WANT TO RACE IN ALASKA BUT DON’T HAVE THE REQUIRED SUPPORT?
We understand that support team member(s) are sometimes tough to find and possibly too expensive for some athletes to bring with them. If this is you, we encourage you to reach out to some of Alasksa’s local triathlon, cycling, and running clubs/teams and possibly enlist their services. It is cheaper and easier to hire local athletes to be your support than travel with your own if that’s your struggle. Below you will find links to both emails of club/team leaders as well as links to social media groups you can directly post inquiries to in hopes of and securing your support.
WHY DO WE REQUIRE SUPPORT TEAMS?
Undoubtedly the fact each athlete has to supply their own support team of at least 1 but up to as many as 3 is a requirement that deters some folks from joining us. We understand that but we have 6 main reasons for requiring this and a number of them speak to the heart of what XTri is supposed to be.
NO HYDRATION/NUTRITION STATIONS ON THE BIKE AND LIMITED ON THE RUN (ABOUT EVERY 10K / VARIES PER EVENT) - Given the remote nature of XTri events it’s near impossible to put the amount of hydration/nutrition stations out that would be required as well as fully staff them. There just aren’t enough resources and manpower in most of these areas.
HELP TRACKING, MONITORING AND CARING FOR ATHLETES ON THE BIKE AND RUN - Given the remote nature of these events and the limited medical assets requiring each person to have a support team for the bike and run enables us to have an extra set of capable eyes on them at a higher frequency than the race alone is capable of. Especially on the run where the athlete is required to have a support runner the entire time.
LIMITED PARKING & SHUTTLES - For 2 of our 3 XTris (Iceland and Hawaii) we require athletes to have a support runner complete the entire run course. For Alaska we allow support runners for the entire course but only require it for the mountain section (last 10-11 miles). This is for safety, hydration/nutrition support and fun, BUT it’s also because we do not have approved parking for up to 200+ cars at any other point on the course to meet and join them. Additionally there are simply not enough resources/shuttles, to transport support back to those cars after they finish, especially as late at night as so many cross the line.
SUPPORT MAKE GOOD MULES - On the bike the support car does the muling and your support team does the driving but on the run having your mandatory support runner by your side the entire time adds more fuel to your tank. Of course both the athlete and the support memeber(s) are required to have their own set of mandatory gear and hydration/nutrtion, but having that support also means you can load them up with extra liquids and solids so that if yours run out before the next station, you are covered! They can be life savers, literally.
THE MORE THE MARIER - The more support both physically and mentally that an athlete has during an event like this, the better. The course can be a lonely place and although that solitude is part of what makes XTri amazing, so is the comradely you feel sharing the experience with your support. In Iceland and Alaska you don’t really have to worry about the dark but on a course like Hawaii, a majority of runners will spend most of their time in the pitch black so having a support runner, if nothing else, helps with sanity in the abyss.
FUTURE XTRI FINISHERS - By requiring support on both the bike and the run we give that support person a look into the world of XTri. More often than not those support members either come back as support for others, join our XTri Staff, or better yet, become athletes themselves in the future. With such limited resources in these areas and XTri being a niche market, we need all the support and new athletes entering the ranks as possible to survive.
WHAT WE EXPECT OF SUPPORT TEAMS
The Ìsland Extreme Triathlon is one of hardest long distance 1-day triathlons on the planet. This unforgettable event will take athletes on a journey through the beautiful countryside of Iceland but does not come with risk.
Each registered athlete MUST have a Support Team Captain that is committed and capable of supporting the athlete throughout the day. Teams may consist of more than one support team member (as many as three) but should have one person designated as the Support Captain in charge of team management and fluent in English.
As a support team member you must read and understand ALL of the Support Team Rules and Duties and abide by them for the entire event. Beyond safety and support, you support crew is part of the experience and add to the overall fun of the event. Support crews will undoubtedly have as much fun as the athletes, just in a different, yet essential way.
SUPPORT TEAM RESPONSIBILITIES
Each registered athlete MUST have a Support Team Captain that's committed and capable of supporting the athlete throughout the day. Teams may consist of more than one support team member but should have at least one person and designate a captain if the team has more than one.
