frequently asked questions
This section contains answers to questions that are frequently asked by both first time participants and those that have done Alaskaman™ before. Please make sure you read through all the FAQs prior to sending questions.
I'm registered for the race, when should I book accommodations?
As soon as possible. Mid July (race time) is the height of the tourism season in Alaska. Rooms are already limited so booking 8-12 months in advance means you have a better shot of staying the closest possible to the start and finish points.
Where should I stay?
Obviously you want to try and stay as close as possible at both the swim start (Seward, AK) and race finish (Alyeska Resort - Girdwood, AK). Due to limited lodging availability, especially at the finish, the longer you wait to book your room(s) the further you will most likely have to stay away from both sites. Book early. IF you are wanting to stay and Alyeska Resort it will say "sold out" online. It's likely not. Call the resort and ask for the Alaskaman Tri rate and the available rooms.
What types of lodging are available?
There are a variety of different types of lodging available. There is everything from traditional hotels to motels, bead and breakfasts, all the way to RV lots and campsites. It all depends on what experience you want to have while in Alaska. We recommend against big RVs for athletes and support because in high numbers they do make support on the bike course more difficult and more dangerous due to their size.
How many spots are available to Alaskaman™?
320 total. Breakdown: 10 Professionals, 10 Race Director's Choice, 100 split between Alaskans and Volunteers and 200 General Registrations. Spots that are unclaimed by Alaskans or volunteers will be opened up to the general public within the first week of registration opening.
Why is there a limited number of spots?
We limit the number of available spots to race for a number of reasons. 1) To keep the race exclusive and small to enhance the overall experience. 2) To keep the race from impacting local traffic and disrupting business and tourism in Alaska. 3) To keep the race safer. Less athletes means an easier to manage field with more space between athletes. 4) To keep consistent with the real identity of the race. To stay in touch with the grass roots of the sport.
What is the cost of the race?
$550 general entry. $275 with a pro/elite card, and varying costs on the 10 race director slots but most will be full price.
Are there refunds, transfers, or deferrals?
No. Once you register you either race or the entry is donated to the collective registration pool. The nature of this event is that many things are planned and paid for ahead of time so to protect the future of the event we cannot offer any refunds, transfers, or deferrals of any kind, for any reason. Our registration provider offers limited registration insurance for $30-$35 extra at time of registration . This optional insurance covers a variety of reasons athletes would be eligible for a full refund through that 3rd party provider (Allianz). This has nothing to do with Alaskaman™ Race Management. VERY IMPORTANT - BE AWARE - Although rare and not something we are obviously planning on, we urge EVERYONE to get the additional insurance to cover their registration AND trip insurance (most online booking companies offer this) incase an act of nature leads to cancelation of the event. Better safe than sorry.
Can someone else pickup my packet?
No. Rules clearly state that athlete him/herself must pickup their own packet. There are no exceptions to this rule, for any reason. Athletes must also have their support team captain with them at time of packet pickup. Remember that at least one support team member (Captain) is mandatory but we allow as many support members as someone would like to have. Support team members should have a support role. If your team consists of one person that is helping you and 3 that are cheering you on, they should not be "support." They are spectators.
Can I pickup my packet race morning?
No. You have 6-12 months to plan for this. Please plan your travel accordingly and make sure you can make it to Thursday or Friday's packet pickup prior to race morning (Saturday). There are no exceptions to this rule, for any reason.
Do I need an ID to pickup my packet?
Yes. A government issued photo ID is required to pickup your packet. Whether you are a USA Triathlon (governing body) annual member or are not, and on a 1-day racing license, you were confirmed (one way or another) during registration. Besides the government issued photo ID no other form of ID is required, unless, you're a pro. If you are a pro you must have your professional/elite license from your country's governing body.
What type of wildlife is in Resurrection Bay? Here's just some of the wildlife that calls Resurrection Bay (obviously there is more), in Seward, Alaska, home: Humpback Whales, Gray Whales, Minkle Whales, Fin Whales, Orca Whales, Dall's Porpoise, Sea Otters, Sea Lions, Halibut, Salmon, Salmon Sharks, Sleeper Sharks, and more.
Is swimming in Resurrection Bay dangerous? Swimming in any open water is at least somewhat risky and dangerous. Resurrection Bay is vast, deep, cold and at times, has rough water (especially mid day). With this swim, as with any of our swims, our top priorities/concerns are always the water temperature, roughness, and visibility. Of course with any open water swim there's always risk of currents, weather, and wildlife. To address those issues to the best of our ability we monitor radar and forecasts before and during the event, we position the swim so that it's at or close to high tide (minimal current), and we keep swimmers as close to shore as possible in the tidal area so it's also as shallow as possible for a majority of the swim. This allows swimmers to follow the shoreline and stay between the shore and our kayaks, rescue boats, and buoys which makes sighting easier for the swimmers as well as medical, lifeguards and other race personnel.
Is swimming in Resurrection Bay allowed? The only time swimming in the bay is allowed by Alaskaman athletes and support is during the Friday Social Swim (day before) and/or day of the event's actual swim. For all the reasons listed above we cannot and will not allow swimming by our athletes and support outside our approved events. It jeopardizes the safety of the swimmer, boaters, rescue personnel, and ultimately the entire future of the event. Anyone caught swimming outside those two events that is registered for the event (athlete or support) will be disqualified.
What about bears and moose on the bike and run?
Alaska is home to a variety of wildlife and this is an extreme triathlon that's spread out over 144+miles. There's always risk of humans encountering wildlife, especially in Alaska, but there's a much greater risk of humans encountering humans (on both roads and trails). Wildlife crossings/sightings on both the bike and run aren't uncommon. On the bike any potential dangers due to wildlife should be easy to see far up the road and avoid. On the run potential dangers may not be quite as easy to see and avoid.
