See the course info page for answers to all of the basic questions about the event (who, what, where, when, how, why, etc.).

Below you’ll find a collection of tips to help you as a participant, spectator, volunteer, or parent. Participants are strongly encouraged to read through the FAQ! If you have other questions not answered here or on the home page, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!

Registration Questions

Question: When does online registration close?

Online registration closes on Wednesday evening before race day at 11:59pm PDT. If you missed it, see next question!

Question: Will there be race-day registration?

A limited number of slots available at packet pickup on the Saturday before the race (see next FAQ item). If the race hasn’t sold out during online registration and at packet pickup, walk-in registrations may be available on race day. Heat assignments for walk-in registrants will be based on available space. The earlier heats fill up soon, so be sure to sign up early to guarantee a spot.

Best advice: register online before it closes!

Questions: When will I get my registration materials? Is there a packet pickup? Do I need to sign a physical waiver? 

Registration packets can be picked up on Saturday the day before race day at Roadrunner Sports in Berkeley between 1-4pm. This is strongly recommended as it will ease congestion at the registration table on race day. Bring a photo ID. To authorize someone else to pick up your packet for you, give them your photo ID or a picture of it.

Race day packet pickup will be available for pre-registered athletes at the registration table starting at 6:45am.

Waivers: Team members (or their parental guardians) will be asked to sign a physical waiver, which will be available at packet pickup on Saturday as well as on Sunday. If you need race-day packet pick up, proceed to the waiver signing table to do that before going to the registration table. Non-team participants and team captains that signed up online do NOT need to sign a waiver as they (or their parent/guardian) signed it electronically during online registration.

Timing chips will be distributed at packet pickup on Saturday or on race day for those who didn’t attend packet pickup. Please confirm the chip is in your packet.  YOU are responsible for bringing it with you on race day morning. Keep it with all your racing gear so you don’t forget to bring it. Otherwise, you will not be timed or listed in the results. The timing chip is expensive. You will be charged $60.00 if the chip is not returned. If you do not plan on participating but want to pick up your swag bag on Saturday, please remove the chip from the packet and give to a race organizer. Thanks!

Question: How can I verify whether or not I signed up already this year?

To confirm your registration, visit the “Find a Participant” tab on our TriSignUp.com registration website (that link is for the 2022 race). You can get to our main TriSignUp page from our registration page. Log into TriSignUp using the same email you used for registration.

If you have NOT yet registered this year but would like to participate, there will be some slots available at packet pickup on Saturday or on race day morning at the event. Get there early to ensure an entry and allow extra time to sign up!

Question:  For YOUTH relay team registration, can I register kids who are not my own?

The registering parent of a youth team must get permission from a parent or guardian of each of the other youth team members who are not their own children.

Then on the registration web form when you select, “You are this person’s parent or legal guardian,” you are doing so on behalf of each child’s parent/guardian.

On the initial registration page that lists all the participants for the team you are registering, unselect yourself as a registrant and be sure all the kids on the team are selected as registrants.

Swim Questions

Question: How should we enter and exit the Aquatic Center to access the pool?

Everyone must enter the pool through the front doors of the Aquatic Center. Proceed to the outdoor pool by walking through the main Aquatic Center hallway. The indoor pool will be designated for warming up — note that it is ~85ºF compared to the outdoor pool’s ~80ºF. Unlike previous years, there will NOT be a designated warm up lane in the outdoor pool — all lanes of the outdoor pool will be designated for competition, though you are free to warm up in the outdoor pool before your heat in any open lane after the previous heat exits the pool.

Plan to arrive at the outdoor pool on the Western deck (by the diving boards) no later than 5 minutes before  your heat is slated to start. There may not be an announcer in the indoor pool announcing upcoming heats, so pay attention to the time. Lanes are available on a first come, first served basis (no lane assignments). You are free to do some warm-up laps in your lane of the outdoor pool before your heat starts. All swimmers will start in the water, with at least one hand on the wall, when the starting buzzer sounds — no dive starts.

Upon completing the swim, athletes will exit the pool deck by proceeding up the left or right side ramp through the gate leading to the basketball court area. There will be a timing mat just outside the gate over which you must cross in order for your swim time to be recorded. Follow the signs and cones leading you to the transition area. You may walk, jog, or run safely as you see fit. Distance to the transition area entrance from the pool: approx. 75 yards.

Do not enter the pool from the outer gate by the basketball court because it will mess up your chip timing data!

Question: What if I can’t finish the swim in the 15 minutes allotted for each swim heat?

There’s no penalty for not completing the swim distance. If you haven’t completed the swim within the alotted time, you’ll simply be asked to exit the pool and proceed to your bike. A volunteer will tap you at the East wall of the pool to let you know it’s time to exit.

