East Jordan’s “Jordan Valley Triathlon, and the Little Traverse Triathlon of Harbor Springs, are two of the finest sprint distance courses you’ll ever find. Sign up for either event, and you will see what I mean.The Jordan Valley Triathlon is one of the oldest in the State, and is a fundraiser for the local ambulance service. The swim takes place in the South Arm of Lake Charlevoix, and measures approximately 500 yards. The bike course takes you out of the Jordan Valley to Advance then along the shores of Lake Charlevoix before heading back for a fast return into East Jordan. The run is a challenging 3 mile “out and back” that finishes right down town. The volunteers are incredible and almost seem to outnumber the 130+ racers. I had someone take my bike and rack it, layout my shoes, and offer to get me water for the run. (No need to sign up for an Ironman to get the pro-treatment!). The course is very challenging, but still a great spot for a first time race. Its long been my favorite race.
The Little Traverse Tri is a new comer, but makes a strong case for the most scenic race in Michigan. The 600M swim starts at the Zoll St. beach in downtown Harbor Springs. I’ve never done another race were you can see the bottom of the lake in 30′ of water…. The bike course runs along the famed Tunnel of Trees on M-119, and includes a few tough climbs, and a very fast downhill section. The ride back to town is fairly flat, and fast with very little traffic and volunteers at every turn. The run takes you through the historic summer community of Wequetonsing on the shore of Little Traverse Bay. Its a flat, out and back with a couple aid stations along the way. This is a perfect first time event, and they encourage relays teams.
Team Priority Health had a great turn out with Jack Deegan, myself, and Chuck Grzanka making both events. Dave Ide joined relay team for the Little Traverse Tri, and smoked the course with the second fastest bike split of the day… oh, and he was on a road bike.
Try out one or both of these events next summer… you will not regret it.