Why should I race in the Niagara Falls Barrelman?
Over the past 20 years we have developed a reputation as a triathlon event management company that is 100% committed to the customer/athlete. Every race must be of top quality with values and philosophies that are important to a lot of us in the sport. Every race produced by MultiSport Canada is about you the participant. The Niagara Falls Barrelman has been designed to give you an incredible race experience. We also want your friends and family to have a great time on race weekend. Here are some of the things you can expect:
- A beautiful race course designed to give you a first class race experience
- Great volunteers
- Fun for the whole family in Niagara Falls and the surrounding area
- Well stocked aid stations
What is the Minimum Age?
Athletes must be a minimum of 18 years old as of Dec 31st, on the same calendar year as the race.
How do I know that the course will be safe?
MultiSport Canada has a reputation and history of producing safe, fair, and fun races with the highest quality in design and athlete experience in mind.
What’s included in my entry fee?
- Race day pictures from FinisherPix courtesy of MultiSport Canada
- Every finisher will receive a “locally-sourced” medal
- Every finisher will receive a “locally-crafted” hat
- Barrelman t-shirt
What else do my race fees pay for?
- A professionally run top quality race that is fun, fair and SAFE
- Police to close roads and give right of way at intersections
- EMS Ambulance and Staff
- Additional on-site medical personnel including Paramedics
- Race venue fees
- Road permit fees
- Traffic control supplies such as barricades and cones
- Portable Toilets
- Truck Rentals
- Post Race Food
- Triathlon Ontario Officials
- Triathlon Ontario Sanctioning Fee
- Race Day Insurance
- Race Numbers
- Swim Caps
- Timing Company
- Race staff and crew – Pre-race and race weekend
- Accommodations for crew and staff
Are there any other fees other than the race fee?
Triathlon Ontario One Day Fee
There will be a $12 Triathlon Ontario One Day Fee for NON TO (Triathlon Ontario) members. This includes your race day insurance that is mandatory and non-refundable. If you are a USAT Member, you must pay the $12 Triathlon Ontario One Day Fee during registration.
For Canadian athletes that are from out of province and are members of their home Provincial Sporting Organization (PSO), you can enter your Triathlon Membership Card Number during registration to avoid being charged. Please contact email@example.com if you need to update your registration, for any reason.
If you wish to park near the Finish Line and shuttle bus pick-up area there is a $10 in-and-out parking pass for the the Rapidsview Parking lot located 700m from the Finish line. Your friends or family can drive to Welland to see the start and then park at the Rapidsview lot to enjoy a day at the Falls.
You can buy your $10 parking pass during online registration on on race weekend at race kit pickup.
For more information visit the Niagara Parks website.
- For the Triathlon, medals will be awarded to the top 3 male and female athletes in each age group in 5 year increments.
- In the Swim/Bike and Bike/Run awards are for 39 and Under, 40 – 59 and 60+ for both male and female athletes.
- For Relays, the top 3 teams will be receive awards.
Is there a Prize Purse? Please read the requirements to be eligible!
We offer a prize purse of $5,000 USD. The prize money will be awarded to the top 5 male and female finishers overall, whether a Pro or Age Group athlete. In order to be eligible for the Elite prize money you must start in the first wave.
If you request to start in the first wave we will need and will look up your previous results to confirm your ability to race in the Elite wave
PLEASE NOTE: You will not be eligible for age group awards if you request and choose to race for prize money.
The money will be allocated as follows:
1st – $ 1,000
2nd – $ 750
3rd – $ 500
4th – $ 150
5th – $ 100
Our announcer Steve Fleck interviewed MultiSport Canada Founder and Barrelman Race Director, John Salt in September 2022.
The interview covers everything from the original concept behind Barrelman and many of the questions you many have. Please click the link to watch that interview. Here is the interview
How does race day race kit pick-up work?
Step 1 – Upon arrival in Welland proceed to the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC)
Step 2 – Pick up you race kit at the table with your race number sequence
Step 3 – At the next table pick-up your T-shirt
Step 4 – At the next table pick-up your swim cap
Step – Please visit our vendors at the expo outside the WIFC
If I’m staying near Welland and not taking the shuttle will there be a bag drop at T1 on race morning for T2/Finish bags?
Yes, there will be a drop-off zone at the WIFC. Your T2 bags will be brought to T2 in Niagara Falls and placed under your number on the bike rack.
Am I allowed to come to the race on race morning to pick-up my race kit?
Yes, as long as you send us an email during race week requesting to do so.
Can I park in Welland on race morning?
Yes however, there are no shuttles back to Welland after the race and you will need to arrange your own transportation back to your car in Welland.
Where do I get the shuttle bus and what is the procedure on race day and where should I my family and/or friends park?
The shuttle buses will lave from the Upper Rapids parking lot, which is the same place you will park your car. Race day shuttle buses will run every 15 minutes, starting at 6:00AM until 7:40AM, from the Upper Rapids Boulevard/Niagara Parkway parking area (see map) in Niagara Falls to the swim start in Welland. Please arrive early!