You’ll actually have closer to ~14 minutes to swim since we need time to prep for the next heat. The vast majority of people will complete the swim well within that time.

Question: Will someone be there to count my swim laps?

We hope to have adequate volunteers to provide lap counting for each swimmer, but there are no guarantees. Therefore, be prepared to count your own laps. You’ll see the numbered lap counter poles at the East end of your lane indicating lap 1, 3, 5, 7, etc. When the counter shows red (see example in that link), that means you have 2 lengths (50 yds) to go. Gun it!

The swim is 17 lengths (25 yds) of the pool, or 8.5 down-and-backs (50 yds) for a total of 425 yds (approx. 400m). If there is no lane counter and you need to keep track of your swim laps, here are some tips:

  • Break up the swim into 100 yard increments.
  • Every 4th length, think “100”, “200”, “300”, “400”.
  • Do something special every 4th length such as sight on the diving board to simulate an open water swim, build your pace, or switch your swim stroke.
  • There is a digital clock mounted on the South wall of the pool deck. Note the clock time when your heat starts and then estimate the clock time at your half-way point (~200 yds) and finish.
    • To do this, you’ll need to know your expected time per 50 or 100 yds.

Question: Are we allowed to bring anything into the pool area – towel, flipflops, etc?

Only bring to the pool what you plan to swim with (suit, cap, goggles, ear plugs, nose plug). Keep anything else that you’re not swimming with in the transition area by your bike. It’s a very short distance from pool to transition with smooth concrete and grass surfaces, so no need for shoes/flip flops. If you need a towel, best to leave it in your transition area and dry off when you get there.

You must bring all your swim gear back to your transition area. Don’t leave your goggles, cap etc. at the pool deck (unless you want to make a donation to lost & found).

Question: Can I stop and hold onto the wall during the swim?

Yes. Feel free to stop and rest during the swim as much as you need to while remaining in your lane. There’s no penalty for not completing the distance if you can’t finish it within about 14 minutes. At that time, you will be asked to exit the pool regardless of whether you completed the distance. If you need medical assistance at any time, get to a wall or grab a lane line and raise your hand to catch the attention of a volunteer or lifeguard.

If you need help exiting the pool, you may obtain assistance from a volunteer, or you may proceed along the wall to either the stairs at the shallow end of the pool or to an exit ladder in the deep end. Be careful to not bump into any swimmers when crossing lanes to get to an exit.

Also note that you are permitted to push off the wall at each turn. This means 17 pushes for the full distance (425y ~400m). Take advantage of that!

Question: Can I wear a snorkel during the swim portion of the AlbanyTri? What about other swimming devices?

Snorkels are permitted at the AlbanyTri, since the USAT rulebook does not specifically ban them. Generally, snorkels are rarely seen in triathlons since they are not practical in open water events. Other organizations or races do ban them. See this article for a good run-down.

Kickboards are also permitted — if you feel you need one during the swim. These are available in the equipment area near the entrance to the outdoor pool. Use the pool’s ample supply rather than bringing your own. If you do use a kickboard, you must return it to the supply bin at the end of your swim.

No flippers, paddles, pull buoys, rubber duckies or other devices are permitted during the swim (though feel free to train with them to your heart’s content!).

Wetsuits are permitted at the AlbanyTri because the water temp is below 84°F (the outdoor pool is ~80°F). However, unless you have a circulation problem or just want to practice swimming with one, wearing a wetsuit is discouraged as you may overheat (especially if it’s a warm day). Also, a wetsuit will slow down your transition to the bike — which is more of a factor for a super sprint.

Question: What swimming stroke can I use during the swim?

As with any triathlon, you are free to use any stroke you want during the swim leg of the race. Most triathletes will use the front crawl (a.k.a. ‘freestyle‘) as it is the most efficient and usually the fastest for most swimmers.

Strokes that involve a wider arm or leg motion such as butterfly, breast, or side stroke are fine, but be sure to stay in your half of the split lane so that you avoid kicking or hitting the swimmer with whom you are sharing a lane. To be safe, you super-wide, long-legged kickers can briefly pause or alter your stroke when passing by the adjacent swimmer, especially if they also have a wide kick or arm span.

Regardless of what stroke you use: unintentional drifting happens especially with inexperienced swimmers, of which there are many at the AlbanyTri. So it’s wise for both swimmers sharing a lane to keep an eye out for each other to minimize any unintended contact (just like you do when training, right?).

Bike Questions

Question: Should I ride on the right or left or middle of the street?

Bike on the RIGHT. Pass on the LEFT. Stay on the right side of the street and pass slower cyclists only on their left, shouting “ON YOUR LEFT!” as you approach. Never pass on the right side of a slower cyclist! A bell can also help make the cyclist ahead of you aware of your presence when passing. Biking in the center or left side of the road just prior to entering a turn is fine (and actually recommended), but stay aware of cyclists around you when heading into a corner.

