The Grizzly Triathlon

The Grizzly Triathlon was first run in 1987. Brian Fruit, the Grizzly Pool manager at the time, organized this event and it had 10 heats with 14 racers per heat (2 per lane for a total of 140 participants). The first heats had the fastest swimmers, and the later, warmer air-temperature (this is a triathlon in April in Montana after all!) heats featured the more casual racers of the day. Oh how times have changed! In 1999 Giles Thelen took over leadership of the race (Brian dropped the race after 1997 and there was no event in 1998) with the support of the local triathlon club, Team Stampede. Since then he has tweaked and modified the race with a few key points kept in mind:

  1. Keep the race open and accessible to first time triathletes, while at the same time having it be a venue for spirited competition.  We have had at least 30% of our racers every year use this as their first multisport event ever!
  2. Keep the course safe, fun and challenging.

Race Information

SWIM: 1000 Yards (20 laps ) (Note: there will also be a 500 yard swim)

Start and finish at the Grizzly Pool, The University of Montana. Swim will be set up in heats comprised of 2-4 entrants per lane, the first heat starting at 8:00am sharp.

Heat Assignment Procedure:

  1. Heats preceding the Elite heats: Will be arranged according to predicted swim times. Please be as accurate as possible when predicting swim time! Efforts will be made to group participants in heats regarding their respective age/team categories.
  2. Men’s and Women’s Elite Heats: The last two heats of soloist entries will be comprised of those who qualify and wish to be seated in the Elite Heat. In order to be included in Elite Heat one must check the box on the application and indicate an over-all race time of less than 1 hour 10 minutes for men and 1 hour 25 minutes for women. The race directors reserve the right to select or deny any racers to the elite heat.

Bike course will be out and back along HWY 10 toward Bonner. Turn around is just past the Milltown Garage. Bike course is mostly flat with a short hill. Use EXTREME caution at the Eastgate Shopping Center.

Run course will be out and back down the Kim Williams Trail. Mostly flat (but prepare for “the hill”) consisting of pavement, grass and gravel surfaces. Race numbers must be worn on the front of the runners garment and visible at the finish line.

Awards will presented to the top three male and female finishers in each of the following age categories: 14-19, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, & 60+. The top three over-all male and female finishers will receive a special award. In addition, the top over-all University of Montana student finishers, male and female, will receive awards. Each member of the first place male, female and Co-ed (at least one man and one woman) relay teams will receive awards.

All participants will be eligible for “schwag” donated by local merchants.

It will take over 60 volunteers to make the Grizzly Triathlon run smoothly and be a safe and enjoyable event for the participants, spectators and community. If you are interested in helping out and/or know of an eager volunteer, please give us a call (406-543-2532) or email. Every volunteer will receive a token of our appreciation.

Race packets (race numbers, race information) can be picked up at the Grizzly Pool on the Friday, prior to the race at 7am-8pm, or on race day starting at 6:30 a.m. Triathletes wishing to know their heat assignments and starting times, can check our website on Friday before the race. A mandatory racers meeting will be held at 7:30 a.m. (in the Grizzly Pool) on race day. Lastly, the Race Directors reserve the right to refuse entry to a potential racer, so be nice! For more information, call (406-543-2532) or e-mail: Giles Thelen.

Results, including individual event and transition splits, will be available the Monday following the race.

Support crews will not be allowed on any portion of the event, including the transition area. ANSI or SNELL approved helmets must be worn during the bike. No drafting in any way during the bike. Allow three bike lengths between riders. You may enter this space only when passing. If you cannot pass, you must drop back. Drafters will be assessed a two minute time deduction. Teams are required to hand touch in the transition area between incoming and outgoing team members. View our complete rules and regulations.

Missoula is a clean city – let’s keep it that way! Litterers will be assessed a 2-minute penalty, so keep track of your Hammer Gel packets!