Before boarding you will be able to leave your T2 and Finish bags with our crew. Your T2 bags will be brought to T2 in Niagara Falls and placed under your number on the bike rack. The ride to Welland and the WIFC takes approximately 25 minutes. There will be a schedule included in the Pre-Race Email.
For parking suggestions please read them HERE.
If we are on a relay team and the runner wishes to watch the swim start, how do they get to Niagara Falls?
There will be shuttle buses to take all swimmers on a relay back to T2 in time for you to meet your cyclist. Please inquire about this at race kit pick-up. Shuttle buses WILL NOT be available for spectators to get back to Niagara Falls. Please plan accordingly.
Are there cut-off times for the swim, bike, run and Finish?
Swim Start Waves
Swim start waves will be based on Projected Finish Time. Each wave will have between 60 to 80 athletes and we feel this will be the best and safest when looking at the logistical issues with a fast and flat race.
Here are some of those considerations and logistical reasons why we use Projected Finish Time to set the starting waves.
One of the things we would like athletes to consider is that before deciding on a swim start strategy, we must analyze the race in its entirety and first of all make decisions to ensure athlete safety. In the case of Barrelman one of the biggest safety factors is the nature of the bike course and what we must do to help spread athletes out after the swim and onto the bike. With safety being the number one goal and athlete experience a close second. Here are some of the things to consider, most of which are bike course safety centric, since it plays the biggest factor in overall athlete safety.
- Why do you not start Barrelman with Self Seeding or Rolling Starts ala Ironman
- Time Trial
- Shortened time between age group waves
- Changing the age group order and Elite Age Group
- Group waves by projected swim time
- Based on Projected Finish Time
In the case of the first five considerations, all of which have also been suggested by athletes, there are logistical reasons that they are not safe and/or logistically practical when looking at the race as a whole.
- A Self Seeding or Rolling Start is not ideal simply because there is not ample room at the Welland International Flatware Centre to organize and start 900 to 1,000 swimmers.
- The logistics behind a time trial start and communicating with each athlete, given the footprint of the WIFC, see Self Seeding, would be problematic. We also believe that the start of a race like Barrelman Niagara Falls has to be special. To have 900 to 1,000 swimmers starting in a Time Trial format would feel anticlimactic and we do not want to take away from that experience.
- In the case of having less time between waves, there is an increased likelihood of larger packs, drafting and overall more crowding, simply because of the flat bike course. While some may suggest that the wind helps break up packs, we cannot possibly know what wind conditions will be like on race day, therefore it is not a factor.
- Historically data will give us a time range when most of the athletes in an age group will finish. One of the reasons we allowed athletes to request starting in an Elite Age Group wave is because these athletes have a greater likelihood of being the top athletes in each age group. If these athletes started in the later waves it would increase the amount of passing on the bike as they worked their way to the front. We did realize that this may have not been completely fair to other age group athletes and it was the reason anyone could request the Elite Age Group start, providing they had the resume. Ultimately we made the decision for an EAG start wave so as to improve safety on the bike course. This topic was one of the most discussed in the past week or so with the consensus that Elite Age Group should either have it’s own awards and not impact the age group standing or there should not be an Elite Age Group start.
- All swimmers are not created equal when considering that the swim is the shortest leg of any triathlon. One must also think about the fact that a great swimmer might be a very slow cyclist, which takes you back to potential issues on the bike course. Another consideration, also voiced by swimmers in the Barrelman Group page, is that waves based on swim times will ultimately keep most of that group fairly close to each other. This results in more contact in the water, a safety and athlete experience issue. It also would mean more swimmers coming out of the swim at the same time, resulting in more packs on the bike and a safety issue
- We have speculated that waves starts based on Projected Finish Time is probably one of the better ways to group the start waves. They should not negatively impact the bike course safety considerations and should, for the most part, still keep the race spread out. The reasoning being that with a projected finish we are not giving uneven weight to any of the three disciplines. Great swimmers may not be the fastest cyclist or the best runner. Great cyclist may be very slow swimmers etc. The main reason we were unsure of using projected times is we felt that some first timers may have difficulty giving a projected finish time and we did not want to create any additional angst for athletes racing this distance for the first time.
Is there a race support vehicle on the bike route? Will they have things such as spare tires?
The easy answer is, you should be self sufficient. There is absolutely no way that we can know at a specific time if you are having an issue with your bike. The crew does sweep the course post bike and is back and forth at various times. Unfortunately we cannot offer support for a specific situation over 90km. Sorry!
I have never competed in a triathlon with two transitions, how does it work and how do I get my gear bags to T2 and the Finish?
All of this information can be found HERE
I won’t be able to look over T2 before the race, what should I know?
If you get a chance you might want to drive to Niagara Falls on Saturday so you can see T2 set-up. It is very straightforward. Below is a short video courtesy of one of the Barrelman Ambassadors, William McAnirlin III, that will give you a visual of what you will see on race day as you finish the bike. Thanks Mac!!