No drafting. Do not ride immediately behind another cyclist in their draft zone. Official USAT rules are to keep a minimum of three bike lengths behind the rider in front of you and three feet from a rider to the side of you. When passing, you have 15 seconds to pass through that zone.

Watch for spectators. Memorial Park will remain open to the public during this event, so be on the lookout for wayward bystanders, spectators, park goers, dogs, toddlers, and runners who may enter the street without looking.

Be careful near the mount/dismount zones. Watch for bikers entering and exiting the course near the mount and dismount zones (halfway down Portland Ave.). Continuing cyclists keep to the left and when finishing your final (12th) lap, slow way down and move to the right side of the road when approaching the dismount zone.

Question: Any tips for counting my laps on the bike course?

The bike course involves twelve (12) complete laps in a clockwise direction circling the block around the Aquatic Center, High School, and Memorial Park. One of the most challenging parts of the AlbanyTri course is keeping track of your laps on the bike. You are responsible for keeping track of your bike lap count, since there is no chip-based lap counter on the course.

The seemingly simple task of keeping track of your lap count can be quite mentally taxing during the event and it’s easy to loose track of your lap count. So stay attentive and consider these suggestions to help you count your bike laps:

  • Yell out the number of your current lap as you round every corner of the square route.
    • This serves as a repeated, audible reminder to yourself.
    • Pro tip: Count your bike lap number in a different language to make it more interesting!
  • Before the race, place twelve post-it flags on your bike frame (one for each lap).
    • Pull a tab as you complete each lap.
    • Don’t litter! Put the spent the stickers on in a pocket or in/on your bike shorts.
  • If you’re wearing a watch, time yourself for your first one or two laps and use that to estimate your total time for all 12. If you watch has a lap counter, you can also use that to track your current lap.
  • If you have a GPS device on your bike or watch or an odometer, use that to track your distance traveled. Total bike distance should be between 6.2 – 6.5 miles after 12 laps, depending how wide you take the corners and the accuracy of your device.
  • Enlist the help of a friend, family member, or spectator to yell out your current lap number as you zoom by. But remember you are ultimately responsible if they miscount!
  • If you have a cycle computer on your bike, remember to set the mileage to zero while you are  setting up in the transition area.  Each lap is approximately 0.52 miles.

Question: Do I get a bike or bring my own?

Definitely bring your own bike, take it out on some test rides before the event, and have a knowledgeable bike mechanic inspect it to ensure it’s good to go on race day!

A bike mechanic may be available in the transition area on race day to help with last minute minor repairs and adjustments if you need help.

There is no mandatory pre-race bike check.

Question: Do I need to wear a helmet?

Cyclists are required to wear a helmet that complies with USCPSC Safety Standards for bicycle helmets.

Question: Will my bike be safe sitting there in the transition area?

Yes. No need to bring a bike lock, but you can if you want for use after the race. We will have burly volunteers whose sole job is to verify that only registered athletes are in the transition areas. At check-in you will receive two (2) wrist bands marked with your race number and heat number. Put one of these on your wrist (right arm) and the other on the top tube of your bike. At the end of the race when leaving with your bike, the security volunteers will check that your wrist band matches your bike band, so nobody leaves with the wrong bike!

Question: Can I use an electric bike or pedal-assist bicycle?

While recognizing that e-bikes are becoming increasingly popular and can be quite fun to ride, only fully human powered bicycles are allowed on the AlbanyTri course! 🚴‍♂️

Run Questions

Question: Can I run in the street?

For most of the course, stay on the sidewalk or grass just inside the street to avoid colliding with bikers. Along Carmel Ave. and Thousand Oaks, where the sidewalk is either non-existent or very rough, you are permitted to run in the street near the edge of the road. Cones and barriers will be set up to separate runners from bikers in the street, but stay heads-up alert for oncoming cyclists if you choose to run in the street on those sections of the course.

Also avoid running through the middle of Memorial park itself since the park is open to the general public during the race.

See the course maps.

Question: Will anyone be counting my running laps?

No. As on the bike course, you must count your own laps. Yelling out your current lap number on the corners will help you keep track. Many runners have missed a lap on the run, disqualifying themselves from a podium spot.

The run course consists of 3 complete laps around the park, school, Aquatic center, running in a counter-clockwise direction around the park (opposite from the cycling direction).-

New for 2018: Construction at Albany High School prevents us from using the alleyway in between the Albany HS gym and baseball field as we have historically done for our finish area. The new finish area will be located on the main lawn in Memorial Park just past the transition area. Runners will cross the finish line just after completing their third run lap.

Transition Area

Question: Where will the transition area(s) be located?

