Tri-County Triathlon FAQ—Race Details

The initial phase is the Run portion at 10k = 6.2 miles, and you run, on dirt, from the campground area start for .1 mile South to the paved flat 8 foot wide Ladiga (la-die’-gah) Trail, then East on the Ladiga Trail to a crossover dirt path near County Road 215, before Borden Springs, where you turn left onto County Road 70, uphill to Maxwell Gap and enter the Pinhoti Trail, a wooded single track trail, then .3 mile slightly uphill on the Pinhoti, then 1.3 miles South on a STEEP downhill descent, then .3 mile West on paved, flat County Road 94 to a gravelly/dirt .1 mile road slightly downhill to Transition to the Paddle portion on Terrapin Creek .

The descent of 1.3 miles from Wilson Ridge on the Pinhoti woods trail is very steep (goes from 1400 ft. elevation to 800 ft. elevation) mostly in 1/3 of a mile – see a topographic map at this site:

Transition to the Paddle Portion – see creek entry at   Only one person per boat.  This is a class one small width stream that in drier times can be kind of bony in spots, but it's only 1.5 miles.  It is not straight, has a fork, and long curves except the last one.  The take out is about 500 feet past the first bridge you go under.  If you miss the take out for some crazy reason - we'll have people standing in the water to make sure you see the Mama’s Beach take out - then you are in for a rollicking ride through a narrow, rocky chute, and a devilish long time getting to the bank and to your bike.  We are recommending a sit-on-top (sot) with smooth bottom, so if it's bony in spots one can hop up and drag it quickly to deeper places; or, if a lot of water, you can make a quicker trip and have fun, too. It is canoe-able as well. You must wear shoes and a pfd. On our event page are the area outfitters happy to rent you a sot which you will have to pick up/return to that source after the race. Some will bring it to the race for you and pick it up afterwards. When you jump off the sot at Mama’s Beach we will gather your gear and load all of it on a trailer and take that back to the start area - be doggone sure and mark your gear according to our specific rules with the supplied ‘wristband’ registration.

On our site has a connection with where you can register.  If you prefer to not do this online you must send a check or money order with your fees plus $12 insurance, with name, address, phone, age, birthday, gender and tee shirt size. If you register online, be sure to add your size for your free tee-shirt, which enables you to receive the Friday night and Saturday post-race meals free.  If additional meals are available, support persons may purchase a meal. You will definitely enjoy this race, and it will definitely be a challenge. We look forward to your participation.

Team composition - you may enter as an individual or as a 3 person relay team - if you decide to enter as a 3 person relay team, then each person will do only one of the segments. If there is a smallish 'crowd' we will let everyone (teams and individuals) start at once - but if there is a larger (say, over 100) crowd then we most likely will start people in waves 2 minutes apart to avoid bunching at the Pinhoti Trail entry. Teams may be co-ed, or all one gender.

Awards, starting with age 14 (by December 31 of race year), are a custom made wooden First Place Trophy, and dated Medallions for Second and Third, for each of 17 age categories for females, 17 for males; then First, Second, Third for co-ed teams, for male teams, and female teams. If an age class has no entries, there will be no such awards.

The biking terrain is 65% rural, farm, rolling, gravelly, paved roads with some potholes and some bare spots mostly conducive to road bikes - at least that's what I would take - and I have both types of bikes – my road bike has a fat tire, but narrow ones can be used.  The road portion of the bike section has 13 intersection turns and 2 straight intersections, each which will be plainly marked, and at which we anticipate having volunteers for guidance. See detailed bike route instructions below.

There are three Chamber of Commerce sites clickable on our site for accommodations nearby in each of our supportive three counties, as well as our Start campground. 