If I do encounter wildlife what should I do?
Every situation is different. The best advice is to stop moving forward, do not approach, and if possible slowly and very calmly move backwards and away, if it's safe to do so. Use common sense. Never approach any wildlife of any kind. Never get between parents and their young. Also try to make noise while you're running. Whether it's talking loudly to yourself or clapping your hands every so often, just to let anything that could be out there, know you're there. You don't want to startle wildlife. Bear bells, horns, and spray are all recommended.There have been a number of accounts showing different effectiveness of each so it's hard to say what works the best, if at all. Again, every situation is different. We will have an Alaskan Wildlife Expert at our race briefings to go over tips for the race and ways to stay safe out there. We will also have some of the products mentioned above available for purchase (at cost) during packet pickup, if an athlete wishes to carry them during the race.
CLICK HERE for more in-depth tips brought to you by the Alaska State Parks Department.
CLICK HERE for a more in-depth look (on our website) at some videos and literature about what to do if you encounter a bear or moose in the wild.
At the end of the day this is an extreme triathlon. It's not just extreme because of weather and terrain. It's also extreme because of the planning, organizing, potential hazards (open roads and wildlife), and more. This is different from a closed course lower 48 triathlon. At the end of the day that's what makes it special.
Why am I required to have my own support crew?
Alaskaman is a remote race that is extreme and very, very difficult. Not only is a support crew necessary to help ensure your safety and success, it's also necessary to truly enjoy the adventure, beauty and overall accomplishment of the athlete. A race like this, in a place like this, is best enjoyed with a friend and/or family member.
Am I really required to have a support crew or can I get away with doing it myself?
You MUST have at least one person on your support crew. You will not be allowed to race without at least one person there to help you during the race. You will need it. It is for your own safety and enjoyment.
How many support crew members and vehicles can I have?
Each athlete is required to have at least one support crew member (the Captain) and at most one support team vehicle. You can have more than one member to your crew but we will only provide one team shirt and wristband for entrance and exit by your team member to the swim exit, T1, and T2. The shirt must be worn by the support member that is helping you in those three areas. The wristband must be worn by the support member that is running with you on the mandatory (and non mandatory) area(s) of the course. Each team is only permitted to have one vehicle. This is for congestion and safety reasons. The course is tight (especially on the bike and sections of the run). Too many cars parked on the side of the road is dangerous for the athletes, support teams, and other travelers just trying to go about their days.
What finisher's items will I receive?
All finisher's will receive a orange or white finisher's tech shirt depending on what route they complete (based on cutoffs) in the last 4 miles. Finisher's ulu knives and jackets are available for sale and ordering (if we run out) in the online store and after the event at the awards brunch. There are no age awards. The only awards given are to the top three male/female finisher's of the entire race and the overall male/female masters winners. The overall male/female winner's will receive a prize check that will be donated to a charity of their choice.
When will I get my finisher's items?
All finisher's items will be awarded on Sunday Morning (the day after) at our finisher's brunch. Anyone that cannot stay for this may pay shipping at a later time to have the items mailed to them. Only the actual finisher may request the items. We will not give out any items early (prior to the brunch). You have to either get them at the brunch or have them mailed later.
What happens if the water is abnormally cold?
In the event the water dips down around 50°F we will look at shortening the swim to 2,000m to keep everyone safe. July in Resurrection Bay is hardly ever that cold. Most summers the water is about 55-57°F.
Do I check my bike the night before?
No. All bikes are to be checked in starting at 2:30am the morning of the race and the Transition Area must be clear by 3:45am so that we can make sure everyone makes the swim start by 4:45am.
Wear do I change out of my cold clothes?
This is an extreme triathlon. This means you make what you have work for you. Tough it out. As of now (could change) there are no changing tents but you most certainly will want to get out of your cold clothes and get warm and put on some dry ones prior to riding. There's a couple of ways to do this. 1) Just get naked for 10 seconds and deal with it. 2) Buy a swim parka (Speedo or TYR) that's big, warm and long and you can easily change under that. 3) You can also accomplish this with a towel but it's harder. There's surely other things you can do but this isn't that big of a deal, so figure it out. On the course(s) if you change, it's up to you how and wear.
What about restrooms?
Areas where there should be restrooms available:
Swim Start - Indoor near laundry area.
Transition - Swim-to-Bike (T1) - Portables
Transition - Bike-to-Run (T2)/Mountain Checkin/Finish Line - Day Lodge Parking Lot - Portables
There may be random pull off scenic outlook areas along the way on the bike with restrooms but those are not ours specifically, they are public. You can use them but we don't list exactly where all of them are.
Other than that... The world is your toilet. We ask that you use only as much toilet paper as you need and be as discreet when going as possible while not wondering off the trail. Stay safe and cover it all up the best you can when you're done. Be humble and respectful when at all possible.
Where are the hydration/nutrition stops?
We will have hydration/nutrtion at:
Swim Start- Unmanned Station w/Gatorade & water
Transition- Swim-to-Bike (T1) - Unmanned Station w/Gatorade & water
Bike Course- NONE - Up to your support team to support you.
Transition- Bike-to-Run (T2) - Manned Station w/Gatorade, water, Coke, ice, energy gels, energy bars, and other packaged consumable items.
Run Course- Miles 7.5, 16.5, 20, 24 and the Finish - - Manned Station w/Gatorade, water, Coke, ice, energy gels, energy bars, and other packaged consumable items.