Individual competitors and relay teams will use portable bike racks which will be set up on the grass along the South wall of the tennis courts.

Question: Will the transition area be the same for T1 and T2?

Yes.  You will enter the transition area at an access point located on East side of the grass field, along the sidewalk directly across from the Aquatic center.  All athletes will use the same transition area, including Super Youth. There will be designated zones depending on your early/middle/late heat assignment and for Super Youth (see below).

Note that the bike out / bike in portal will be separate from the outbound runners’ portal and each will require passing over chip readers.  Be careful to stay well away from them before the start of your heat so your chip will not be read inadvertently.  Lingo note: T1=swim-to-bike transition; T2=bike-to-run transition.

Question: How much room does each person get in the transition area? Does everything have to be stored on the bike or in a bag, or can it be spread out?

You’ll get about the space of a half yoga mat underneath/next to your racked bike. Keep everything compactly within that area, like this. Only the items that are required for the swim, bike, and run should be readily accessible. Everything else should be packed away. A small-to-medium backpack for extra gear is recommended.

Question: Will there be assigned spots per participant in the transition area?

There will be four main bike rack zones in the transition area:

  1. Early zone: for those heats 1-4
  2. Middle zone: for those in heats 5-8
  3. Later zone: for those in heats 9-12 + Relay teams
  4. Super Youth zone: for Super Youth athletes only

Know your heat assignment so you can pick the correct zone. Within each zone you are free to choose any spot.

If you arrive after the first heat has started at 8:00 am, there will be cyclists on the course and their transition spots will be temporarily vacated — they are on the bike course and will be coming back to transition! Ensure you are not putting your bike in their spot by making sure it is free of gear (running shoes, towel, backpack, etc.). Ask a volunteer if you need assistance finding an empty spot — they are eager to help!

Space in the transition area is on a first-come first-served basis. Arrive earlier for an easier time finding a spot, and see the next FAQ item about how to rack your bike!

Question: How should I rack my bike?

Individual athletes and relay teams will use bike racks consisting of a long horizontal bar about 4.5 feet off the ground. Hang the front of your bike seat on the horizontal bar, with adjacent bikes racked on alternating sides of the bar as shown here. There should be space for ~8 bikes per rack if things are arranged efficiently. Try to be space-efficient there as well!

Super youth will have a designated area in the main transition area, roughly indicated on the map (see course info). These bike racks will be lower to the ground to accommodate Super Youth-sized bikes!

Athletes should not use the blue bike racks located in front of the Aquatic Center. Those are for volunteers, spectators, and other non-athlete visitors.

Question: Should I wear my swim suit on the bike and run or should I change clothes?

Standard practice for experienced triathletes is to stay in your swim suit for the bike and run. This is because transitioning between legs of the race is part of your overall time. So if you’re the competitive type, you’ll want to minimize that time. If you are more interested in comfort rather than speed, changing clothes is perfectly fine. However, note that nudity is not allowed in the transition area! Use the changing rooms in the Aquatic Center if you need to strip down. Thanks!

Depending on your needs, a standard, non-bikini-style lycra swim suit should work fine. You can find specially made triathlon suits by visiting some of our sponsors such as Transports (on Solano Ave in Albany) or Sports Basement (on Milvia in Berkeley). If you tell them you’re doing the Albany Tri, they may give you a discount!

Regardless of what you choose to do clothing-wise, it’s a good idea to practice in the exact attire you plan to wear on race day to minimize wardrobe-related surprises!

Relay Teams

Question: What types of relay teams are there?

A relay team consists of 2 or 3 members, where a different person completes the different legs of the race (or one person of a 2-member team does any two of the legs).

There are two types of relay teams: (1) adult/mixed and (2) all youth. The adult/mixed team has at least one participant that is 18 years of age or older. All participants on the youth teams must be under 18 years of age. Registration of youth teams requires a parent or guardian, acting as team captain, to complete the registration form. This is just for registration purposes — the parent/guardian won’t be listed as an event participant.

The registering parent of a youth team must get permission from a parent/guardian of all other youth team members who are not their own children. Then when you select, “You are this person’s parent or legal guardian,” you are doing so on behalf of each child’s parent/guardian.

Names, ages, t-shirt size, and contact email for each team member completing the swim, bike, and run portions of the triathlon are entered on the registration form.

See the next item about relay team member hand-off logistics during the event.

Question: How does the transitioning between relay team members work during the race?

