The GCT swim course is a 1.2-mile (2112 yd.) open water swim in the Gulf of Mexico. Wetsuits are allowed and optional as long as the water temperature is below 78 degrees F.
The swim will start and finish at the Boardwalk Beach Resort at Panama City Beach, Florida. It is an out and back course starting at the east side of the Boardwalk Beach Resort complex. Athletes will start on the beach and swim one loop the rectangular course in a counter clockwise direction. At the finish, athletes will exit the water and run up to T1.
The course goes straight out from shore 950 yards, turns left for 200 yards, turns left again and then back to shore at the Boardwalk Beach Resort. The swim will begin at 06:15 AM with the physically challenged triathletes followed by 10 waves at 06:25 AM.
The waves will be grouped as follows
(Clydesdales and Athenas will race in their age group waves):
|Wave Number||Start Time||Category||Cap Color|
|2||6:20||Women 35 to 44||orange|
|4||6:30||All Other Women||dark green|
|6||6:40||Men 50-54||neon green|
|7||6:45||Men 30-34||royal blue|
|9||6:55||Men 40-44||dark green|
|11||7:05||Men 15-24 / Relays||yellow|
The swim course will be marked with large buoys approximately every 125 yards to keep the swimmers on course. Large buoys will be positioned at the outer corners for a visual reference. Several small safety boats, jet skis, kayaks, and surfboards will be positioned along the swim course to aid in navigation or to help any swimmer in distress. Safety swimmers, lifeguards and an ambulance will be stationed near the finish line.
The bike course is an out-and-back course traveling through residential, commercial, and rural areas of Bay County and Panama City Beach.
The course is flat and fast with head winds averaging 15 mph. You will be sharing the road with automobiles and at times traffic may be heavy so please obey all traffic regulations. Police will be at all congested intersections and you will have the right-of-way unless the police stop you for an emergency vehicle or other such related matters.
Numerous signs are posted to inform the local traffic of the race in progress and GCT volunteers will direct athletes to keep you on course. When entering or exiting the bike transition, you will be instructed to walk. Always keep your chinstrap fastened. An unfastened chinstrap is cause for immediate disqualification.
Sag wagons will be on the course to transport triathletes back to the transition area who have experienced mechanical or other problems. Drafting will not be tolerated. There will be 7 USA Triathlon officials. Head official is Ben Hughes. Motorcycles with trained draft marshal deputies will be controlling the bike course.
- Begin at the Boardwalk Beach Resort transition area and proceed west on South Thomas Drive and to Front Beach Rd. going towards Hwy 79.
- Continue west on Front Beach Rd to Hutchinson Blvd intersection.
- Turn left on Front Beach Rd and continue west to Hwy 79.
- Turn right on Hwy 79 and go north towards Hwy 98 intersection.
- Continue north on Hwy 79, go through West Bay and continue north to Pine Log Rd.
- Turn left on Pine Log Rd and continue west 4.4 miles and make a U-turn at end of road.
- After the U-turn, go east on Pine log Rd to Hwy 79.
- Turn right on Hwy 79 and head south to Steelfield Rd.
- Turn right on Steelfield Rd and head west 4.5 miles to Sunbelt Dr.
- Make a U-turn at Sunbelt Drive and head east on Steelfield Rd to Hwy 79.
- Turn right on Hwy 79 and head south to Front Beach Road
- Turn left on Front Beach Road heading east.
- Turn right on S. Thomas Drive and then right into the Boardwalk Beach Resort.
The bike course has aid stations approximately every 8-12 miles staffed with friendly volunteers offering encouragement and replenishments. Stations will have water, Gatorade Endurance Formula, Clif Bars, Clif Bloks and fruit.
The run is a flat circular course traveling through some of the most beautiful beachfront areas that distinguishes Panama City Beach as having the World's Most Beautiful Beaches.
