Grand Columbian Super Tri Course Details

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

If you are participating in the Grand Columbian Super Tri 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 & USATF rules, and these are USAT and USATF Sanctioned Races, so again, do your part and know the course and take a close look at the course maps.

General Info:

As for the last few years, the Grand Columbian events will start out of the Spring Canyon Campground. Late registration, packet pickup will also be at the Spring Canyon Campground. Awards, post race food will take place at the Main Event Area or Visitor’s Center Park just below the Grand Coulee Dam. For directions to the park click here.

Make sure you check out the interactive map links! They have a lot of detailed information on course maps. Also, when reviewing the maps make sure to click on the “Notes” option in the top right hand corner for turn by turn directions and street name details.

Grant Columbian Triathlon Transition Area Info:

T1 Bike Transition Area Details Map

The Grand Columbian is a two transition area race.  The first transition, swim to bike, is in Spring Canyon Campground, and the second transition area is at the Lover Vac Park ( the park immediately below the Grand Coulee Dam ).  You will want to make sure you understand how a two transition race flows, and where you need to have what portion of your equipment.  Please study all the information below carefully, so you are aware of where you need to be when.  Also make sure to carefully review the “Event Details” tab, as it provides instructions on how to take the shuttle to the start area the morning of the race, as well as other vital instructions.

T2 Transition & Finish Area Details Map

T1 is where you will place all your equipment to transition from the swim to the bike portion of the event ( bike, wetsuit, etc… ).

T2 is where you will rack your bike when you are done biking and where your running gear should be.  T2 is also where you will finish the race.  Since we are providing shuttles the morning of the race to the swim start you will want to park close to T2, since this will allow you to leave when you are ready to head out without having to wait to go back to T1.

Note: Click on the images for a larger view of the static maps.

Grand Columbian Triathlon Swim Course Info:

Swim Start & Warm Up Area

The Grand Columbian Triathlon swim course is designed to provide a course that works for all the distances offered at the triathlon, provides the best experience while maintaining a high level of safety and security for the swimmers.  The following notes and images describe the courses, and the links below offer an interactive online map that you can use to zoom in and find out more at a high level of detail.

The swim start is to the west ( left ) of the boat ramps in Spring Canyon Campground.  Participants wishing to warm up for the swim can do so in the area marked on the swim start map shown here.

The swim course is a triangle shape that everyone swims around in a clockwise direction.  That means that at all times of the swim the buoys should be in your right side.  The actual route for each swim distance is described in more detail here:

  • Overhead Shot of Layout for Swim Course

    The Ultra (Iron) swim course is 3.8 kilometers around the swim course. Swimmers will do two laps of the full course before they finish. Each full lap is 1.18 miles, and swimmers will exit the water and go over a timing mat for each lap before entering the water to continue! For details on direction to swim, where to turn, etc… please see the below image:

  • The Long (Half Iron) swim course is 1.9 kilometers around the swim course. Each full lap is 1.18 miles, and swimmers will exit the water after doing one full lap! For details on direction to swim, where to turn, etc… please see the below image:
  • The Olympic swim course is one lap (1500 meters) around the smaller swim course. Please make sure you know the difference between the Long and Olympic course! Swimmers will swim the course until they get to the buoy marked by “O” on the image below. Once they get to this buoy they will swim following the red line to the big yellow mark on the image below, and then swim to the finish. For details on direction to swim, where to turn, etc… please see the image to the left.
Note: Click on the images above for a larger view of the static maps.

The following link provides a detailed interactive map for the swim courses.  Make sure to zoom in and take advantage of being able to look at a higher level of detail.  You may want to change the type of view you get to see under the “Map Options” at the top left.  The satellite view offers an actual satellite image of the lake with the course layout over it:

NOTE: If you are having difficulty at any point durinig 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.  As long as you are not moved forward by anything other than yourself you can always continue the swim.  If you are propelled forward by anything other than your own efforts you will be disqualified from the event.  You can elect to finish the event however your time will not count towards the final results.