The relay team members must transfer the timing chip from person to person using the following strategy:

    • The swimmer starts out with the timing chip strapped to their left ankle with the chip facing out, and completes the swim portion with the strap on.
    • For the swim-to-bike transition:
      • The cyclist will be waiting in the transition area next to the bike.
      • When the swimmer completes the swim and arrives at the transition area, the swimmer removes the timing chip velcro strap from their own ankle and attaches it to the LEFT ankle of the cyclist, with chip facing out.
      • The cyclist then embarks on the bike course.
    • For the bike-to-run transition:
      • The runner will be waiting in the transition area where the bike is to be parked.
      • After completing the bike course, the cyclist returns to their transition area space whereupon the runner removes the timing chip from the cyclist’s ankle and transfers it to his/her own left ankle.
      • The runner then embarks on the run

Thus, for a three-member relay team, the cyclist will never need to touch the timing chip. For a two-member relay team, one person will perform both the swimmer+cyclist duties or the cyclist+runner duties. Be sure to attach the chip to the LEFT ANKLE of the cyclist with the chip facing out. This will improve detection by the timing system.

After crossing the finish line, the chip must be removed from the runner and handed to a race volunteer. Failure to return the chip will result in a $60 fine.

Super Youth Questions

Question: When will the Super Youth (7-10 year olds) race start?

The first Super Youth heat will start 30 minutes after the final heat of the main course. So if the main course final heat starts at 10:15am, the start of the Super Youth would be at 10:45am. The actual start time for the Super Youth may vary +/- 15 minutes from this, so stay tuned to announcements from the race organizers between 9:45-10am. The second SY heat will start 15 minutes after the first SY heat.

We stratify the SY heats by age, with more of the older kids in the first SY heat and more of the younger kids in the second SY heat, though there will be some mixing.

Question: Will the Super Youth use the same transition area as the adults?

Yes. Super Youth transition area will be in a designated sub-section of the main transition area, roughly indicated on the map (see course info). These bike racks will be lower to the ground to accommodate Super Youth-sized bikes.

Question: When is check-in time for the Super Youth race?

Check-in time for Super Youth is 9:45-10:15am.

If you are racing and want to be available to help your child in the Super Youth race, be sure to specify your heat preference on the online registration form as “Parent of Super Youth” or “Early heat” (if you want to go with the faster folks).

Question: Are training wheels allowed on bikes during the Super Youth race?

Yes, training wheels are permitted for the super youth race. But get ready — when your child sees other little kids biking without them, your child may not be using them for too much longer!

Special Features Questions

Question: How does the “Friends & Family” system work?

When you register for the AlbanyTri, you can indicate your desire to start in the same swim heat as other participants (child, parent, spouse, friends, etc.). That way, you can start in the race together & keep an eye on each other (but not assist each other, per triathlon rules).

You can also indicate a preference to start in a different swim heat from another competitor, in case you prefer to spectate/support your child or friend from the sidelines after your race.

The registration form provides an place for you to supply the name(s) of the other competitors you wish to be in the same or different heat with. Be sure to use the same name they will use to register!

Question: How does the “Beat-a-Triathlete” system work?

Athletes can boost their fundraising efforts by pledging to donate an extra dollar amount for everyone that can beat their time, up to a limit. All proceeds go to Albany Athletics — same fundraising target as for the triathlon. Relay teams can also register for this challenge. Here’s how it works:

  • On the registration form you can indicate your preference to opt-in to the Beat-A-Triathlete challenge. The organizers will follow up with you later to confirm and collect your preferences. Experienced triathletes are especially encouraged to opt-in to this — guaranteed to make you go faster!
  • You will specify how much you’re willing to donate for each person that beats your finish time, and what your total donation limit is (if any).
  • You also decide the size of the field you want to compete against: all participants, all men, all women, or just the members of your 10-year age group bracket.
  • The amount of your donation will be determined after official race results are computed.
  • Make your donation by visiting the Albany Athletics donation page.
  • All Beat-A-Triathletes will receive a certificate of appreciation.
  • Since 2013, one of the event co-organizers has offered $10 for any participant or team that beat him. He had to pay up an extra $10 in 2013 and, as the race has grown, $30-$40 in 2014-16. He plans to do this again. Consider joining him with your own Beat-A-Triathlete challenge!

General Questions

Question: When do I go where? How does this triathlon work?

Here’s a basic description. See the rest of the this FAQ more details about each step:

