Years ago, not too long after I’d fallen deep in love with running and was signing up for any race I could, a friend asked if I’d like to join her and another friend to form a triathlon relay team. “We need a runner,” Cari, an experienced swimmer, told me. Megan, meanwhile, would handle the bike portion of the sprint triathlon we’d all do together that takes place toward the end of summer in our city.

tctrilogosquare-250x300The race was the Traverse City Triathlon, and it would serve as my introduction to the sport of triathlon. It’s really where the idea of tackling the event — the entire swim-bike-run, by myself — would firmly plant itself in my mind. (It took a few years, but indeed I did accomplish this goal just this summer. If you missed this race report, you can check it out here »)

Me (in the middle) with Megan (left) and Cari at the Traverse City Triathlon. We completed the race as a relay team, with me, you guessed it, doing the run portion.
Me (center) with Megan (left) and Cari at the 2011 Traverse City Triathlon. We completed the race as a relay team, with me, you guessed it, doing the run portion.

If you’re curious about triathlon, yet not quite ready to take on all three disciplines together, the relay is a great option. This is something the Traverse City Triathlon continues to offer. Also provided at the August 21 event: duathlon options, for anyone interested in combining running and cycling only.

When race organizers say there’s truly an event for any athlete at the TC Triathlon, they’re not kidding. Along with the relay and duathlon events — in both the sprint and Olympic distances — triathlon events include sprint, Olympic and half distances. An open water event is yet another offering.

MRG is again partnering with Endurance Evolution on its races — the Traverse City Triathlon is one of four events this northern Michigan race management and timing services company puts on — and I’ve got a great giveaway to share: one (1) free entry to any of the Traverse City Triathlon events. The TC Tri takes place Sunday, August 21 at Bowers Harbor Park on Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City. {Giveaway details at the end of this post}

Dividing West and East Grand Traverse Bay, Old Mission Peninsula offers stunning scenery and a challenging landscape for this triathlon. The half-, Olympic- and sprint-distance races start in the calm, clean waters of Bowers Harbor on West Grand Traverse Bay for a loop swim. The bike courses point athletes past picturesque orchards and vineyards and over a few tough climbs.

Heading out on the run, racers follow Neahtawanta Road along the water before turning up a dirt road into the Pyatt Nature Preserve. Athletes then return to the pavement for the final stretch to the finish line at Bowers Harbor Park.

The cycling portion of the race includes a few hills.
Marci Bultemeier, crushing it on the bike.

MRG checked in with northern Michigan triathlete and TC Triathlon regular Marci Bultemeier to get her thoughts on this late summer event. She’ll be there again this year, taking on the sprint distance.

“It’s a great race for beginners,” she says. “Low stress, friendly atmosphere, great volunteer support. It’s a beautiful course, worth traveling for and spending a weekend in northern michigan for.”

“It’s challenging enough for the veteran triathlete,” she adds. “The swim can be rough waters but is typically calm since it’s nestled inside a bay. The bike provides great hills for climbers to pull away from the rest of the field. And it ends with a run around a park, allowing spectators to see the last mile and any last minute attacks – providing some excitement and entertainment at the finish line. There are always some MSU triathlon club triathletes for good competition. Can’t beat the location and views.”

Post-race, MRG suggests celebrating with a cold one at nearby Jolly Pumpkin, a restaurant, brewery and distillery, or the adjacent Mission Table at Bowers Harbor Inn, with gorgeous views of West Bay.


Giveaway details: 

To enter to win one (1) free entry to this year’s Traverse City Triathlon, please comment below why you’d like to take on this challenge. I’d also love to hear if this would be your first triathlon, or if you’re looking to conquer yet another! The winner of this giveaway will be chosen randomly and announced here on the blog next week. The giveaway ends at midnight, Wednesday, July 20.

Learn more about the Traverse City Triathlon here »

Listen to this podcast interview with Race Director Joel Gaff, who talks about this year’s TC Triathlon, here »

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6 Responses to “{Giveaway!} Traverse City Triathlon at Bowers Harbor Park this August”

  1. not only is Marci an awesome triathlete, but she’s an awesome doc as well ! this will be my first triathlon…. i did the run relay for the half distance last year and got the bug. i already signed up but i’d love to win the entry :)

  2. Shannon Berg

    Hello, I would love to do a triathlon. I plan on doing this next year but would love the opportunity to do it sooner. I only began running in December and I’m addicted. I am a member of the Traverse City Track Club, though probably the slowest. I am a stay at home mom of four and love to try new things. I just completed my first half marathon at the Glen Arbor Solstice and loved it. Thank you for this opportunity and I hope I am picked.

  3. Hi MRG! I’ve done one Tri about seven years ago …and would love to do another to keep me young :). Although I’d do the Dualathlon option. I love biking and love/hate running lol! Also it falls on my mom’s birthday – it would be a good motivator to train for it, thinking of my mom. Miss her every day!

  4. Heather Bell

    Love this opportunity and this race!!! We have done it a number of times and hope to be back this August. The course is amazing, as are the folks who are helping and participating. Hope to see you there!

  5. Erin Henshaw

    My 13 year old daughter and I have talked about trying to conquer a triathlon (not as a relay, but side by side). A free entry would get me to jump in the water out of my comfort zone.

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