Support Team Captain job duties will include but are not limited to:
driving the athlete
carrying athlete bags
getting stuff for the athlete
going to packet pickup with the athlete
going to the pre race briefing with the athlete
helping the athlete in transition before the race starts
helping the athlete out of the water
helping the athlete through T1 - Swim-to-Bike Transition (changing, getting warm, prepping for the bike and getting out to the mount line)
identifying mileage and pull off areas along the bike course between miles 30-85 to be prepared to support the athlete with whatever they may need.
helping the athlete through T2 - Bike-to-Run Transition (changing, getting warm, prepping for the run and getting the athlete out onto that run)
putting all the athlete's gear into the car and clearing T2 quickly (not a storage area)
possibly running the first 16.5 miles of the run course if it's been discussed between athlete and support captain (not mandatory)
running the last 10-miles on Mt. Alyeska as a mandatory support runner (not easy and should be something both athlete AND support runner trains for vigorously)
celebrating with the athlete at the end of this monumental day
getting the athlete whatever they want and need afterwards
making sure they get up in enough time to make it to the awards brunch the next day
trying to have fun out there while doing all this work
At least one member of your support crew/team MUST speak fluent English to be able to communicate with our event staff.
Alaskaman is the hardest long distance 1-day triathlon event in North America. This unforgettable event will take athletes through the frigid waters of Resurrection Bay (Seward), up the winding, mountains passages of the Seward Highway, and to the top of Mount Alyeska to finish a journey that you change you as an athlete. This does not come without risk.
Please read the support crew rules and abide by them for the entire event. Beyond safety and support, these crews are part of the experience and add to the overall fun of the event. Support crews will undoubtedly have as much fun as the athletes, just in a different, yet essential way.
SUPPORT TEAM RULES
ENGLISH REQUIRED - At least one member of each team must speak English so that they can communicate with medical, officials, management, if needed.
CAPTAIN REQUIRED - Each athlete must have a captain. This captain must be listed on the athlete's registration. This captain must also be present with the athlete at both the packet pickup and the pre race briefing.
OTHER SUPPORT MEMBERS - If a team has more than one support team member we would like for all members to be at packet pickup and the briefing but we realize that is not always realistic. Any members beyond the athlete and support captain that cannot make packet pickup and the briefing may sign the support team form/waiver and give it to the athlete or captain to turn in for them in person at packet pickup.
SUPPORT FORMS & WAIVERS - All athletes and support team members (including the captain) must sign all necessary waivers at packet pickup and turn them in to be permitted to race the event.
ATHLETE WITHDRAWAL - If a support team's athlete withdraws from the event at any point before or during the event, a crew member is required to inform the event crew immediately by calling +1 (248) 446-4907. The event crew phone is manned from the pre-event meeting onwards. If there is no answer leave a message and also text the athlete’s name and event number along with event withdrawal notification.
SUPPORT TEAM CARS & WINDSHIELD STICKERS - Only one support team car is allowed per athlete. As we have said you can have the one mandatory Support Team Captain or you can have the captain and an additional 1-3 or more support team members. No matter how many you have they are only allowed to support you from the one allowed support car. That support car MUST have the small support car sticker on the front windshield (bottom right) and the large support car sticker on the back windshield (left bottom corner). All athletes in the car offering support in any way to the athlete must be listed as support for the athlete by the forms/waivers that should have been turned in prior to the event at packet pickup.
GREEN SUPPORT SHIRT - Each athlete will be given only one green support shirt at packet pickup, regardless of how many members are on their support team. If there is more than one member on a team it's up to the athlete and captain to decide who gets what, and when and we recommend ordering a shirt size that fits your biggest support team member so if the shirt is passed around it fits everyone.
During the race the support shirt is to be worn by whatever support team member is going to be helping the athlete through these areas:
Transition (T1) - Pre race - to help with setup and to calm nerves.
Swim Exit - to help athlete out of the water and get them to transition. The swim exit is on an old wood ramp and is somewhat dangerous when their legs and feet aren't working well because of the cold. They will need your help and it's a ways of a walk/run to transition.