  • Review the course map before race day!
  • On Saturday before race day, pick up your race packet at Roadrunner Sports in Berkeley between 1:00-4:00pm. This contains your matching, numbered wrist bands, t-shirt and other race materials. It will also include your timing chip which is very important to bring with you on race day
  • On race day morning, put one of the matching wrist bands on your wrist, the other on the top tube of your bike. Put your wrist bands on before arriving at the event. Strap the timing chip firmly around your LEFT ankle with the chip facing out.
  • When you get to the venue, find an open place on a bike rack in the transition area to rack your bike. Bike racks will be marked “Early 1-3”, “Middle 4-6”, “Late 7+” based on your heat assignment. Use the rack corresponding to your heat assignment. Also, carefully note where your bike is so you can find it!
  • If you didn’t pick up your packet on Saturday before race day, go to the registration table. There you will receive your timing chip and other materials.
  • Put your timing chip securely on your left ankle — a volunteer at the registration table will assist you if you need help. Don’t attach it to your wrist or elsewhere on your body because it must be near the ground in order to trip the detector. Put on the chip ASAP so you don’t forget!
  • Get body marked with your race number near the transition area entrance. Your race number is written on your wrist bands and may be different from the number indicated on the timing chip.
  • Head back to where you racked your bike in the transition area and arrange all the gear you need for the swim, bike, & run in a compact area underneath it (a towel or yoga mat for arranging your stuff is useful here).
  • Head over to the indoor or outdoor pools to warm up at least 10 minutes before your heat starts. Feel free to do some jogging warm ups in the park or biking warm ups outside the bike course. Avoid walking over the chip timing mats before your race. Be at the West end of the outdoor pool by 5 minutes before your heat start time.
  • The clock for your race time starts when your heat starts in the OUTDOOR pool and ends when you complete the run. Transition times are included in your overall time.
  • Swim 17 lengths in the outdoor pool. You’ll have your own half-lane to swim in. Stay on your side — no circle swimming. When you complete the distance or 14 minutes transpires (whichever is sooner), get out of the pool and jog over to the transition area to get your bike. En route, you must cross over a chip timing mat located in between the pool and the transition area. This records the end of your swim and the start of the first transition.
  • Head into the transition area at the “Swim In” sign. Go to your designated area and take off your swim gear (goggles & cap), put on your helmet, shoes, sunglasses and any other cycling gear, then walk or jog your bike to the “Bike In/Out” sign where you cross over another chip timing mat to start timing your bike leg. enter the street and start the bike course. Watch for runners on the sidewalk as you cross it with your bike.
  • Bike 12 laps as fast as you can (safely!in a clockwise direction. Be diligent about counting your laps — it’s very easy to lose track! See “Bike Questions” for lap counting tips.
  • Dismount your bike near the far right side of the street near the transition area and walk/jog your bike to the “Bike In/Out” sign where you will cross over the same chip timing mat that you crossed on the way out. Return to your designated place in the transition area where your gear is.
  • Rack your bike, take off your bike helmet & shoes, put on your running shoes, then exit the transition area by the “Run Out” sign where you must cross over a different chip timing mat to start timing your run leg.
  • Run 3 laps around the park in a CCW direction (opposite to the biking direction) on the sidewalk perimeter of the park or on designated areas of the road. Again, be diligent about counting your laps — it’s easy to lose track! On the 3rd lap, you’ll run to the finish line after running behind the transition area, next to the tennis courts. There, you will cross the final chip timing mat.
  • After you finish the run, smile for the cameras, remove your timing chip ankle strap and hand it to a volunteer, or permit a volunteer to remove it for you. Failing to return your chip will result in a $60 charge.
  • Congratulations for finishing! 🙂
  • Get some refreshments, schmooze with friends & family, and keep an eye out for preliminary results to be posted near the basketball courts. Stick around for the awards ceremony ~Noon.
  • If you have a child registered for the Super Youth race: Check-in time for Super Youth is 10am and the first SY heat be at 11am. Use the designated sub-section of the main transition area for the SY transition space. See course info for details about the Super Youth course.
  • If you think you missed a lap on the bike or run: notify a race staff member at the help desk as soon as possible. That will disqualify you for a prize, but your honesty will be very much appreciated!

Wardrobe Note: Most folks keep their swim suit on for the whole race so they don’t have to change clothes, which would slow down your overall time which includes the time it takes to transition between the different legs of the race. Be sure to check out the other FAQ items on this page for more details about different parts of the triathlon. You might also want to read up on triathlon basics, such as here or here.

Question: When will I get my race day materials?

All individual entrants should pick up their race day materials at packet pick up on Saturday before race day (see Registration Questions). Packets can also be picked up on race day morning at the registration area, but picking your packet up on Saturday is strongly recommended. All adults: bring a photo ID. Registration materials will include timing chip, swag, t-shirt, and numbered wrist bands.

The wrist bands will be marked with your race number and heat number. Put one of these on your wrist (right arm) and the other on the top tube of your bike. This helps us to better secure and manage the transition area. Put these before arriving at the venue on race day, or at the registration table if you didn’t pick them up on Saturday.

When you arrive on race day, pick a spot in the transition area to park your bike (space is first-come, first-served; relay teams will use a special area separate from the individual athletes — team captains: coordinate your location with your team members). Then proceed to the main check-in table to get your timing chip (if you didn’t get it at packet pick up on Saturday) and sign the waiver (team members or their guardians who didn’t sign the online waiver).