The order of the day on Race Day is simply this: determined by the supplied ‘wristband bib’ number in your packet, you have to move your boat in place, make sure your vehicle is not on the race course and is parked in designated areas, your bike is in place near Mama’s Beach on County Road 94, and that you have picked up your timing chip, and are ready to race at the Start at the Chief Ladiga Trail Campground.  If you choose to register that day, better be quick about it, as the race Starts at 8:00 am and final instructions, if needed will be at 7:40 am  At the end of the Race you will find hot showers, a medical tent, and some vendors, as well as a free meal awaiting you. You may need to arrange a way to lock your bike until you can transport it from there.

Penalty / Disqualification Rules – USAT-TTAR Long Race Penalties

All racers are expected to be examples of good sportsmanship PENALTY– disqualification - un-sportsmanlike behavior including defamatory language towards any volunteer, staff, or fellow racer    

Race bibs must be worn on outside front of clothing, except while paddling when it shall be underneath the PFD.  PFD must have visible smaller ‘wristband bibs’ on upper left PFD shoulder, on paddle, and on boat used, and bike handlebars. PENALTY– 4 Minutes - per ‘wristbib’ or ‘wristbibs’ not properly applied

Teams shall have same bib numbers. Any infraction will count against team.      PENALTY– 4 minutes – no bib on chest front.. 

Person paddling portion must wear shoes , proper clothing, a PFD, and supplied wristband number on PFD, paddle, boat. Upon arrival at Mama’s Beach transition area, paddler must bring boat out of water 20 or more feet from water’s edge with PFD, boat, and paddle all together so as not to impede progress of fellow racers. Staff will move boat, paddle, and PFD, and return it to Chief Ladiga Trail Campground for pick up .            PENALTY – 4 Minutes – impeding progress of another racer.

To assure you do not pass Mama’s Beach, there will be volunteers to grab you or your boat if necessary. This will not be a penalty, but a legal race assist. If you intentionally avoid their help to pass them to the rapids beyond, you will be unable to get to your bike quickly .

Transition from run to paddle by lone racer – you are allowed one support person within transition area who must depart area after you have located your boat and paddle and put on PFD. That person is not allowed to help push or place boat in water.   PENALTY– 4 minutes for support person pushing or placing boat in water.

Transition from run to paddle by team racer– the runner is allowed only next team member with runner as the support person within transition area who must depart area after locating the boat and paddle and assisting the paddler to put on PFD, and/or move the timer chip to the paddler. The runner is not allowed to help push or place the boat in water. PENALTY– 4 minutes for team member/runner pushing or placing  boat in  water

Boat, paddle, PFD placement– shall not be at water’s edge. It will be all together, with proper 'wristband bib ' numbers attached, placed in line along and paralleling creek edge but not in water. Arrangement and placement will be based upon age and order of registration with an assigned number on the supplied 'wristband bib' – from lowest numbers on left to higher numbers to right as you approach the creek.  PENALTY –4 minutes – rearranging boat placement by any team member or support person after the placement is determined by race officials.

Helmets required when racing bike portion. Only USAT allowed helmets (see online USAT Rules).  You may choose to wear helmet during paddle portion.  PENALTY– for not wearing helmet during bike segment – disqualification.

Regulations on bike course–  see USAT online rules (26 pages) or in notebook at Race Headquarters. Stay to right of road centerline.

Littering – on race course, littering, leave no trace concept in force; exception – water or fluids handed you while moving through aid station area, you may drop within 100 feet thereafter (marker on course); beyond that –PENALTY– 4 minutes per infraction

Food / gear drop–within 100 feet past an aid station, see rule above.

Withdrawing notice– any individual or team withdrawing after race commences must notify by checking with Check Point or Aid Station or Race Official or Volunteer or Race Director. Failure to notify race officials will result in team or individual being responsible for all rescue and search expenses.Protest filing– all protests must be filed in writing within one hour of team or individual’s finish to Timing Official and will be reviewed by Head Referee and Race Committee.

Cell phone use– Cell Phone use is for emergencies, or withdrawal notice only; no other use allowed. PENALTY– disqualification.

Course alteration– If Race Officials decide to alter course, it will be announced at Pre-Race Briefing. You may not race less than the entire race course.  PENALTY– disqualification.