Temperatures average 85 degrees with high humidity. It is recommended that you apply a sunscreen while running. Sunscreen will be available as you exit the bike to run transition. We will have volunteers with sunscreen ready to assist you.
Aid Stations are numerous with the friendliest volunteers offering you encouragement and assistance. Stations will have water, Gatorade, fruit, Clif Gel, and cola.
Communication between aid stations and the base station located at the finish line medical station is available to all triathletes experiencing medical or other problems.
The 13.1-mile out and back run course starts and finishes at the Boardwalk Beach Resort. The run will begin at the transition area immediately after the bicycle segment of the race.
There will be mile markers and aid stations approximately every mile. Traffic cones separate the runners from the traffic where necessary. The traffic cones will not block the flow of traffic. Numerous signs are posted to inform the local traffic of the race in progress and GCT volunteers will be used to keep runners on course.
The run course is described below.
- Exit Boardwalk Beach Resort, go east on South Thomas Dr. to Thomas Dr.
- Go east on Thomas Dr. to Joan Ave and turn right and go to Surf Dr.
- Go east on Surf Dr. to Utes and turn left.
- Go north on Utes, cross Thomas Dr.
- Go one block and veer right onto Sunset.
- Proceed onto S. Lagoon Dr.
- Go east on S. Lagoon Dr. to Mystic Dr. and turn right and go to Hilltop Ave.
- Turn left on Hilltop and go to Treasure Circle.
- Turn left on Treasure Circle and follow it to Beach Dr.
- Go west on Beach Dr to Irwin and turn left.
- Go south on Irwin to Thomas Dr. and turn left on Thomas Dr. and go to Spyglass Dr.
- Turn right on Spyglass Dr and follow Spyglass Dr. to Lookout Dr.
- Turn left on Lookout Dr and go to Thomas Dr.
- Turn right on Thomas Dr and go to State Park.
- Make complete loop through State Park in a counter-clockwise direction.
- Exit State Park and follow same route back to the finish line at the Boardwalk.
The run course will have mile markers and aid stations approximately every mile staffed with friendly volunteers offering you encouragement and assistance. Stations will have water, Gatorade, fruit, Clif Blocks, and cola. Communication between aid stations and the base station located at the finish line medical station is available to all triathletes experiencing medical or other problems.
Sprint Swim Course
The 500 yard swim course will use the same start and finish locations as the half Iron distance swim course.
The swimmers will enter the water at the start line, swim 150 yards directly out to sea then turn left and swim 200 yards along the beach in an easterly direction.
After swimming 200 yards along the beach, the swimmers will again turn left and head directly towards the finish line for a total of 500 yards.
The below Table contains the geographical coordinates for the path of the sprint swim course.
|1st turn||150 yards|
|2nd turn||350 yards|
Sprint Bike Course
The bicycle portion is a 9 mile loop around North lagoon. The bike course will:
- Exit the transition area at the Boardwalk and head west on S. Thomas Drive similar to the half Iron distance bike course.
- Continue to Front Beach Rd and turn right on Front Beach Rd.
- Continue east on Front Beach Rd and turn right on Thomas Dr.
- Continue east on Thomas Drive and turn left on North Lagoon Dr.
- Continue east on North lagoon Drive to Thomas Drive and turn right.
- Continue on Thomas Drive, go over the North Lagoon Bridge and turn right on Thomas Drive.
- Continue west on Thomas Drive to the transition area at the Boardwalk Beach Resort.
Sprint Run Course
The run course will be a 3-mile out and back course that starts and stops at the Boardwalk Beach Resort. Refer to the map of the run course.
The run will begin at the transition area immediately after the bicycle segment of the race. The run course is described below.
- Exit the Boardwalk Beach Resort and go east on South Thomas Drive to Thomas Drive.
- Go east on Thomas Drive to Joan Ave and turn right and go to Surf Drive.
- Go east on Surf Drive. to Choctaw Street, turn around and follow the reciprocal path to the transition area.