XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon Series is coming to Ionia with an inaugural even in 2014.
Here is the brief overview …
Date: July 27th, 2014 – Sunday
Location: Sessions Lake 2880 W. David Highway, Ionia, Michigan. (State Recreation Area) 140 acre man- made lake with depths up to 60 feet. Sessions is a no wake lake nestled in the Ionia State Recreation Area. Facilities include large brick pavilion, restrooms, vending area, 320 parking spaces.
Swim (1/2 Mile): Counter clockwise swim starting on the beach. Large beach provides plenty of space for athletes without being crowded. Large swim buoys at each corner along with smaller buoys guiding the way. This is a one loop swim Sessions Lake provides plenty of swimming space with only two cabins located on the lake. No housing on shoreline, no wake zone eliminates speed boats and wave runners. Canoes, Kayaks, motor boats and DNR officer will monitor swimmers.
T1/T2 and Bike (10 Miles): Transition to be located just off the large side walk from the beach onto the parking lot. Plenty of room for transition area, plenty of spectator green space to watch triathletes. From transition riders will proceed out to the well-established Ionia Recreation MTB trails. The wide & wooded .7 mile entry onto the MTB trail leads directly to 5 plus miles of pure single track traversing the state rec area. Along the back side of the MTB trails lies the Fred Meijer Grand River Valley Rail Trail. The newly constructed rail trail provides the added trail space to accomplish the 10 mile event. The rail trail consist of lime stone base provides riders with three cool bridges that go over rivers along the course. A combination of both single track and rail trail will provide two distinct riding surfaces for athletes.
T3/T4 and Run (5K): Riders will return to transition zone then head out to the 3.1 mile trail run. Run will follow the same route as the bikes for the first .7 miles. This section of trail easily provides enough room for both returning bikes and runners leaving transition. Run a small ¼ mile section of pavement on Riverside dr. to ensure riders and runners don’t conflict with each other. The small length of tar will be monitored by county Sheriff and volunteers to ensure riders and runner safety. Runners will leave short tar area entering MTB staging area/park and entering another pure single track section of the rec area. The single track section will lead directly back to Sessions Lake without using the tar road.
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