see fit to ensure the safety of the athletes. If this happens every attempt will be made for the alternate course to contain the 27.5-miles of the full event but a shorter distance may be necessary if weather continues to decline. This may or may not mean the use of the mountain.
Please remember no athlete will be permitted to run the mountain section of the course (miles 17.5-27.5) without at least one support crew member with them at all times. You may not use someone else’s support. You may run/hike the mountain section with more than one support crew member but at least one is required at all times. All athletes must be within sight of their support crew member (in front or behind) at all times. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Be sure your support crew trains for the 10-miles on the mountain. It is very difficult and if your support crew cannot keep up you must stay with them. They can also join you for the first 17.5-miles if you/they would like and essentially do the entire run with you. HOWEVER, they either do the entire thing OR just the last 10. They cannot join you on the course wherever they'd like. You can also not progress without each other. It's a no man/woman left behind mentality out there so choose your support runner(s) wisely, they can help, or hurt, your result.
There will be medical, timing, media, and general event staff at the finish. We will also have a limited choice of hydration and nutrition (water, PowerAid, Energy Gels, along with sweet and salty snacks) at the finish. Post event food will be available for purchase via the food trucks and Sitzmark Girll around the finish area. You may also go anywhere else you'd like to eat. It's not mandatory you eat at the finish or anywhere for that matter. You have the choice. We are not supplying food beyond hydration and limited nutrition at the finish, enough to get calories in you. Spectators, family, and friends may take the aerial tram up and down to meet their athlete at the top during the two summits of the mountain and cheer them on as they come up and go down, if they'd like. A day pass to ride the tram is $29 and is NOT included for anyone.