Start Waves FAQ's
1. Do you have an Elite competition group for the sprint triathlon? If so, what do I have to do to qualify for this start wave? How does that work for awards?
YES. We have two elite start waves, one for men and one for women. These are "self selected" start waves only, and are a separate OVERALL RACE competition group. The purpose of our elite start waves is to get the more experienced and faster triathletes out in front of the main field so that these folks don't have to move around slower athletes. It's safer this way and people don't get so grouchy. You do not have to qualify or provide comps to start in the elite wave. We do ask that you honestly consider the following criteria to determine if you should select to start in these waves:
- SWIM 400 yds - 6 minutes or faster - at least 1 minute, 30 second pace/100yds
- BIKE 15 miles - 40 minutes or faster - at least averaging 20 mph
- RUN 3.1 miles - 20 minutes or faster - at least 6 min 25 second pace/mile
If you think you might not be able to keep this pace, please stick with your age/gender group, or select the Friends & Family wave. Remember, we're trying to make things as safe as possible. You don't want to be a speed bump for faster competitors. You do NOT need to register for the elite start wave in advance; you can make this selection on race day. You do NOT need a special swim cap color; wear the swim cap you are given in your race packet. Your timing chip will activate when you check in at the swim start. It is your responsibility to let the Swim Captain know you are moving up to the Elite Level Group. IF you select to race in the Elite Group you are racing for the OVERALL RACE WIN only and you are not eligible for any age group awards. Bring your "A" game!
2. My daughter and I have both registered for the sprint triathlon. She is 16 and I'm 43. Is there a way we can race together?
Yes! The Friends & Family start waves are designed to allow participants of different genders, ages, and abilities to compete at the same time. You do NOT need to sign up for these waves in advance and will NOT need a special color swim cap. Wear the cap you are given in your race packet. The Friends & Family waves are started after the last age/gender group wave. Simply wait out the start of your age/gender wave and listen for the call for the Friends & Family wave. We will start the first 50 to 60 individuals that enter the start gate and will have as many Friends & Family waves as needed to meet participant's needs.
3. I registered for my gender/age group, but I'd like to start in the elite wave (or the Friends & Family wave). Can you change my registration?
There's no need to change the registration or get a different color swim cap. You can make this decision on race day. When the elite waves (wave 1 and 2) or Friends & Family wave (final wave) is called, simply move to the start chute. You will step over a timing mat as you enter the start chute. This allows us to accurately track your results, regardless of the wave in which you select to start.
4. Are there competition groups and/or start waves for Athena and Clydesdale athletes?
No. We've had these competition groups in previous years but dropped them as participants have told us that for our race, they prefer the age group competition and are comfortable starting in the age/gender wave or the other self select waves.
5. How many people are in each start wave?
Wave numbers are approximate and are assigned to facilitate timing and ensure accuracy and safety. We cap our wave size at about 70, although some groups will be smaller. After registration for the Sprint Triathlon closes, we will finalize the Start Waves. The Start Wave Schedule will be updated on the "Day of Event" section of our website and will be posted at packet pickup and the race site.
6. How many minutes between waves?
There is approximately 3 minutes between each wave.
7. Is there a way I can determine which wave I'm in and the start time?
We create the start waves by grouping participants by age and gender, with some extra groups for "elites" and for those who want to race with their family and friends. (See the first couple of questions in this section of the FAQ.) For larger age groups, there are multiple waves. Some smaller age groups are combined into a single wave. Once we finalize the Start Waves, you can view the chart under the "Day of Event" section of our website. We make final updates to this chart the week before the event once we have final registration numbers.
8. Do different start waves get different colored caps? What if I accidentally get the wrong color cap for my assigned start wave?
We assign cap colors based on the age/gender waves - that's the swim color you'll get in your race packet. On race day, if you elect to start in either the Elite or Friends & Family waves, you'll still wear the swim cap you were originally assigned. These waves will have a mix of cap colors. The age/gender waves will have the same cap colors. If you do get a different cap color from others in your age/gender wave, it's okay. We apologize, but sometimes administrative /packet-stuffing errors occur. Please don't change your start wave to match your cap color. Your cap color will not affect your start wave or your timing results. We do, however, need you to wear the swim cap you receive in your race packet as it makes you easier to spot in the water and helps us keep you safe.