With a total gain of 11,100' between the bike and run courses and an average water temp of 53°F, Alaskaman is one of the most challenging extreme triathlons on Earth.
The maps below are from 2017. We are making adjustments to both the bike and run courses. These are for the betterment of the event and athletes but we will not have the exact specifics for at least a few months. Know that the swim should remain the same or close to what is shown and be in Seward along with T1 and the start of the bike. The bike will utilize the Seward highway as it did last year. We are making some slight changes to add some more climbing and get the mileage we need to hopefully take T2 into Girdwood, at the Day Lodge Parking Lot of Alyeska Resort. Beyond T2 and the Run Start being in the Alyeska Day Lodge Parking Lot some changes (at least for 2018) will be that athletes will also finish there. This means 2 trips up AND 2 trips down (instead of just 1 like last year), to make it to the finish. These changes allow us to manage the race more efficiently, make logistics a bit easier for support crews, allow medical to monitor athlete progress more effectively, and will add to the difficulty of the event. Athletes will still get to climb the North Face as well as the other side of the mountain and reach those high points with the spectacular views. We are even looking into adding some new trails prior to entering the mountain. Stayed tuned and please be patient with us as we finalize the courses going into the coming months. We promise the same, or more, of a mind blowing experience.
ALASKMAN X-TRI HUUB® SWIM COURSE
THE HUUB 2.6-MILE SWIM COURSE 53°F 2HR 30MIN CUTOFF (3:29/100M AVE) @ 7:15AM.
The Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon HUUB Swim Course will start just offshore from Miller's Landing in Seward, Alaska. The water averages about 53°F in July. If the water is found to be extraordinarily cold and unsafe to swim the full 2.6 distance, event management will reevaluate the distance and course and make the proper adjustments to keep all swimmers safe. Full wetsuits (to ankles, wrists, and neck) and silicone event swim caps are REQUIRED for the swim portion of Alaskaman. Swim booties, additional neoprene cap (under event cap), and ear plugs are highly recommended. Full neoprene hoods that cover your neck are also permitted. Swim gloves of any kind are not permitted UNLESS the water temperature is 54 degrees or below which is highly probable. We also recommend covering your face and hands with a layer of Vaseline or Aquafor, it helps create a barrier against the cold.
The HUUB 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 orange buoy tied to a metal fishing boat straight out from the entry ramp. Approximately 15-kayaks and 3-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. Having them positioned along the course is far more effective in a swim such as this due to their ability to be seen from a far off distance and knowing they will stay stationary. Swimmers are to keep kayakers on their right, land on their left while staying far enough (100m) away from the shoreline rocks to stay safe. Simply follow the shoreline and 2.67-miles later the swim exit boat ramp complete with buoy, 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. Buoys should be used as far off directional sighting points in the distance. Because of the kayak to swimmer ratio, about 1:20, there should be at least one kayak 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. At the end of the swim we will have an inflatable, buoys, 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 practice swim 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 54°F 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 a dense fog situation each swimmer (and kayak) will be equipped with some type of glow stick or even a flashing light to affix to the back of their goggle straps for visibility of others. 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.
ALASKMAN X-TRI BIKE COURSE
THE 112-MILE BIKE COURSE - 5,125' GAIN - 7hr 30min cutoff (15mph AVE) @2:45pm.
(Illustrated Map Below)
The Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon Bike Course starts in Seward and ends just off Seward Highway West of Girdwood nearly 112-miles later at Bird Creek. The bike course has a total of 5,125' of gain with a majority of it occurring in the first 70-miles. Most everything after 80mi is relatively flat by comparison. 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 highway mile markers 28.8 and 80.2 of the Seward Highway. The entire bike is on the Seward Highway with the exception of a short out and back section on Portage Glacier. Support crews are not allowed on that section. They are only allowed on Seward highway between 28.8 and 80.2 (markers, not necessarily actual distance, pay attention to makers and the distance between). This is for traffic safety purposes.
