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. You can also use the search below to find the information you're looking for.
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.
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.
When does registration open?
Online, Sunday, July 17, 2016 - 3pm CST
How many spots are available to Alaskaman™?
315 total. Breakdown: 10 Professionals, 10 Race Director's Choice, 50 Locals, 245 General Entry First-Come-First-Serve.
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?
$425-$450 for most. If registration goes past October 31 the prices go to $475-$500 but we don't expect that to happen. With such a limited field we expect a quick sellout at the lower price points. Register early and commit so you have plenty of time to train and schedule your travel (flight and lodging). Pro registration is $200 and any Alaska resident that registers at the kickoff party on the 16th pays just $375.
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.
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, 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.
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 140.6-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 unheard of, but it's not necessarily common and something to worry about either. 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.
There are items like bear spray, bear horns, and bells that people carry on them. 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.
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.
SUPPORT TEAM FAQs
Why am I required to have my own support team?
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 team or can I get away with doing it myself?
You MUST have at least one person on your support team. 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 team members and vehicles can I have?
Each athlete is required to have at least one support team member and at most one support team vehicle. You can have more than one member to your team but we will only provide one team shirt and wristband for entrance and exit by your team member to the TriTats® T1 and areas of the run course to help you. The rest will have to stay outside those areas but may help on the course as long as your team isn't in the way of the other athletes. 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.
FINISher's items faqs
What finisher's items will I receive?
All finisher's will receive a Finisher's Tech Shirt (color depends on finishing time), and a Finisher's Ulu Knife. There are no awards beyond Mining Pan awards given to the top three male/female finisher's of the entire race. 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 and Support Crew 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 am I allowed to swim with?
You MUST wear a full sleeve wetsuit to take part in this race. We also recommend a Neoprene Cap, Neoprene Socks, Vaseline on your face and hands, and earplugs. Swim Gloves are not permitted unless the water reaches 54°F or less. In very cold (under 54°F) swimmers sometimes wear a full hood to cover their head, neck, and more of their face. These are allowed at any temperature though not typical unless the water is unusually cold. No headphones, flippers, or snorkels are allowed. USA Triathlon does typically allow snorkels but Alaskaman™ Extreme Tri rules prohibit their use.
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 3am the morning of the race and the TriTats® Transition Area must be clear by 4am so that we can make sure everyone makes the swim start by 5am.
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?
We will have restrooms at swim start, and both TriTats® Transition areas (T1 & T2), Mile 20 water stop (on the run), and the finish (of the entire race). That's it. If you think you might need to stop outside of that make sure your support team has toilet paper or whatever else you may need and be one with nature.
Where are the hydration/nutrition stops?
Again, this is an extreme triathlon, so there aren't many. We will have some water and Gatorade in the TriTats® T1 Area and at the swim start that are both self-serve. There are no manned stops of any kind from the moment you exit the water until run miles 12, 14.5, 20, 23, and 27 (finish). That is what your support crew is for. Plan ahead to always have hydration and nutrition available to you.