Grand Columbian Triathlon Bike Course Info:

The Grand Columbian Triathlon bike courses all start at Spring Canyon Campground.  The courses are hilly and offer extensive elevation changes depending on what distance course you are doing.  These are challenging and also very rewarding courses!  The views are spectacular in many cases, and there are as many fast downhill sections as there are uphill sections.  You will not be disappointed after finishing these courses and will remember them for the great accomplishment they are!  As a reminder, the distances for each bike course are as follows:

    • The Ultra (Iron) bike course is 180 kilometers / 112.23 Miles.
    • The Long (Half) bike course is 90 kilometers / 56.28 Miles.
    • The Olympic bike course is 45 kilometers / 26.92 Miles.

For a detailed overview of the bike course, please review the Interactive Maps of the Grand Columbian Bike Routes by clicking the links below.  Details of various sections of the bike course and other areas are available in the Grand Columbian Spring Canyon Bike Course maps below:

Grand Columbian Triathlon Run Course Info:

The Grand Columbian Triathlon run courses all start at the Lower Vac Park immediately below the Grand Coulee Dam.  The courses mostly flat with the exception of the section where you drop down and back up from the road to the river trail.  The trail was chosen because it offers both a secure traffic free area as well as a cooler course close to the river.  Asphalt can get pretty hot and reflect that heat back up towards you as you run on a hot day.  We want you all to be safe, and not overheat, so we chose this beautiful trail for you.  For those of you that will be out past sunset, flashlights will be provided.  Aid stations will be provided every 1.5 miles.  The Ultra (Iron) is 2 laps. Ultra (Iron), Long (Half) and Olympic distance turnarounds will be marked and there will be an aid station at each turn around. Please make sure you READ the signs for YOUR respective turn around. If you cut the run course short, unintentionally or intentionally I will have to DISQUALIFY your results. Out of all the things I get to do as a Race Director, this is my least favorite thing to do. Please don’t make me do so!  You will not be disappointed after finishing these courses and will remember them for the great accomplishment they are!  As a reminder, the distances for each run course are as follows:

  • The Ultra (Iron) Run course is 40 kilometers | 26.2 Miles. ( Two laps of 13.1 Miles )
  • The Long (Half) Run course is 21.1 kilometers | 13.1 Miles.
  • The Olympic Run course is 10 kilometers | 6.2 Miles.
  • The First Run for the Duathlon is 5 kilometers | 3.1 Miles

For a detailed overview of the run courses, please review the Interactive Maps of the Grand Columbian Run Routes by clicking the links below:

Hammer Aid Station & Special Needs Bag Info:

For the Runs there will be aid stations approximately every 1.5 miles. The bike courses will have strategically placed aid stations as well. The Half and Ultra will have your Special Needs bags at approximately the half way mark for both the Run and Bike. For more info on the Special Needs area click the Almira Aid Station PDF Overview by Clicking Here.  You will receive a bag for each at Packet Pick-Up. The course maps earlier on this page have the aid stations marked if you’d like to review them. All aid stations will have Water, Hammer HeedTM and flat cola in case you need it. They will also have Hammer gels, bagels, pretzels, bananas and candy/energy bars. In addition, the Run aid stations will have Cool Wet Sponges , Hot Chicken Soup (T2 area Aid Station only) and emergency heat shield blankets for the Ultra (Iron) Distance athletes.

All aid stations will have radio support to call out for help or report any problems. Run aid stations will carry reflectors, flashers, and or flash lights should it get dark while you are running. Run aid stations will also be equipped with lighting, have at minimum a first aid kit and reflective heat blankets. Be safe, use whatever you need!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do not discard any trash other than at aid stations. If you have bottles, packaging, or any other containers or trash of any kind you wish to throw away YOU MUST HOLD ONTO THEM UNTIL YOU GET TO THE NEXT AID STATION! We will also provide strategically placed catch bins for trash after each aid station where you can toss your trash without having to stop. The local community, parks and state are kind enough to let us use their roads and trails, so be kind enough and protect them! If you throw things away at aid stations then we can pack out what we pack in. Failure to do so will impede our ability to continue producing this race for all of you.

Post Race IV Reminder:

For all Iron and Super distances (Aquathlon included) athletes may optionally purchase an 1000 ml IV during registration for $35 that guarantees them accelerated post race hydration and accelerated recovery. The purchase will assure you a no hassle IV that will set you on course for a quick recovery. We will have medical staff waiting at the finish line to administer them.