With a total gain of 10,058'/3,065m between the bike and run courses and an average water temp of 55°F/13°C, Alaskaman™ is one of the most challenging extreme triathlons on Earth.
THE HUUB® SWIM COURSE
*Course & Start Time Subject to Change*
HUUB® Swim Course - 2.6-Miles/4,185-Meters - 55°F/13°C (Ave.) 6:30AM - 2-HOUR 30-MIN CUTOFF (3:35/100m AVE)
The Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon HUUB Swim Course will start just offshore from Miller's Landing in Seward, Alaska. The water averages about 55°F/13°C 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. Wetsuits and 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. 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 50-meters offshore to the start that will be marked by a line of kayaks and 1-2 buoys.
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. Also keep in mind that although there are buoys on the course they will seem small and very spread out on your right side. 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 3:50am-4:00am but the event will start from the kayak line at 4:00am 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 and limited buoys on their right. Due to water depth we will not be able to have more than a handful of buoys on the entire course. Because of the kayak to swimmer ratio, at least 1:20, there should be at least one kayak within view for most of the swim. Staying about 50-75-meters off shore and keeping the kayaks on your right should keep you on course at all times. Following the shoreline will guide you almost directly to the finish. At the end of the swim we will have an inflatable, buoys, large flags, and a high powered flood light (visible in the day) 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/12°C 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.
SWIM COURSE VIDEO - TOUR OF SEWARD
We don't have a swim course video yet but we do have this tour of Seward video that shows the waters of the swim course, the exit around the SeaLife Center and Camping Area.
*Course Subject to Change*
THE BIKE COURSE - 112-MILES/180-KILOMETERS - 4,046'/1,236M GAIN - 2:30PM - 8-HOUR CUTOFF (14MPH AVE)
The Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon Bike Course starts in Seward and ends just off Seward Highway West of Girdwood nearly 112mi/180k later. The bike course has a total of 4,131'/1,259m of gain with a majority of it occurring in the first 70-miles/113k. Most everything after 80mi/112k is relatively flat by comparison. Air temp highs/lows for July in Seward and Girdwood are 50°-65°F/10°-18°C. The air temperature for a majority of the event should hover around 50°-60°F/13°-15°C. 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 31/48k and 83/135k (visitor's center turnaround). 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.
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 7am (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/161k to work on bikes is not always 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 VIDEO (BELOW)
This video is a placeholder until we make our own course video in July 2016. This video flows in reverse of our bike course going from Anchorage to Seward, but should provide some great footage of the course in general. Specifically, our course starts from Seward (the end of this video) and ends in Girdwood (a couple minutes into the video). So, you'd be riding the opposite way on the other side of the road.
*Course Subject to Change*
THE RUN COURSE - 27-MILES / 43.5-KILOMETERS - 6,000' / 1,828M GAIN - 10:30PM - 8-HOUR CUTOFF (17:47/MILE AVE)
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/10°-18°C but will get colder as the day progresses and as athletes climb Mount Alyeska to the finish (miles 20-27/32-42k). Plan accordingly. The air temperature for a majority of the event should hover around 50°-60°F/13°-15°C.
The first 12-miles/19k of the course, on the Bird Creek Trail, account for about 400'/122m of gain and end in the City of Girdwood. Miles 12-20/19-32.5k will take runners towards the resort and out for one 5k loop of 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 1,800'/548m of gain achieved in the first 20-miles/32.5k of the marathon, the remaining 4,200'/1280m of climbing will take place in the last 7-miles/12k over steep MTB 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 then descend from miles 23-25 before climbing all the way back up again (North Face) from miles 25-27.
*In the event of bad weather event management 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/43.5k 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.
All athletes must take the aerial tram down with their support crew after they finish. 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. A post event boxed dinner is available from 4pm-10:30pm for purchase after the event at the Alyeska Resort. This boxed dinner is available to anyone wishing to purchase it. This may be done prior to the event or at the event as availability allows. 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 $25 and is not included for anyone beyond the event crew, volunteers, athletes, and their support crew that completed the mountain with them.
THE RUN COURSE CUTOFF IS 10:30PM (8-HOURS) @ 18:30-hours total OVERALL clock time
8-Hours Run Course Specific - 18:19/mile Average Pace - Here are the specific cutoff times per checkpoint and the mileage.
- 27-Mile Run (43.5k) - 8hrs - 10:30pm - 17:47/mile average
- Mile 20 Checkpoint - 5hrs - 7:30pm - 14:53/mile average
- Mile 23 Checkpoint - 1hr 10min - 8:40pm - 23:20/mile average
- Mile 27 Checkpoint - 1hr 50min - 10:30pm - 27:30/mile average
OVERALL RUN COURSE MAP
MOUNTAIN RUN SECTION TO FINISH - MILES 14-27
TRITatS® T2 AREA AND RUN COURSE VIDEO
Below is a video of the area around the TriTats® T2 Area (better video coming soon) showing the end of the bike course and beginning of the run course (trail that runs between the highway and The Turnagain Arm or "The Arm". This glimpses of the trail you see is representative of the first 12-miles of the run along the waterway into Girdwood. The last two videos show some of the steep dirt/rocky trails you'll be running over the last 7.2-miles/12k.