Here also is a link to a step by step guide on how to manage two transitions. Two Transitions, What Do I Do?
How does the water bottle exchange on the bike work? Do I have to figure out the grab while riding?
Please remember our bottle drops and run aid stations are manned by volunteers. Volunteers will be asked to hold bike drop water bottles by the base of the water bottle. This should give you a good target for you to grab the water bottle without stopping. If something happens that you are not pleased with please let us know after the race and, in the heat of the moment, PLEASE DO NOT take it out on the volunteers.
Some common courtesies and safety considerations:
- Prior to getting to the bottle drop (see course maps HERE) we ask that you drop any bottle in the designated area
- If you want to grab a bottle “on the fly” and as you approach the bottle drop, it is IMPERATIVE that you move to the right and slow down. If you stay at race speed it is dangerous to others and you may not be able to grab the bottle.
- If you are unsure as to whether you can grab a bottle while moving, do the smart thing and stop. If you choose to stop, please do so in a space you won’t be in the way of the other riders, preferably after the tables. You MUST stop as far over to the right as possible to ensure you do not impede the progress of others and to avoid a potentially dangerous situation!!
What distance markings are on the course(s)?
Bike – 90KM
There will be kilometre (KM) markings every 5km. There will not be any Mile markings. For our U.S. friends, there are 1.6km in a mile.
Run – 21.1km
There will be KM signs at every KM. Please note that because you start your second loop of the run by passing transition, which is 11km in the race. The first km marking you will see when you start the run will be the 11km marker. After that you will see the 1km marker and so on.
(see ALL course maps HERE)
What are the rules on wearing a wetsuit?
Wetsuit use is governed by the following tables:
|1501m and longer
|22 Degrees C and above
|15.9 Degrees C and below
|1501m and longer
|24.6 Degrees C and above
|15.9 Degrees C and below
|24.6 Degrees C and above
|15.9 Degrees C and below
For more info on wetsuit rulings, please see the 2023 ITU Competition Rules for World Triathlon Series Events
What qualifying events are offered at Barrelman in 2024?
The Long Distance Aqua Bike is a Qualifying Race for the 2025 Age Group World Championships.
Qualifying spots for the Long Distance Aqua Bike are in 5 year age groups e.g. Men 40-44, Men 45-49 etc. Categories will be age adjusted to Dec 31st of the year of the Championship.
For more information about qualifying for Age Group World Championship Events at Barrelman, please visit this page HERE.
Can I wear a personal listening device during the race?
No, the Triathlon Ontario rule is that no personal listening device can be worn during the race.
Can I sign up for a triathlon relay with only 2 people?
Yes – Be sure to register one of the two people a second time during the process.
Do you rent Bikes or Wetsuits?
No we do not. At some of our events, wetsuits are available for rental but that entirely depends on which retailers are present and if they are renting or not. This information can usually be found in our pre-event notice sent early in the week, leading into the event.
What are the Top 10 Frequently Violated Rules with corresponding Triathlon Canada Competition Rule Numbers
- Swim Caps: A competitor must wear the swim cap provided by the race organization. (6.2.1)
- Helmets: Helmets are compulsory and must be ANSI/SNELL approved (184.108.40.206.1) and chin straps must be fastened anytime the athlete is in possession of the bicycle. This means that before the bike is removed from the rack, the chin strap must be fastened and remain fastened until the bike is placed back on the racks. (220.127.116.11) and (9.1.1)
- Bicycles: Riding of bicycles in the transition zone is strictly prohibited at all times. (9.1.6)
- Assistance: Competitors may not receive assistance at any time during the race, or in the transition zone. (This excludes medical or safety assistance given by designated race volunteers or qualified staff.) (18.104.22.168)
- Drafting: Drafting of another competitor or motor vehicle is prohibited on the bike course. (22.214.171.124) The draft zone in a long distance triathlon surrounding each competitor measures 10 metres X 2 metres from the front edge of the front wheel. (126.96.36.199) Competitors have 15 seconds to pass through this zone when overtaking another athlete. (188.8.131.52)
- Blocking: Cyclists should keep to the right at all times, unless passing. Alert fellow cyclists of your intention to pass by saying, “on your left”. (184.108.40.206)
- Race Course: Competitors must follow the prescribed course route in all segments of the race as defined by the race organization. (220.127.116.11)
- Race Instructions: It is the Competitor’s responsibility to read all supplied information given in the race kits, posted at the race site and listen to verbal announcements given by the Race Director and Race Officials. (4.1.3) and (4.1.4)
- Unsportsmanlike Conduct: Verbal or physical abuse of officials and race volunteers is not acceptable or tolerated. (18.104.22.168)
- Torsos: All athletes must have their torsos covered on the bike (7.1.4) and run portions (8.1.3) of the event. Bib numbers must be visible on the bike and run courses. (22.214.171.124)