Golden Gate Triathlon Course Details

Before we cover the course info, please note the following:

If you are participating in the Golden Gate Triathlon then knowing the course is 100% your responsibility. So make sure you familiarize yourself with the course and ask any questions you have before the event. Courses will be marked well, and we will do our part to make sure you know where to go. However, ultimately it is YOUR responsibility to know the course. If you ask anyone other than race officials, (volunteers are NOT considered race officials) and they point you the wrong way, it is STILL your responsibility if you end up going the wrong way. Those are USAT rules, and this is a USAT Sanctioned Race, so again, do your part and know the course and take a close look at the course maps.

SWIM: Olympic – .90 Miles | Sprint .45 Miles

The swim will start and finish at East Chrissy Field Beach. The swim is a rectangular course, with one loop for the Sprint and two loops for the Olympic distance. Impact from the tide has been taken into account, so the return leg for both courses is close enough to the shore that athletes can stand and wade through the water to return should  it become necessary.  Athletes electing to stand and wade MUST stay in water deep enough that is higher than their knees and lower than their waist.  This is not the perfect solution, obviously, however the tide can be a formidable force, and the safety of you all is our first and foremost concern.  The solution presented here complies with USAT rules, and will allow you to stay a safe distance from the shore and swim with the tide for most of the course.  Note that Olympic distance swimmers will NOT exit the water before starting their second lap.  You can find a map of the swim courses here:

The Olympic event will start at 7:30 am with waves following every 5 minutes as needed, and the Sprint Race will start at 7:45 am with waves following every 5 minutes as needed.  Kayaks and boats will prevent athletes from straying off course. If you feel tired or need help at any point during the swim it’s fine to hold onto a kayak. As long as the kayak does not forward your position on the course it is within the rules to continue when you are ready. If you need assistance out of the water the boaters will also help you back to shore. Expect chilly waters, somewhere in the mid 50’s so wetsuits are highly recommended.

The following information is provided for San Francisco, San Francisco County, California (longitude W122.4, latitude N37.8) for Sunday 9th June 2013 Pacific Daylight Time Sunrise Information:  Begin civil twilight 5:47 a.m, and full Sunrise at 6:19 a.m.

Given the influence of the tide in the bay, we reserve the right to adjust the start times of the swim.  Right now it looks like we may want to start around 7:30 am, so please stay tuned for announcements regarding start times.  For information on the tides, please see the San Francisco Area Tide Table.

Swim to Bike Transition (T1):

The course has two transition areas. The swim to bike transition area will be at East Chrissy Field.  For a larger view of the image map of the transition area please click on the image.  At the end of the race you will have the opportunity to go back to T1 (the swim to bike transition) area to pick up any wetsuits or personal items left in this transition area.

BIKE: 25.82 Miles Olympic | 13.55 Miles Sprint:

Once you have mounted your bike you will ride out to Mason St. and head west until you pass the bike to run and finish transition area on your right. After passing this area you will ride west approximately 1/4 mile and make a sharp left onto Long. At the top of Long you will go right onto Lincoln proceed to Bowley and veer right. When Bowley merges into Lincoln you will make a sharp left and head back up.

Remain on Lincoln all the way back to Long, turn left onto Long and continue down to the bottom of Long where you will turn onto Hamilton St. and proceed to the small turn around right before Hamilton St. turns into Mason St. There you will turn around until you have finished the required number of laps (3 for Sprint & 6 for Olympic). DO NOT GO BACK INTO THE TRANSITION AREA until you have completed your required loops (Olympic- 6 / Sprint – 3). Once you have completed your required loops (Olympic – 6 / Sprint – 3) you will dismount off your bike and proceed to Transition Area.

Please take a close look at both bike maps. Make sure to zoom in as well as look at the elevation on both maps for detailed course information:

Run to Bike Transition (T2):

After finishing your required bike loops (Olympic – 6 Loops / Sprint – 3 Loops), you dismount your bike at the T2 transition area, run your bike to the transition bike rack, put on your running gear, and…RUUUN!  The run course will be marked with cones, directional arrows and other signs.

For a larger view of the image map of the transition area please click on the image.

RUN: Olympic – 6.17 Miles | Sprint – 3.1 Miles

Exiting out of Transition Area, athletes will begin their out and back runs by heading toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Just past the Warming Hut athletes will be guided left onto a trail (steep stairs initially). The trail will be marked by flags and volunteers all the way to the bridge. Make sure to check the run course maps to know what side of the bridge the run will be on. Typically foot traffic is on the east side of the bridge, but often times construction, maintenance, or other unforeseen circumstances require us to change sides.  Should there be a change we will make sure to notify all of you as soon as we know of it.

  • Sprint Distance athletes will run past the half-way point of the bridge to a manned turn-around point 1.55 miles into the run.
  • Olympic Distance athletes will run all the way over the Bridge and be guided down another 1/2 mile of path to their turn-around point approximately 3 miles into the run.

Both turn-around points will be monitored by volunteers writing down the numbers of the athletes. Make sure to yell your number as you turn around so that they don’t miss you.

Please take a close look at both bike maps. Make sure to zoom in as well as look at the elevation on both maps for detailed course information:

Aid Station Information:

There will be five aid stations on the course.  They will be supplied with both Hammer Heed Drink and Hammer Gel, and Bananas.  The aid stations will be located at the following areas:

  • Transition Area 1
  • Transition Area 2
  • Turn Around Point for Bike Lap
  • Just Before the Bridge Entrance for the Run
  • At the Olympic Turn Around Point for the Run

Reminders For the Swim:

The Sprint Swim is one lap around the swim course. See map link below.

  • Olympic Swim is two laps around the swim course.  See map link below.
  • If you are having difficulty at any point in the swim raise your hand and ask for help. Feel free to hold onto one of the Kayaks or boats and then either continue the event or ask for assistance and be removed from the water.
  • Note that the swim course is always subject to modifications based on tide impact as well as to increase overall safety and ability to monitor the swimmers.

 Golden Gate Triathlon Swim Course Map

For Biking Remember:

  • Olympic Bike – 6 loops (25.82 miles)
  • Sprint Bike – 3 loops (13.55 miles)

The course map for the first lap of the bike course can be found here. The course map for all remaining loops is the same and can be found here.

For the Run Remember:

  • The run is an out and back.
  • The Sprint Distance turn-around is marked on the Bridge. The Sprint Run course can be found here and is 3.11 miles.
  • The Olympic Distance turn-around is right on the other side of the bridge. The Olympic Run Course can be found here and is 6.22 miles long.

There will be five (5) aid stations-all will have Water, Heed drink some type of nutrition:

  • Swim To Bike Station # 1: At the exit of Transition Area 1.
  • Bike Aid Station # 1: The transition area.
  • Bike Aid Station # 2: Bowley St. & Lincoln Blvd. Intersection
  • Run Aid Station #1: Just before Bridge entrance.
  • Run Aid Station #2: At Olympic Turn-Around (3 miles away).

IMPORTANT NOTE: There will be no other aid stations on the run. The Golden Gate Bridge will not permit it. We will have bottle water available at aid station #2. This is to allow you to keep the water with you while on the Bridge. YOU MUST HOLD ONTO YOUR WATER BOTTLE – DO NOT discard ANY trash on the Bridge. Any trash you have, please hang on to it until you return to aid station #2 (where you entered onto the Bridge). Failure to do so will impede our ability to continue producing this race for all of you.