Big Lake Graniteman is one of Minnesota’s favorite triathlons. Offering sprint and Olympic distance triathlons in early August, the event is held at Lakeside Park, just 30 minutes from the Twin Cities and St. Cloud. Participants swim in the clean and clear waters of Big Lake, enjoy one of the flattest and fastest bike rides in the state, and enjoy a lakeside run that starts and finishes in the park.
Big Lake Graniteman Triathlon
Olympic and sprint triathlon
August 5, 2023
Big Lake, MN
5:30 a.m.-7:15 a.m.
August 5, 2023
101 Lakeshore Dr
Big Lake, MN 55309
Note: event details subject to change. Please check back before the event.
Register for a single Graniteman Triathlon — or consider making it your year to take on all three and experience the challenge of the Graniteman Endurance Series!
In order to qualify for awards and recognition for completing the Graniteman Endurance Series, participants must register for the series (not individual triathlons). Participants must register for the series prior to the closing of registration for Buffalo Graniteman Triathlon.
Register for the Graniteman Endurance SeriesRegister
Each participant will receive the 2023 Big Lake Graniteman Triathlon t-shirt. Finisher t-shirt design will be revealed soon!
Active Central MN works with key sponsors and contributors to come up with a variety of great giveaways for participants present during the award ceremony on race day. Previous door prizes included bikes, kayaks, excursions, race entries and athletic gear.
Tuesday, August 1, 2023
101 Lakeshore Drive
Big Lake, MN 55309
Participants who want to learn more about triathlons should join us at Warner Lake on the Tuesday night before the race for a group ride/run and triathlon clinic! This year, DuTri club will help to facilitate the clinic, where they will be speaking about the basics of triathlon and sharing valuable insights for a successful and enjoyable race.
Advanced triathletes, bring your questions and experience as there will be plenty of answers and opportunities to share knowledge with others. There will be free giveaways to take home, and this is also a great way to check out the transition area and racecourse.
Those attending should bring the triathlon equipment and gear and meet us down at the lower shelter Lakeside Park on the Tuesday before the race.
5:30 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.
August 5, 2023
101 Lakeshore Drive
Big Lake, MN 55309
Packets include bib numbers, timing chips, and event t-shirts.
Participants will receive a colored wristband to designate their race distance. Only participants with a wristband will be allowed in the Transition Area and participant food tent.
Note for relay teams: Team captains must pick up packets for relay team members. Relay teams will only have one bib; thus, the relay team member that is crossing the finish line should be the one wearing the bib.
5:30 a.m. – Packet pick-up opens
7:15 a.m. – Packet pick-up closes
7:30 a.m. – Mandatory pre-race meeting
8:00 a.m. – Race starts
11:30 a.m. – Awards ceremony with door prizes
Sprint Swim: .3 Mile
Olympic Swim: .9 Mile
Sprint Bike: 12 miles
Olympic Bike: 23.56 miles
Sprint and Olympic Run: 3.1 Miles
All participants are required to attend the triathlon pre-race briefing at 7:15 a.m. on race day at the event location. We encourage racers to read through all the following rules and FAQs.
Participants are responsible for body marking. Using a permanent black marker, the participant’s bib number needs to be written on the participant’s upper arms and calves. If the participant is given a heat/wave number, it should be written on the participant’s left hand.
For relay teams, timing chips should be exchanged between swimmers, bikers, and runners at the bike rack in the Transition Area. The bike must be on the rack during the chip exchange. Once an ankle strap has been removed and placed onto the next teammate’s ankle, the teammate may start their leg of the race. There will not be a designated area for relay teams in the Transition Area — teams are free to select any area that is available. Please be mindful of other athletes in transition.
The Transition Area opens at 5:30 a.m. Participants should arrive in the park no later than 6:45 a.m. to have adequate time to pick up a packet, set up in the Transition Area, and be in attendance for the race briefing at 7:15 a.m. Only participants wearing a wristband acquired at registration/packet pickup may enter the Transition Area (sorry, no exceptions).
Generally, we have enough bike racks for 4 bikes per rack.
There is a designated area for elite racers; however, there are no designated areas for all other racers, and space in the Transition Area is claimed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
We ask that participants step outside of the Transition Area after setting up their bike.
Please be aware of the timing chutes and chip mats! Do not cross over these mats or go near them with race chips while in the middle of a race.
All racers must bring their own swim cap.
The wristband provided at check in must be worn.
All participants taking part in the bike portion of the triathlon must wear a helmet. Under no circumstances will anyone be allowed to race without a helmet. Helmets sold by a bike shop will comply with certification requirements. The helmet must be properly placed and fastened before participants first mount their bicycles; and the helmet must remain fastened until the participant has dismounted.
