1. What is the Rotary Triathlon and what is the Rotary River Run?

The Rotary Triathlon of Salem and the Rotary River Run of Salem are community service events presented by the Rotary Club of Salem and the Rotary Club of South Salem. The events include:

  • Olympic distance triathlon (individual and team entrants)
  • Olympic distance duathlon (individual and team entrants)
  • Sprint distance triathlon (individual and team entrants)
  • 5K and 10K timed running events
  • Food, drinks, and health/wellness exhibits for participants, friends, and all park patrons

2. When will the Rotary Triathlon of Salem and Rotary River Run of Salem be held?

The events will be conducted on Sunday, October 1, 2017, beginning at 8 a.m. at Riverfront Park

3. Where will the events take place?

The Rotary Triathlon will begin when swimmers enter the Willamette River from the boat dock at Riverfront Park. The swim course takes swimmers into the Willamette Slough, upriver along the edge of Minto-Brown Island Park against the current, and finally across the Willamette River with the current to the Wallace Marine Park boat ramp. Triathletes will transition to bikes and duathletes will start their event at this point. Riders leave Wallace Marine Park, cross the Union Street Bridge, cycle past downtown, and continue along River Road South before reversing direction at the half-way mark. The cycling event ends at Riverfront Park where athletes transition to the run. The running course takes participants across the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge and along trails on Minto-Brown Island Park before returning across the bridge to the finish line at Riverfront Park.

The Rotary River Run starts and finishes in Riverfront Park. Runners cross the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge and complete the same 5K or 10K circuit on Minto-Brown Island Park used for the triathlon and duathlon.

4. How many participants will be involved in the events?

The Rotary Triathlon is limited to the first 300 triathletes and duathletes who register. There is no limit on the number of participants in the Rotary River Run 5K/10K.

5. Who is conducting these events?

The Rotary Triathlon of Salem and the Rotary River Run of Salem are presented by the Rotary Club of Salem and the Rotary Club of South Salem. AA Sports, Ltd, is providing race management, timing, and event production support. The City of Salem is a co-sponsor and the Willamette Valley Triathlon Club is providing technical support and other assistance. This event is made possible by the generous support of local businesses, corporations, and individuals.

6. How can I find out more information about the events?

Our Official Website………………… http://rotarytriathlonofsalem.org/

Link to register for the Triathlon or Duathlon………………………………………………….. http://regtorace.com/event/200

Link to register for the River Run 5K/10K………………………………………………….. http://regtorace.com/event/248

Link for Volunteer Signup……………… http://regtorace.com/form/737

Link for Sponsorship Signup………….. http://regtorace.com/form/738

Link for Vendor Signup…………………. http://regtorace.com/form/738

Visit us on Facebook

7. Do you need volunteers?

Yes. The success of this event will depend in large measure on having a sufficient number of volunteers to assist in event staffing. We need volunteers to help with: event set up, traffic control, race management, water safety, information ambassadors, event take down, and site clean up, to name a few opportunities. Volunteers receive a t-shirt and community service hours. We need about 200 volunteers to assist us with various portions of this event. You can sign up as a volunteer on our website at http://rotarytriathlonofsalem.org or by emailing rotarytriathlonofsalem@gmail.com.

8. How much does it costs to participate?

Pre-registration for triathletes and duathletes is $105 per individual or $60 per person if registering as a member of a team. The cost for the 5K/10K depends on the age of the runner and ranges between $20 and $45. Day of Race registration is available for both events. Additional registration information is on our website (see Question 6 above).

Your race fee includes commemorative tech shirt, beautiful Finisher Medal, ChampionChip™ Timing, awards and prizes, and post-race refreshments, plus the opportunity to be part of a great end-of-summer competition. Your entry also includes a measure of personal satisfaction in participating in an inaugural event, the proceeds of which support good works in the community and the world.

9. Are there opportunities for businesses to be sponsors of the event?

Yes. There are opportunities for businesses, corporations, and individuals to support this event. In addition to cash gifts, we are interested in working with businesses who would like to receive credit as a sponsor based on in-kind service contributions. Among the material needs for the event: pre-race snacks and hot/cold drinks; tents, tables, and chairs; portable restrooms; trash and recycling containers; electrolyte and bottled water; ice; printing services; and post-race food and drink.