Transition (T1) - Swim-to-Bike - to help athlete warmup, change, and prep for bike. This could be quick or it could take a while. Be prepared to do what it takes to warm them up and change them, they will not be as capable as they think.
Transition (T2) - Bike-to-Run - to help athlete change, and prep for the run. Support also is responsible for clearing all athlete belongings out of T2 immediately and putting them in the support car. T2 is temporary for changing and transition not for storage of any kind.
GREEN SUPPORT WRISTBAND - Each athlete will be given only one green support wristband at packet pickup, regardless of how many members are on their support team. We will not put the wristband on anyone at packet pickup because once we put it on it is permanently on them until it's cutoff.
If a support team only consists of one member we recommend putting the wristband on that member immediately since they will certainly be the person running at least the mountain section of the run course with the athlete (mandatory last 10 miles). Since we are allowing more than one support team member and we are allowing support to potentially run the entire run course with their athlete we recommend thinking carefully about the wristband.
This wristband goes to your main support runner. If you have just one this is a moot point. However, if you have two runners (one doing the non mandatory first 16.5 miles and another doing the mandatory last 10 miles) switching a permanently clasped wristband over to another person could prove difficult. For this reason, we recommend, if your support is running both sections and different people are doing it, that you use a safety pin instead of the clasp on the wristband. This will make transferring it much easier. THE WRISTBAND IS ONLY FOR THE MAIN SUPPORT RUNNER.
BIKE SUPPORT ONLY BETWEEN MILES 30-85 - We only allow support for the athletes between miles 30 and 85 on the bike course. In the briefing we will talk more in detail about where specifically this is but the reason is because the first 30 miles are narrow and miles 18-29 have virtually no shoulder with no real areas to safely pull off. Athletes should be more than capable of getting through mile 30 with whatever they take from transition on their bike. After mile 85 there's only 28 miles left which is little enough mileage for athletes to carry what's necessary on them after their last support stop with their team. If support is made to come to T2 after mile 85 (or sooner) it ensures that support will be into the Day Lodge Parking Lot (T2) and ready for their athlete in more than enough time and it also eliminates congestion further up on the course.
Between miles 30-85 support cars are permitted to pull of into the following areas:
Scenic Pull Offs
Small side roads with little no traffic and low speed limits (still park off the road)
BIKE COURSE SUPPORT TEAM CAR RULES
One car per team.
Everyone in the car must be a registered support team member. Anyone that is not is not allowed to offer support to the athlete in any way. Violations will be an automatic time penalty and possible disqualification.
Support vehicles must have small sticker on front and large sticker on back (as described above).
Support vehicles are only permitted to park in areas designed to do so. This is a busy high speed highway. No support vehicle is permitted at any time to park randomly off the shoulder or across the road.
If a support area is full or looks full do not pull in or wait to pull in and backup traffic potentially causing an accident. Go to the next available area.
SUPPORT VEHICLES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO FOLLOW BEHIND ATHLETES ON THE COURSE - Any vehicle that follows an athlete (slow or fast, hazards on or no hazards on) will get their athlete immediately disqualified and may be issued a ticket by Alaska State Troopers. It will not be permitted at any time and EXTREMELY unsafe. Support cars should pass riders, find their predetermined area and park, shut off the vehicle and get out.
Athletes may be offered support from their team in two ways. Both ways are outside of the vehicle. DO NOT OFFER SUPPORT FROM WITHIN A VEHICLE.
Athletes ride by slowly as they grab a bottle and whatever else they needed from their support that's running along side them. No support should ever wait or run on the road or shoulder in the path of cars or riders.
Athletes pull off into the area where their support is, dismount, and take care of business off the bike.
NEVER park on the left side of the highway.
NEVER cross the traffic of the highway.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Alaska is beautiful but sightseeing during the event is not smart and irresponsible. Keep your attention on the road and give cyclists as much room as possible at all times while minding the oncoming traffic.
Whether riding in your vehicle or out of it on foot, BE AWARE of the riders and cars on the course. It is very easy to turn right into a parking lot without looking behind you and hit a cyclist or walk onto the shoulder and have a cyclist hit you. Pay attention!