Once you have your registration materials and know your bib number, head over to get body marked by a race volunteer near the registration tables.

Relay teams: All team members must check-in with team name or captain’s name. All members of a team will share the same timing chip and bib number. The timing chip needs to be transferred between team members during the race — see Relay section of this FAQ for details.

Question: When will I know what heat I’m in?

Participants start the swim in heats of 20 swimmers starting every 15 minutes. Heat assignments are based on various information provided by participants on the registration form such as friends & family preference, triathlon & cycling experience, club affiliation, age group, etc. This is a challenging task!

Heat assignments are finalized after online registration closes (11:59PM on Wed before race day) and will be posted on Thursday evening. Heat assignments will be posted online (for example, see the 2016 heat assignments). We will attempt to accommodate any heat change requests if received before Noon on Friday and will post the final heat assignments Friday evening.

On race day, there will be very limited ability to change heats. Please start in your assigned heat. If you start in the wrong heat, you may not receive any race results or be eligible for prizes. If you believe you started in the wrong heat, let us know (at the help desk) as soon as possible after you complete the event so we can adjust your start time.

Question: When should I arrive on race day morning to check in?

The registration area will open at ~6:45am and will be located in front of the Aquatic Center along Portland Ave.

  • If you are in heats 1-3: arrive by 7:00am to check in.
  • If you are in heats 4-6: arrive by 7:45am to check in.
  • If you are in heats 7-10: arrive by 8:30am to check in.
  • First time triathletes should arrive a little earlier to allow for more prep time and an easier time finding a spot in the transition area

There will be separate check-in lines for folks in early (1-3) versus later (4+) heats to expedite registration for those starting sooner. Please use the proper queue! Pre-race announcements will be made at 7:35am and repeated at 8:50am.

After checking in, find a volunteer near the entrance to the transition area to get body marked with your race number.

Question: Where should I park? Can I take mass transit?

If you’re a local (Berkeley, Albany, El Cerrito, Kensington, Richmond, Oakland), consider biking to the start! This will reduce congestion in the area and reduce our carbon footprint.

If you need to motor to the race, the best places to park are along any of the streets that encircle the “feeder streets” around Memorial Park. Here’s a google map. This would include the follow avenues: Spokane, San Carlos, Washington, Ward, Brighton. Parking on Carmel, Portland, Thousand Oaks, or Key Route is also fine as long as you are at least 2 blocks away from Memorial Park, since those streets will be closed around the Park during the race.

Mass transit (BART) is only doable if you are in a later heat (7+) because the BART trains start operation at 8:00am on Sundays. The Albany Aquatic Center is 0.8 miles from the El Cerrito Plaza BART station, and 2 miles from North Berkeley BART. Take the Ohlone Greenway bike path to Portland Ave. Then go 2 blocks East to the Aquatic Center.

Question: Are we responsible for counting our own laps on all segments?

We will have lap counters in the pool, but not on the bike or run course. Best advice: be prepared to count your own laps, even in the pool since we may not have enough volunteers to cover all swim lanes. Be sure to practice counting your swim laps and bike laps before race day! See the swim and bike sections of this FAQ for some lap-counting tips on the swim and bike courses.

This question really gets to a larger, philosophical area of the sport of triathlon: doing a tri is expected to be very much an individual effort. Under normal circumstances, athletes should not receive ANY outside help apart from volunteers or other race officials. This way, when you complete a triathlon, it is very much your personal accomplishment that you can be proud of — achieved on a level playing field on the same course with all other competitors. Things like asking a spectator for help counting your laps, or asking a buddy (or other competitor) to help you put on your bike shoes or hand you a water bottle are technically disallowed. You can certainly ask a volunteer on the course for help if you need it.

While we strive to conform to USAT regulations as much as possible (such as no drafting on the bike course), the Albany Community Triathlon is, at its heart, geared towards beginners and introducing new athletes to the fun & challenge of the sport. We allow kids to compete alongside their parents, and friends & family members start together in the same swim heat. We won’t disqualify a parent for helping tie their kid’s shoes during T2 for example, but we expect such assistance to be minimal and in the interests of promoting safety and maximizing fun.

Question: What if it rains on race day?

Then we will swim, bike, and run (carefully) in the rain ☺. Unless there is a thunderstorm with lightening or severe flash flooding, the race will not be cancelled in event of rain. Historically, weather conditions have been excellent on race day, with lots of California sun and temperatures in the 60s-70s (F). The venue tends to be quite sunny on race day, so bring a hat to wear when hanging out post-race.

Question: Where will the restrooms be? Is there a locker room?