We have six levels of sponsorships, ranging from $500 (Supporting Sponsor) to $10,000 (Title Sponsor), with ascending measures of recognition. More information for sponsors is available on our website (http://rotarytriathlonofsalem.org) or by contacting Ms. Chane Griggs, Sponsor Chair, at chanegriggs@gmail.com or 503-999-2610

10. What will happen to proceeds raised from this event?

Funds raised from this event will be used by the Rotary Club of Salem and Rotary Club of South Salem to support local and international projects. Rotary is dedicated to building international relationships, improving lives, and creating a better world. The areas of focus for our work include:

  • Promoting peace
  • Fighting disease
  • Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Saving mothers and children
  • Supporting education
  • Growing local economies
  • Ending polio forever

To learn more about the work done by Rotarians around the world, go to https://www.rotary.org/en/our-causes

11. What happens if it rains?

The Rotary Triathlon and the Rotary River Run will take place, rain or shine.

Historically, average temperatures in the Mid-Willamette Valley continue to cool in September from earlier summer highs. As October approaches, the probability of rainfall increases. These late summer/early fall storm events tend to be small and relatively short-lived compared to winter storms.

As race planners, we will remain both optimistic and prepared.

  • Our two main event tents, the Food Pavilion and the Health/Wellness Exhibition Hall, will have flaps than can be lowered in inclement weather. There will be chairs and tables inside to provide seating for those enjoying food and drinks.
  • Canopies will be provided at key stations to provide cover.

Most importantly, maintaining the safety of the participants is our primary objective for the event. If we determine there has been sufficient rainfall to create a risk to swimmers from stormwater runoff contaminants, we will cancel the swim segment of the triathlon and transition all triathletes to the duathlon. We expect bike riders to exercise due diligence when navigating wet roads and runners to be cautious on wet trails.


1. How far is the swimming stage of the triathlon?

The swimming stage of the triathlon will be 750 meters (820 yards) for sprint distance triathletes and 1500 meters (1640 yards) for Olympic distance triathletes.

2. How will the swimming course be set up?

The swimming segment of the triathlon (See Figure 1) will begin at the boat dock at Riverfront Park and will end at the boat ramp of Wallace Marine Park. Swimmers will line up along the boat dock and up the gangway and will enter the water at the south end of the dock individually at approximately five second intervals. The swim course takes swimmers into the Willamette Slough, then upriver along the edge of Minto-Brown Island Park swimming against the current, and finally across the Willamette River with the current to exit at Wallace Marine Park’s boat ramp.

Figure 1: Swimming Course (dimensions are approximate)

3. How safe is it to swim in the Willamette River?

The City of Salem has been collecting monthly water quality samples in the Willamette River near the site of the swimming event since the mid-1990s. Based on an analysis of data collected between 2001 and 2016, the Willamette River scores 90 out of 100 (Excellent) year-round and 91 out of 100 (Excellent) for the month of October. These values are determined using a methodology developed by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Known as the Oregon Water Quality Index, the scores provide a summary measure of the overall health of a water body based on temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, bacteria, and other contaminants.

Additionally, to ensure safety for swimmers, the City of Salem will increase its sampling frequency during the three months preceding the triathlon, collecting seven samples between June 30 and September 29.

If any sampling results call into question the quality of the river, the swimming stage will be canceled and the race organizers will transition the triathlon into a duathlon.

4. What is the expected temperature in the Willamette River in October?

Based on an analysis of data collected by the City of Salem, the temperature in the Willamette River on the day of the event is expected to be between 58.6°F and 62.4°F (14.8°C – 16.9°C).

5. What safety measures will be taken during the open water swimming event?

In addition to sampling to verify the water quality of the river (see Question 3 above), additional safety measures include: (1) A trained safety observer on a personal watercraft monitoring swimmers; (2) Several kayaks positioned along the periphery of the course to provide opportunities for swimmers to rest by holding the bow, stern, or sides; (3) The City of Salem Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue Team positioned downstream of the course; (4) US Coast Guard Auxiliary and/or small motorboats upriver to control downriver traffic; and (5) An ambulance on standby and prepositioned at Wallace Marine Park in the vicinity of the boat ramp. To protect the triathletes’ feet, there will be a mat placed on the boat ramp at Wallace Marine Park.

6. Will the swim start in waves?

Yes. Triathletes will be divided into several groups prior to the start and swimmers will enter the water individually at intervals from the boat dock at Riverfront Park.

7. Where will T1, the Swim-Bike Transition, be located?

Triathletes will transition to bike stages at a transition area (T1) located in the parking lot of Wallace Marine Park not far from the boat ramp.


1. How far is the biking stage of the triathlon?

The biking stage of the triathlon will be 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) for sprint distance triathletes and 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) for Olympic distance triathletes and all duathletes.