Athletes and support should use actual restrooms when available in a number of the scenic pull offs. They are not in all of them. Support vehicles should carry toilet paper and athletes should be prepared to go into the woods to relieve themselves if need be. DO NOT LITTER. Plastic bags for later disposal of toilet paper or a quick bury/cover-up of toilet paper is a must to keep Alaska clean and allow us back.
Obey all vehicular traffic laws at all times. This includes speed limits. Just as the athletes have to stop for lights, signs, and pedestrians, so do support crew vehicles. Additionally Alaska State Troopers have made it a point to tell us that in an effort to make sure vehicular traffic does not backup due to our event, on the Seward Highway, they will be issuing tickets to any vehicles not obeying the speed limit on either side (too slow or too fast).
NEVER approach wildlife. This includes stopping to take photos of any along the way, driving slow to do the same, or even seeing how close you can get to anything you may encounter on the course(s).
Be sure your rider is prepared before the event, exiting T1, and throughout the bike course. You never know when a support vehicle may have car trouble, be stuck in traffic, or just not make it to the next stop on time. Every step along the way the athlete and support vehicle should be thinking worst case scenario while hoping for the best. Carry more hydration/nutrition than you think you will need to the next stop. Know how to fix your own tire, tube, derailleurs, brakes, chain, and seat post (most common issues). As support it’s your job to make sure your athlete is self sufficient and this includes carrying limited bike tools and spare kit(s) to fix things for themselves if you’re not lucky enough to be around them when/if something goes wrong.
Athletes are NOT permitted to sit in the support crew vehicle at any time (this pertains to the entire event not just the bike course).
Athletes are NOT permitted to change their bikes or tires unless they are damaged to the point it is not safe or impossible to ride on them.
Overall Summary... do not pull off the road randomly, do not block the course, lookout for others, follow the law, go the speed limit, if the pulloff is full or getting full go to the next one, help others in need as you can, and always maintain visibility or do not stop in that area. Be prepared and ALWAYS pay attention.
RUN COURSE SUPPORT RULES - MILES 0-16.5 - Support is NOT mandatory in this section but it IS permitted. However, if an athlete chooses to run with their support runner for miles 0-16.5 they have to run with them the entire time. This is a no person left behind policy or at least a no person left behind policy until help arrives for that person. Support is NOT permitted to start and stop randomly wherever they want on the course. If they start the run with you that runner must at least make it back to the parking lot (mile 16.5) with you OR be passed off to a volunteer, staff, or race management of some kind before you can continue on your own during the first part of the run.
REMEMBER - Support runners (at any point of the run course) MUST be a registered part of your support team and your main support runner running with you at any time MUST have the green wristband.
RUN COURSE SUPPORT RULES - MILES 16.5-26.2 - During this section, it's mandatory to have at least one support runner. If you had a runner with you for the first 16.5 it can be the same or different runner that does the last 10 miles with you. If it's a different runner don't forget to hand off the green wristband. If you ran the first 16.5 alone then remember you MUST have a support runner with you the last 10 miles.
REMEMBER - All runners that run the course (athlete and support) must have their own mandatory supply pack.
SPECTATOR AREAS, FINISH, POST RACE - Any friends and family spectators may hangout in the Day Lodge Parking Lot Area as long as they like as long as they are not standing in the middle of the road. That area is Bike Finish, T2, Run Start, Mile 16.5 Mountain Checkin, and the finish. It's a great place to be. We also suggest that if spectators want to view runners a couple times in a different more scenic area they take the tram at Alyeska Resort to the top of the mountain. It's $29 for a day pass but worth the money. Once at the top spectators will be able to cheer on their athletes when they summit the front face at about 20-miles and again when they submit the other side, North Face, at 24-Miles. WARNING Spectators cheering on their athlete at mile 24 will likely not make it down the mountain in time to see them finish. At the finish we will have food and drink to replenish athletes and support but it's not enough for spectators. It's also not a full meal. If athletes, support, and spectators are looking for a meal we suggest they checkout the grill at the Day Lodge as well as the other restaurants in Girdwood and at the Resort on the second floor.