The Great River Challenge is a sanctioned USAT (USA Triathlon) event in the non-traditional category, being a Paddle, Run and Bike event. The sanctioning covers the safety of the event as well; making sure your experience is fun, challenging and safe! The timing is run by Fast Track Timing, who use timing chips to ensure accurate segment and transition times so you can have record of every stage of the race.
5 mile race up and back on the Connecticut River starting at the Pavilion near the Northfield Mountain Center. The river flow is somewhat variable, but the river is very wide and free of obstacles, so the course will be easy to navigate. The start of the race will be on the water as a group, self-seeding your selves. You will head north, up river, about 2 miles to Captain Kidd’s Island, where you will round it counter clockwise and head back towards the start. When heading back down river, please observe the rules of navigation by keep to the right of upstream racers. There will be some buoys along the course to delineate the up and down stream lanes, and you should stay to the right of them. Near the start line, you will pull into 4 Mile Brook for your transition. You will see buoys and signs to enter the brook and you will carry your boat up the incline towards the dirt road.
From Four Mile Brook, you will bring your boat up the ramp and volunteers will shuttle your boat away and you will run to your right into the transition zone across the timing pad. A special corral will be set up in this area for relay team members to continue on as well. You will leave on the Southern end of the transition zone on to the run leg.
The Running leg will be a 4 mile course (700ft of climbing) of mixed road and trails starting at the river and heading to the Northfield Mountain Recreational Center. From the river, the run will take you about 0.5miles from the old Ferry Crossing up along Ferry Rd, across Rt 63 to the Recreational Center. At this point, you will enter the trail system where the remainder of the course will be on packed gravel trails and single track hiking trails. The climb will start out gradual and rolling, then becoming steeper towards the middle with 2 significant climbs. The last third of the course will be predominantly downhill towards the transition center at the Recreation Center.
You will enter the transition area by crossing over the mat and find your bike on the bike racks, or for relay teams, you will find your teammate in the corral and then they will then head to the rack to find their bike. From there you will run your bike across the exit mat and head out onto the Mountain Bike Course.
The Bike leg will be about 7 miles (800ft of climbing), consisting of mixed hard-pack wide trails and single track. At the start of the bike, you will head out directly on the trails of the Recreation Center starting your first climb. The trail will level out to some rolling hills on fast trails and then entering the woods again on some steeper single track trails. Continuing up the mountain, you will reenter the hard pack trail to finish the climb on single track near the top of the mountain. At the top, there will be a significant descent mostly on hard pack double lane skiing trails. For the last third of the loop, you will be on rolling flats in and out of single track trails and fields. Back at the Recreation Center, you will stay to the left of the parking lots and you will head around the pond near the Yurt towards the transition area. The course will steer to the right up a short hill to the finish line above the fields.