2. How is the bike course laid out?

The bike route (see Figure 2) takes riders out of Wallace Marine Park, across the Union Street Bridge, onto Water Street, and into Riverfront Park. The riders exit Riverfront Park at Court Street and turn onto the right-hand lane of Front Street, which will be closed to vehicle traffic. The route eventually takes the athletes to River Road South by way of Commercial Street, Mission Street, Saginaw Street, and Owens Street. The turnaround for the Sprint distance (total 20 km) is near the Baily Ridge subdivision and the turnaround for the Olympic distance (total 40 km) is at the Independence Bridge. All riders will return to Riverfront Park and then transition to the run at T2. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2: Bike Course (triathletes and duathletes)

3. Will any roads be closed to vehicle traffic during the bike event?

While it is not possible to close the entire route to vehicular traffic, appropriate safety measures have been incorporated into the Traffic Control Plan to provide for safety. The right-hand lane of Front Street will be closed to vehicular traffic during the event to provide for cyclists as they exit and return to Riverfront Park. The segment of River Road South between downtown Salem and the entrance to Minto-Brown Island Park will be closed to vehicles and traffic control measures will be incorporated throughout to reduce risks to both riders and drivers.

4. What safety measures will be taken during the bike event?

To reduce the number of vehicles on the road, the event has been scheduled for early Sunday morning, a time typically with a low traffic volume. Safety mats will be placed at points where the bicycle course crosses a rail line. Among others safety measures to provide for a safe route for the biking stage of the event: (1) Traffic barricades, cones, candles, and signs will mark the route and discourage traffic along the course; (2) Where possible, segments of the route will be closed to all vehicular traffic; (3) Volunteers will be placed along the route to provide information to residents, businesses, and spectators; (4) Notices will be distributed well in advance to residents and businesses along the route informing them of the event and encouraging them to avoid using vehicles if possible; (5) Motorcycle-mounted marshals will be contracted to serve as safety observers and to provide on-scene updates to Race Managers; and (6) Professionals will be hired to manage traffic flow at key points along the route where needed.

5. Where will T2, the Bike-Run Transition, be located?

Triathletes and duathletes will transition from the bike to run stages at transition area (T2) located at Riverfront Park.


1. How far is the running course?

The running course is either the sprint distance of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) or the Olympic distance of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

2. Is the same course used for both the Rotary Triathlon and Rotary River Run?

Runners in the Rotary Triathlon and Rotary River Run will use the same course across the Peter Courtney Bridge and on Minto-Brown Island Park. Triathletes and duathletes will transition from the bike to run in Riverfront Park at T2 before running across the bridge. Participants in the Rotary River Run will begin at a start line established at Riverfront Park. The Rotary River Run will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday morning, at about the same start time as the swimming event for the triathlon.

3. How are the triathlon and duathlon running courses laid out?

After transitioning to the run at Riverfront Park (See Question 5 under The Biking Event), runners cross the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge, enter Minto-Brown Island Park, and follow a network of hard and soft trails. After completing the circuit on Minto-Island Park, runners cross the Peter Courtney Bridge to the Finish Line at Riverfront Park. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3: Running Course
(The route in Minto-Brown Island Park is under development.)


1. What is happening at Riverfront Park?

To complement the Rotary Triathlon and Rotary River Run events, there will be food and drink vendors and various health and wellness exhibitions at Riverfront Park. The current plan is for two large tents to be set up. One tent will serve as the Food Pavilion and the second will house the Health and Wellness Exhibition Hall. The interior of both tents will be equipped with tables and chairs. Depending on the weather, the tent side flaps will be raised or lowered.

Complementary food and drinks will be provided to participants. Food and drinks will be available for purchase by families, friends, and park patrons.

2. Are the Exhibition Hall and Food Court open to the public?

Absolutely. The Exhibition Hall and Food Pavilion will be open to participants, friends, families, and all park patrons.

3. Who do I contact if I want to be one of the vendors in the Exhibition Hall or Food Court?

Space in the Exhibition Hall or Food Pavilion is offered to Gold Sponsors ($2,500) and above, who will receive a free 10 X 10 on-site vendor booth in the Exhibition Hall with the sponsorship. For exhibitors who want to participate in the Health and Wellness Exhibition Hall, booths are available for non-sponsors at a nominal charge. Vendors in the Exhibition Hall may provide information and arrange follow-up appointments, but are not allowed to sell goods. The point of contact for all vendors is Mr. Brant Minor at brant@nw-events.com or 503-708-4871. For additional information regarding an opportunity to be a sponsor, please contact Ms. Chane Griggs at chanegriggs@gmail.com or 503-999-2610.