Waves are assigned based on age group and created to balance numbers in each wave. Participants must start with their wave, which should be written on their left hand. There will be three minutes between each heat, which will be a mix of males and females. There will be 14 minutes between the last Olympic and first sprint heat.
Heat 1: Olympic-distance participants, Clydesdales/Athena and ages 34 and under, start at 8:00 a.m.
Heat 2: Olympic-distance participants, relay teams and ages 35-44, start at 8:03 a.m.
Heat 3: Olympic-distance participants, ages 45 and over, start at 8:06 a.m.
Heat 4: Sprint-distance participants, relay teams and ages 29 and under, start at 8:21 a.m.
Heat 5: Sprint-distance participants, ages 30-39, start at 8:24 a.m.
Heat 6: Sprint-distance participants, Clydesdale/Athena and ages 40-49, start at 8:27 a.m.
Heat 7: Sprint-distance participants, ages 50 and over, start at 8:30 a.m.
It is recommended that participants get in the water to acclimate themselves to the water temperature.
Wetsuits are allowed. Swimmers must bring their own swim cap. Under no circumstances will anyone be allowed to race without a swim cap.
Staging for the swim will be at the swim chute. Racers will be lined up by their waves, which should be written on the participant’s left hand. Enter the swim start corral when your wave is announced. With only 3 minutes between each heat, all participants need to be closely attuned to their wave. Waves will be announced ahead of time.
Participants must start with their wave. Failure to do so will give participants an improper start time and may disqualify them from the race. If a participant knows they went out in the wrong wave, they must complete a “change form” at the swim start or at the timer’s table. This will need to be turned in to the head timer located at packet pickup.
Green buoys will mark the turn corners for the Sprint swim and orange for the Olympic swim. Smaller round yellow buoys mark the site-line between each large corner buoy.
Keep the large buoys on your left side when swimming.
The swim exit will be marked with two large green buoys.
There will be many certified lifeguards on boards and kayaks. Swimmers are encouraged to approach any of these lifeguards if they become anxious or tired, and they will be allowed to hang on to rest. However, swimmers cannot move forward while resting on a flotation device, or they will be disqualified. If a lifeguard thinks a swimmer is struggling and has concern for his or her safety, they have the authority to pull the participant from the race. If a swimmer is in distress, they are to remove their swim cap and wave it in the air and a lifeguard or boat support will assist.
Swimmers may also swim to the shoreline and stand up to rest, but they cannot walk forward, or they will be disqualified.
If a swimmer pulls out of the swim, they will be taken to shore where they must surrender their chip but may continue racing without their timing chip.
If a registered participant decides not to swim, they are to report to a volunteer. The volunteer will have the participant pull their chip, wait at the swim exit, and continue with the participants in their wave as they begin to exit the lake.
The end of the ramp to exit the water will be marked by a pole on each side with a bright cone on top. There will also be a string of swim noodles to lead swimmers to the exit.
When coming out of the water, participants will run the chute to the bike transition area.
Participants are to mount/dismount their bike in the designated areas outside of the transition area.
The bike course is an open course, meaning that participants must share the roadway with vehicle traffic and observe all traffic laws.
It is critical for bikers to stay to the far right and NOT ride two or more abreast at any time, except when passing.
Drafting is prohibited.
Sprint-distance bikers will ride one lap and Olympic-distance bikers will ride two laps.
The entire course will be marked on the pavement with yellow paint. The only exception is a few white arrows located before the entrance to Warner Lake Park to direct Olympic bikers to continue for a second lap on the same course. There will be large signs at the entrance to Warner Lake Park to direct Sprint bikers to turn left and Olympic bikers to continue straight. Every turn will have: 1) a volunteer in a bright safety vest pointing a red flag in the direction of the turn. 2) a large upright arrow indicating the direction of the turn. 3) arrows painted on the road surface to indicate the turn. 4) orange safety cones to follow around the turn. Bikers are to remain inside of the cones. Some of the corners are coned rather tight for the safety of bikers so they remain close to the right side of the roadway. The reason for this is because traffic does not stop at this intersection.
Some volunteers will be holding up stop signs to stop vehicle traffic for the safety of our racers on both the bike and run courses. These are not intended for racers to stop.
A large colored map of the course will be posted near the registration area
Participants are responsible for their own safety and bike at their own risk.
The run course is an out-and-back course marked with white paint on the pavement and large upright arrows indicating the direction of turns.
The run course is 3.1 miles for sprint-distance participants and 6.2 miles for the Olympic race. The first and last mile are on the Warner Lake Park trail, which is dirt, sand, and grass. All other miles are run on the paved roadway.
The 5K turnaround is marked on the pavement. A volunteer and cone will mark this turnaround area. 10K runners will continue to run past this area, which is also marked on the pavement. A volunteer and a cone will also mark the 10K turnaround.