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.
7-Hours 30-Minutes Bike Course - 15mph Average Pace - Here are the specific cutoff times per checkpoint and the mileage.
- 112-Mile Bike - 7hrs. 30min. - 2:45pm - 15mph average
- Mile 30 Checkpoint by 9:15am (2hrs) - 15mph ave. pace.
- Mile 78 Checkpoint by 12:27pm (3hrs 12min) - 15mph ave. pace.
- Mile 112 Finish by 2:45pm (2hrs 18min) - 15mph ave. pace.
- Mile 30 Checkpoint by 9:15am (2hrs) - 15mph ave. pace.
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 TriTats® 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 TriTats® 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.
BIKE COURSE HAZARDS/LANDMARKS TO BE AWARE OF
Hazards/Landmarks listed below are meant to aid both the athlete and their support crew. Please read through all that is listed carefully and be extremely cautious when on the Seward highway.
ALASKMAN X-TRI RUN COURSE
THE 27-MILE RUN COURSE - 6,000' GAIN - 7hr 45min cutoff (17:13/mile AVE) @10:30pm. (17:45 FINISH)
(Illustrated Map Below)
The Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon Run Course starts just outside of the TriTats T2 Area on the paved bike/hike trail that runs along Seward Highway back towards Girdwood and Mt. Alyeska. 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.
The first 12-miles of the course, on the Bird Creek Trail, account for about 500' of gain and end in the City of Girdwood. Miles 12-20 will take runners towards the resort and out for an out and back on the nordic cross country ski loop before heading back to the Day Lodge Parking Lot for the medical and support crew checkin at mile 20 before entering the mountain run. With a total of 1,250 of gain achieved in the first 20-miles of the marathon, the remaining 4,750' of climbing will take place in the last 7-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/finish, not just for safety, but so that you can enjoy the journey to the top, together. You will climb the mountain to the top near the finish from miles 20-23 (Front Face) then descend from miles 23-25 (from the top of the tram to the bottom) before climbing all the way back up again (North Face) from miles 25-27.
*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-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 20-27) 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 7-miles on the mountain. It is very difficult and if your support crew cannot keep up you must stay with them.
All athletes must take the aerial tram down with their support crew after they finish free of charge. There will be medical, timing, media, and general event staff present at the top. We will also have a limited choice of hydration and nutrition (water, Gatorade, Base Salts, PowerGels, PowerBars, cookies, pretzels, and bananas) at the finish. Post event food will be available at the top of the mountain for spectators, support, and athletes, should they wish to purchase it. Spectators, family, and friends may take the aerial tram up and down to meet their athlete at the top. A day pass to ride the tram is $29 and is NOT included for anyone beyond the event crew, volunteers, athletes, and their support crew that completed the mountain with them (to come down from the top only).
7-Hours 45-Minutrd Run Course - 17:13/mile Average Pace - Here are the specific cutoff times per checkpoint and the mileage.
Alyeska Ski Patrol, Team One Medical, & Race Management reserves the right to pull any competitor from the mountain at any time.
- 27-Mile Run - 7hrs 45min - 10:30pm - 17:13/mile ave. pace for entire run.
- Mile 20 Checkpoint by 7:45pm (5hrs) - 15:00/mile ave. pace.
- Bird-Gird Path, Alyeska Hwy, & Nordic Loop - 0-15% Grades, 1,250' gain.
- Mile 23 Checkpoint by 9:00pm (1hr 15min) - 25:00/mile ave. pace.
- Front Face Climb - 20-25% Grades, 2,500' gain.
- Mile 25 Checkpoint by 9:30pm (30min) - 15:00/mile ave. pace.
- Decent to the Resort - 20-25% Grades
- Must Finish 27-Miles by 10:30pm (60min) - 30:00/mile ave. pace.
- North Face Climb - 20-25% Grades, 2,250' gain.
- Mile 20 Checkpoint by 7:45pm (5hrs) - 15:00/mile ave. pace.