The swim leg will take place a short walk from the transition area, just east of the Bandshell. Heats will depart every three minutes. The international course will form a wide, clockwise triangle around the inflatable buoys, while the sprint will form a smaller triangle inside the international route. International turns will be at large yellow tetrahedrons, and sprint turns will be at large orange tetrahedrons. Both courses will have little yellow tetrahedrons every 100 meters.
Here's where the real fun starts. Bikers will leave T1, exiting onto Lake Park Drive, heading west toward Huff Street (the road between the lakes). Take Huff Street toward the big bluffs — across Highway 61 — and then take a left on the service road when you can go no further. A short ride on the service road above Highway 61 will then turn onto Sugarloaf Road for a short stretch. Be alert crossing Highway 43. You will then take a right onto East Burns Valley Road, which will take you into bluff country. You'll ride approximately three miles and then turn around and head back the way you came.
The international course gets the major bonus — and bragging rights — of heading up Garvin Heights just before the turn back to the lakes. Garvin Heights was featured as one of Bicycling magazine’s “Top 100 Climbs” in the U.S. Once you ride it, you’ll know why. Your reward for taking up this challenge comes a few miles later with a thrilling, winding descent down the bluff toward the St. Mary’s University campus. This back-breaking, one-mile ascent (a favorite of three-time Tour De France Champion Greg Lemond) will be followed by a few flat fast miles before turning right onto Gilmore Valley Road. Note: the sprint course gets to avoid this nasty climb, but still gets some fun rolling hills.
Five miles later, this turns into a thrilling, winding descent down the bluff. Use extreme caution on this portion of the route, as it is an open course and you may encounter some cars. A few more miles brings you to Saint Mary's University. Take a right onto the shoulder of Highway 14. This short, narrow stretch will be a no-pass zone. Take a right just after campus and cross over the pedestrian bridge. After crossing the bridge cyclists will finish by taking Gilmore Valley Road east to Terry Lane, which will wind around to West Lake Blvd. A short stretch before a left on Huff (be careful crossing Highway 61) takes you back to the transition area.
After that bike, you deserve a little reward, and that's what you'll get with this flat and fast run around Lake Winona in the shadow of Sugarloaf Bluff. The 3.1-mile sprint course heads east on the bike path for 1.5 miles before turning around toward the finish at the bandshell. The 6.2-mile international distance run course is shared with the sprint, but keeps on going past the turnaround for another 1.5 miles, where it will have its turnaround near the Winona Visitor Center on Huff Street. Runners will then head back the way they came for the remaining three miles and an exciting finish at the historic bandshell. Cross the finish line early to enjoy more of the music!
Risks are inherent in this sport, but Life Time Tri Trinona's unique terrain demands a higher level of discretion while tackling the bike portion. While the signature ascent up Garvin Heights is challenging to say the least, extreme caution must be exercised when descending the bluff on Gilmore Valley Road. Tight turns, extreme downhill grade and narrow shoulders prohibit you from aggressively attacking this portion of the course. Please ensure your brakes are functioning properly prior to the race — you will need them.
On the swim leg, please also be aware that it is perfectly legal to rest for a few moments on any one of the kayaks or other watercraft located in the water. No penalty will be assessed as long as forward progress is not aided.
Relay transition area
A designated relay area will be available near the run out area of the transition. Relay teams will use this area for both transitions. Swimmers will meet their biker in the pen. Biker will run to their designated bike rack, put on the timing chip and exit. Upon return, biker will rack their bike and meet their runner in the relay pen. Runner will exit to complete the race.
We're committed to running a fun and, above all, safe race for everyone involved. We ask you to please share our commitment.
Winona is conveniently located within a short drive from the Twin Cities, western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa, and the drive along Highway 61 is almost as beautiful as the bike course.
From Minneapolis/St. Paul:
From Austin/Albert Lea: