March Triathlon Series 2017 - WCCTC Race Planning Update and Preliminary Proposal
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The West Coast Collegiate Triathlon Conference Championships Preliminary Olympic Distance Race Proposal & Planning Update
It is the mission of the March Triathlon Series to produce a competitive sporting event that promotes athletic excellence, sportsmanship, and a love for the sport while raising money for the Cal Poly Triathlon Team and providing a safe and supportive environment.
Table of ContentsRace Proposal at a Glance1Summary1Introduction2History2Need2Methodologies2General Planning2Goals3Challenges and Solutions3Preliminary Race Proposal: Details and Updates4Location4Transition Area4Swim Course5Bike Course6Run Course7General Safety & Communications9Traffic Control & Parking10Lodging Options & Accommodations11Registration & Website Updates12Timing12USAT Sanctioning Status & Race Rules12Marketing13Contact Information*13
DateMarch 26, 2017
CourseWCCTC & Open Olympic Distance Course .750-1 km ocean swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run(.47-.62 mi swim, 24.85 mi bike, 6.24 mi run)Open Sprint Distance Course.750-1km ocean swim, 20 km bike, 5 km run
Wave Start TimesBased on a targeted 7:30 am race start time 7:30: Olympic WCCTC Collegiate Men 1st wave 8:15: Olympic WCCTC Collegiate Women 1st wave 8:45: Olympic Open Men and Women 1st wave 9:15: Sprint USAHSTC High School Boys and Girls 9:30: Sprint Open Men and Women 1st wave
Qualifications1. History of success and race management experience for large-scale triathlons2. Dedicated & tight-knit race committee that has stood up to early challenges3. Veteran race coordinator heading venue shift4. Stakeholders have opined no significant risks to remain after our initial proposals and planning approaches
Race Proposal at a GlanceSummary
The Cal Poly Triathlon Teams legacy of successful race management and past triathlons, combined with current environmental conditions, has led the MTS 2017 Race Committee to prepare for a venue shift from Lopez Lake, Arroyo Grande to the quaint little beach town of Cayucos. With specific goals and adequate project management tools to produce a professional race series, along with experience in overcoming early challenges, the Race Committee is well prepared to accomplish the necessary tasks that remain over the next few months. While final permits have not been obtained, current communications with stakeholders have indicated no insurmountable roadblocks, literal or figurative, and we have the green light to go full throttle in finalizing race preparations. Such preparations, namely a final Temporary Traffic Control Plan and detailed Safety/Risk Management Plan, can be made available upon request in their current stages, and will be sent out to the WCCTC Director (and Conference teams, if requested) when completed, no later than mid- February. Current race plans from the operations and marketing aspects of our event are overviewed along with basic safety measures that will be implemented. All input is welcome, and we will do everything possible to appease the majority opinions and needs of the WCCTC with the short timeline remaining for our preparations. We understand that change can be frightening, so we hope that the ensuing, detailed overview gives you confidence to believe that the coming changes will above all else be enthralling.13
For those unfamiliar with MTS, it will help to first know our history in order to understand the importance of our planned venue shift from our historical location of Lopez Lake, Arroyo Grande, to the tranquil, orchard-studded backroads and saline shoreline aromas of the coolest little beach town in California: Cayucos.
The forerunner of MTS began to take form in 1998, when a Cal Poly Triathlon team member formally organized the clubs campus and Hwy 1-based race, inviting other university teams to attend. A year later, the race became the March Warm-Up, the official warm-up for California university triathlon teams for Nationals in May. As the race grew in reputation and popularity in the ensuing years, it moved to Lopez Lake to accommodate greater numbers of eager participants. There, it split into the Series it is today, offering traditional Olympic and Sprint distance races for collegiate and age group athletes alike.
Since it began, the March Triathlon Series has evolved into a beloved, quality triathlon for regional and collegiate athletes, growing from a little over 10 participants to annual averages of 500-600. Moreover, its profits have often provided up to a third of the Cal Poly Triathlon Teams operating budget, thus representing a significant revenue stream for our team to accomplish a crucial part of its mission: to make the sport of triathlon accessible and affordable for all collegiate athletes. Similar to other WCCTC races, profits from our teams race support heavily discounted membership, race and coaching fees.
However, the onslaught of recent drought years in California has threatened all of the above. Facing the assurance of a duathlon at Lopez Lake for 2017, and understanding (1) the statistics on duathlon vs. triathlon participation rates, (2) the WCCTCs standards for a conference championships, and (3) recent declines in MTS participation and revenues, likely associated with drought conditions; the Cal Poly Triathlon officer core decided that it was in our clubs and Conferences interests to plan an MTS venue shift for the 2nd time in our races history.MethodologiesGeneral Planning
Preparations for MTS 2017 began the day after MTS 2016 concluded, with investigating the feasibilities of new, possible race sites. By May, a new committee was formed through a rigorous application process, and established specific goals (see below section) through a project initiation document (PID) for 2017s race.
During the summer, planning continued with formulations of initial proposals. In late September, these proposals were submitted to County Parks and County Public Works for review. By late October, the former responded, and the latter by mid November. Both have responded positively, and we are currently collaborating with both governmental agencies, and other key stakeholders, to ensure final permit application packages can be submitted by late January. Please see attached Gantt chart for a predicted timeline of this and other logistical planning finalizations.
To meet the Mission of the March Triathlon Series, the MTS Race Committee will seek to accomplish the following, among other goals:
1. Collaboratively develop traffic control and parking, communications, course and signage, expo and transition, volunteer, and safety plans between the project kickoff meeting and late-January.2. Design the logistics of an open water ocean swim so it is challenging but safe for all levels of swimmers, and does not deter potential registrants.3. Develop relationships with impacted businesses and residents to maximize their, our, and registrants race day experiences
A complete list and explanation of our goals, along with timelines and details for how well measure their achievement or lack thereof, is detailed in our PID.
Challenges and Solutions
The MTS 2017 Race Committee is capable of handling the intense pressures and issues that have and could arise with our venue shift.
If there are doubts, it may help to recount a few events from this early summer. Then, we were focused on moving our race to Pismo Beach. After almost 2 months of proposal drafting, site visits, and countless conference-call style video meetings, we met with the Special Events Committee, a group of key City stakeholders including the police and residents. In short, half were for it, half were against hosting our event there, due to parking shortages, timing conflicts with local Spring Break tourism, and traffic control issues.
Understanding these roadblocks to be insurmountable, we pulled the plug on MTS Pismo Beach after finding an alternative with Cayucos. We were then able to rebound, generating new proposals in little over a month to meet an approaching September deadline for Public Works. Rather than being motivationally crushed, we viewed our Pismo Beach experience as an important lesson in race management and became a stronger team because of it.
The MTS 2017 Race Committee understands how important our race is to the WCCTC, and has devoted countless hours already to ensure a pathway for success. We can assure you that we are more than ready, and able, to tackle challenges that present themselves to us in the coming months. Please see the attached risk matrix and below race proposal-specific sections to understand the risks we have registered, and their associated mitigation and contingency plans to date. These plans will be adjusted and finalized in the coming two months with Cayucos Fire, CHP/Sheriff Department, Public Works, and other stakeholders.Preliminary Race Proposal: Details and UpdatesLocation
Situated only 22 miles south from Hearst Castle and 21 miles north of San Luis Obispo, Cayucos is an ideal location for a new MTS venue, due to the nature of the unincorporated city, its surrounding environment, and its proximity to neighboring attractions. Easily accessible by the scenic Highway 1, Cayucos is known to many as the last of the California beach towns, and a cool or funky one at that: it attracts an amalgam of local surfers, ranch hands and owners, conservationists, and of course, tourists from the Central Valley and urban meccas across California, all over-eager for that aromatic, ocean-breeze respite from smog or fast-paced city life.
We chose Cayucos not only because its geography was most conducive to triathlon planning, but also because it best preserves the elements deemed quintessenti