Parking – Roadways near race are narrow and limited.  There is ample parking at Chief Ladiga Trail Campground and Eubanks Welcome Center and near Piedmont Civic Center.  Please confine vehicles to those areas during race.  Race Committee will have shuttles in operation. Before race commences support person for you or your team may park a vehicle along the bike course if it is off roadways and does not impinge upon private property, but vehicle may not be moved until after 2:00 pm.  If your support vehicle is a bike or motorbike, the same request is made.   After last biker has passed over County Road 70 going North, a notice will be given by radio, then vehicles parked at Campground may be driven East on County Road 94, then West on County Road 70 to Eubanks Welcome Center or any place West of bike crossing, so as to not impede biking roads North and Eastward.  As teams or individual’s race West along Ladiga Trail and Vigo Road towards Finish Line, please do not impede traffic, or interfere with racers, or park on private property or block roads. Do not go up Vigo road to Mama’s Beach, until after noon as Race volunteers will be loading and transporting boats from there to the campground. 
 Emergency contact numbers
Race Director cell phone – 256-591-0437

On the USAT list of Most Common Violations, page 2 of 2, it shows that this being a Long course the first violation is 4:00 minutes. It also shows second violation as being 8:00 minutes and third violation as being Disqualification.
For a complete list of the rules, please refer to the most recent up to date USA Triathlon Competitive Rules at

Terrapin Tri-County Adventure Race  Additional Race Rules/Course Instructions

1. A sophisticated computer chip split timing system is available in this race.  Chip pickup time will be at Race Headquarters in Chief Ladiga Trail Campground.
2. In-line skates, strollers, and pets are prohibited on the course, as is the use/wearing of music listening devices.  Your ears should be clear of any listening devices while racing.

3. To allow for a smooth race start, please line up in a spread out mass, unless Race Officials announce age group or other starts of every two minutes.

4. The woods trail is a single track in dense forest on a steep winding trail well marked and advance checked for deadfall.  Mother Nature may inadvertently drop something for which we cannot advance prevent, and you may have to circumvent it on a moment’s notice. Do so safely and quickly return to the woods Pinhoti Trail. If you overtake anyone you cannot push them out of your way, but must go around them adhering to caution and USAT rules. If someone is injured quickly notify a race volunteer or choose to assist them as you deem prudent.

5. We may have volunteers at water stations and transition points checking bib numbers – be sure yours is visible.

6. Water and Powerade will be available at each of the Water and Aid Stations. Volunteers will try to place easily in your hands as you pass.

7. Upon crossing the finish line please proceed as directed and turn in your chip. Once you have passed through the finish line area, do not return. Be courteous and make room for other finishers.

8. Participants without an official bib number assigned to them may not participate or cross the finish line.

9. Result times will be available (to all who complete he race by 1:00 p.m.) at 1:30 p.m. The awards ceremony is to take place at 2:00 pm on Race Day at the Eubanks Welcome Center in Piedmont

Relay Instructions

1. Each team member must wear their chip during the race portion they are participating in – run or paddle or bike – and transfer it to the next team member and be chip time measured at each transition location.

2. Each team member must run-paddle-or road bike the entire segment of their race portion BEFORE handing their chip to the next team member.

3. Each Transition Area will be set up to ensure the best flow of team members to the awaiting team member for the chip exchange. We advise advance viewing of the transition areas – Chief Ladiga Trail Campground & Mama’s Beach bike area.  Boat and bike placement at the transition areas is pre-determined by your age and oder of registration received. Your supplied numbered bib will most likely not correspond to that number, so you must know your registration number, as it determines this placement.

For USA Triathlon current paid up members there is no fee for insurance but such entrants must sign and provide membership number on waiver form and present a photo I.D.    Non-members have to purchase a one-day USAT qualification and present a photo I.D.  Every racer must sign a waiver, either online when registering or at race headquarters.

Entrants must bring or rent their own boat. The vendors listed on our website have agreed to rent boats for this event.