The Aquatic Center has men’s and women’s restrooms which will open at 7am and close at 12:30pm on race day. The Center has small changing areas for men & women and a limited number (~20) of lockers for your use (most athletes will leave all belongings in the transition area which will be secure). If you use the lockers, be sure to retrieve your belongings before 12:30pm when the center closes. Memorial Park has 2-person men’s and women’s restrooms located along Carmel Ave. near the kiddy park area. It will be locked until ~7am.

Question: Are there any prizes for winners?

Ultimately, every participant is a winner! 🙂

Useful and sporty prizes will be given to the overall top three men and women in the adult and youth divisions, top adult/mixed relay team, top youth relay team, and top finisher in the separate super youth heats.

Top-three finishers of each age group (male and female) on the main course will also be recognized:

  • Adult age groups: 18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+
  • Youth age groups: 9-12, 13-17

Question: Where is a good place for spectators?

Spectators for the swim can watch from the bleachers on the South side of the pool deck near the entrance to the Aquatic Center. Stay off the pool deck and the swim exit ramps on the East side of the pool since there will be many volunteers helping with lap counting, and we want to reduce congestion so that swimmers can quickly exit the pool through the East side of the deck (towards the basketball courts) as they make their way towards the transition area. Entrance to the pool (for athletes and spectators) is only through the front door of the Aquatic Center.

There is also a space on the North side of the pool deck between the fence and a row of classrooms which may be accessible from the basketball court area (if not, ask the aquatics staff to unlock it).

Generally, spectators should stay clear of the athlete access points into and out of the transition area. The AlbanyTri venue is quite compact and there are areas where athletes on the course tend to cross paths with spectators and athletes in and around the sidewalk near the registration tables (near Portland & Pomona avenues). Child athletes can have one parent enter transition area with them to help them set up, but parents should exit the transition area once their child has started the race.

For watching the bikers and runners, any spot along the sidewalk or grass around Memorial Park is fine except near the bike mount and dismount zones. Stay heads-up for swimmers running from the pool and runners/bikers on the course. Cross the streets to enter the park at crosswalks and only when it’s clear of cyclists. Be sure to CHEER LOUDLY and bring your cow bells and conch shells to make extra noise — it really helps the athletes go faster! Parents keep a close eye on toddlers and pets to keep them from running into the street.

Question: Can I connect with AlbanyTri on social media?

Absolutely! We’re @AlbanyTri on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (though we tend to be more active on FB and TW). This is a good way to get notified about latest updates and receive other triathlon-related tips. You can also follow our blog (the News tab) on this website for news updates.

Question: Is there an email list for the AlbanyTri?

We have a new announcement google group (as of Summer 2015). All past and current registrants are automatically added to this list. If you’re not on it (and haven’t recently registered for the event), feel free to send a join request. It’s low-volume and read-only (posting only by race organizers), but if you would rather not be on the list, use the “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of any list message.

Question: For which organization does the AlbanyTri raise funds?

The Albany Community Triathlon is a fundraiser for the Albany Athletics Boosters — a 501(c)(3) non-profit raising funds for both high school & middle school athletic programs. Since 2012, we have raised approximately $40,000 from registration fees and sponsor donations. Many thanks to all past and current participants and sponsors for contributing to this achievement!

Registration fees are not tax-deductible since goods and services were rendered. However, additional donation to Albany Athletics are tax deductible. Head over to the AAB donation page. Your contribution both for the triathlon and any extra donation you wish to make are very appreciated! 🙂

Question: How does the current AlbanyTri course differ from previous years?

There were changes to the AlbanyTri course in 2018 and 2019, so if you have results from earlier years, they won’t be directly comparable. The AlbanyTri originally took place in 2008 and skipped 2010-11 while the Aquatic Center was being renovated. The 2009 AlbanyTri was a bike & run “Dry-Tri” — dropping the swim since the pool was closed. If you competed in 2008 or ’09 and remember details of those courses, drop us a line!

Run course:

  • In 2018, the run course became 3 complete laps, where runners run behind the transition area instead of staying on the sidewalk along Portland Ave, and it finish in the park by the stage instead of finishing in the alley next to the Albany High gym.
  • Between 2012-2017, the run portion was 3.5 laps staying on the sidewalk on Portland Ave and finishing in the alley next to the Albany High gym, entering there from Thousand Oaks Ave. School construction projects starting in 2018 blocked the alleyway, making it impossible to use this alley.

Bike course:

  • In 2019 the bike course became 12 laps instead of 11 laps as it was pre-2019. This makes the bike leg slightly over 10K rather than slightly under 10K as it was with just 11 laps. If you use a GPS device during the race, your results will vary depending on satellite coverage, device accuracy, and how wide you take the turns!

Question: Anything else I should know?

Good Luck! Be Safe! Have Fun! Go Fast! 😊

If you have other questions not answered here, shoot an email to AlbanyCommunityTriathlon@gmail.com or post it on our Facebook page or tweet us.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s