There will be ample room along the course for safe passing for bikers and runners. Be sure to safely move away from other participants to provide space during passing.
Before passing anyone, racers should make sure to loudly yell to the person they are passing, “passing on your left!”
There will be a mechanic available. In addition, a few basic bike tools will be located in the transition area by the water table.
There will be support on the course to transport stragglers back to the Transition Area. Participants should recognize that the sag wagon may not be able to reach everyone promptly, depending on the number of bicyclists needing assistance. Please be patient, as our sag support crew gets to participants as soon as they can.
The sag wagon cannot provide bike repairs support. The wagon will transport those racers needing repairs back to the transition area.
Headphones/earbuds are allowed for the run. However, for safety, headphones are not allowed on the bike. We ask that participants be safe, courteous, and aware of other runners if they choose to use headphones on the course.
Participants are encouraged to grab a water bottle and quickly leave the finish line area. The transition area opens at 10:30am for participants to gather their gear.
Please be respectful of others racing when inside of the transition area. Participants should do their best to get out of the transition area as quickly as possible to limit the number of individuals inside of the transition area at one time.
Stick around for our award ceremony!
If for some reason a participant does not finish the race, they are to turn in their chip at the finish line.
Several porta-potties will be located near the transition area, and park restrooms are in the main building. One porta-potty will be located at mile 1 of the run.
All athletes are encouraged to start out with a full water bottle. There will be a water fill station in the bike transition area. There will not be a water station on the bike course.
Water stops for the run are located at Miles 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The water stops at Miles 1 & 5 will include water and Powerade.
We will have trash and recycling bins along the route. Please try to discard water cups and other trash into the recycling bin. Our volunteers will assist in clean up.
To ensure all participants can enjoy food and refreshments, only registered participants with a wristband will be served at the food tent. Spectators are encouraged to bring off-site food with them to the event.
All racers are encouraged to stay for the awards ceremony, which will be held in the grass between the Transition Area and finish chute, likely to start between 10:30-11 a.m. We look forward to presenting awards and door prizes (all finishers are automatically entered into the door price drawing but must be present to win).
Triathlon is a rain or shine sport, and the race will not be rescheduled due to inclement weather. In the event of severe weather, all attempts will be made to delay the race rather than cancel any portion of it.
Although we cannot predict the weather, we can provide some historical weather averages for the area on the date of the race. On August 5, the temperature in Big Lake typically ranges from 62°F to 79°F and is rarely below 52°F or above 87°F.
On average, there is a 33% chance that more than 0.04 inches of total precipitation will fall in Big Lake throughout the day on August 5, all of which can be expected to be rain. Precipitation is most likely between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. and least likely between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Note that weather conditions can change rapidly. We recommend participants prepare for both best- and worst-case scenarios when selecting clothing for the race.
Any weather-related delays will be reported on the Active Central MN Facebook page in the event they occur.
The health and safety of event participants is most important.
Participants should show up for triathlons healthy, fit, and prepared. They should consult with a doctor about any warning signs during training such as chest pain, shortness of breath, light-headedness, or blacking out.
Participants should practice and prepare for the open water swim; race day should not be a participant’s first exposure to open water swimming. All participants should make certain their equipment is safe and operable, their wetsuits fit properly, and their bikes are checked and in good shape before the event.
During the event, stop at the first sign of a medical problem such as chest pain, breathing difficulties, light-headedness, or unusually high heart rate and seek medical attention. During the race, participants should tend to a fellow athlete if they notice signs of trouble or medical emergencies.
If you need medical assistance, from band-aids and ice packs to medical emergencies, staff will be on hand to help. A medical staff person will be in a red tent near the finish line that is clearly marked with a teardrop banner. In addition, volunteers along the course will be available to call for aid, in the case of emergencies.
For those who have additional questions or need assistance prior to race day, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is a generic checklist of things to bring to a triathlon:
Event partner GetMeRegistered.com provides secure, online registration for Big Lake Graniteman Triathlon and all Active Central MN events.
101 Lakeshore Drive
Big Lake, MN 55309
Free parking is available on site. Parking attendants will direct triathletes and spectators to a parking location.
We encourage participants and spectators to enjoy all that Big Lake and the surrounding area has to offer on race weekend.
Thanks to all spectators who come out to support our Graniteman Triathlon participants! We hope you enjoy the race.
You may park in regular participant parking. Note that, for the safety of spectators and race participants, we ask that those watching the race remain clear of the immediate racecourse. Spectating pets should be tightly leashed and kept clear of the course. Spectators are not allowed in the Transition Area. Outside food and coolers are welcome; food and beverages at the post-race refreshment tent are for athletes only.