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The Battle of Waterloo and Half the Battle

Sunday, July 21, 2019 @ 7:30 AM - 2:30 PM

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The Battle of Waterloo and Half the Battle

Yes, you read the date correctly.  The next event will happen in 2019.  This odd race only happens during odd years so catch it when you can!

A portion of this event’s proceeds go to benefit our featured charity, Team RWB.

USAT Level 2 DirectorSearching for a true test of your triathlon skills? Look no further than the Battle of Waterloo, featuring 10 legs totaling 42 miles that traverse the sprawling Waterloo Recreation Area, one of the most rugged and beautiful parks in the Midwest. You’ll bike paved remote roads, run winding dirt lanes, climb steep trails, and swim across three wilderness lakes… carrying your shoes and swim gear with you the entire time. Don’t have that much time? Try Half the Battle: six legs, 18 miles of the same terrain  (OK, less than half, but Half the Battle is a great name!).

The second race in the Wolverine State Brewing Company Triathlon Series, the Battle of Waterloo will be held on Sunday, July 23, 2017. The Battle of Waterloo is the real deal: no cargo nets to climb, no pits of mud in your path, no monkey bars to maneuver through. The lake may be ice cold… or it may not. Our only threat of electroshock is a thunderstorm. Lily pad tangles and jungles of aquatic plants are amongst the obstacles you’ll encounter. Battle of Waterloo pits you against Mother Nature. Can you survive the adventure?

Each participant will receive:

  • The hottest finisher’s medal around (the three finisher’s medals in the series are all functional tools. Talk about beautiful — and practical — bling!)
  • A super-soft, high-quality Battle of Waterloo race T-shirt
  • The best post-race snacks, period!
  • FREE downloads of your professional Battle of Waterloo photos by Greg Sadler Photography
  • Post-race party at the Wolverine State Brewing Company beer garden for those participants 21 and up
  • Boasting rights about having completed one of the country’s toughest wilderness triathlons, as seen in Triathlete Magazine!


Left: Women’s Fitted race shirt. Right: Traditional Cut race shirt.


Every member of the Epic Lifeguard Team has American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding Certification in addition to basic American Red Cross Lifeguarding Certification. This means that our guards have all taken and passed an additional course in which they received training in the knowledge and skills needed to prevent and respond to emergencies in non-surf, open-water areas. Our superbly trained lifeguards are yet another reason our races are so Epic! Our lifeguards are also able to keep our swimmers safe thanks to our official SUP company, Red Star Board Company. We’re very grateful to have Red Star as part of Epic team.



Choose Your Challenge!

Battle of Waterloo: swim 1.5 miles, bike 26.3 miles, and run 13.5 miles over 10 legs. Click here for a detailed course description!

Half the Battle: six legs — run, bike, swim, run, bike, run — for a total of approximately 18 miles of Waterloo wilderness. Click here for a detailed course description!

Athena and Clydesdale categories available for the full Battle of Waterloo! You’ll be given the opportunity to select Age Group, Athena, or Clydesdale when you register. Already signed up for the race? Manage your registration at www.runsignup.com.2017newgovcouncil

The Battle of Waterloo is part of the Pure Michigan FITness Series of events and is endorsed by the Michigan Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health, and Sports.

The Battle of Waterloo is a Leave No Trace event. Learn more about our race-day recycling and composting efforts here. Want more information about running a great race and leaving no trace? Click here to visit Happy Planet Running!

Cut-Off Times

Full Battle of Waterloo participants must meet the following cut-off times to continue the race:

Leg 6 — must reach Leg 6 in 4 hours or by 11:30 a.m.
Leg 8 — must reach Leg 8 in 5 hours, 20 minutes or by 1:10
Finish — must reach the finish line in 6 hours 15 minutes or by 1:45


Wetsuit Information

Each participant shall be permitted to wear a wetsuit without penalty in this event up to and including a water temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Would you really want to carry it, though?


So How Do I Carry My Shoes, Again?

With three swim leg three swim legs (full Battle) or one swim leg (Half the Battle) right in the middle of the triathlon, you’ll need to find a way to keep your shoes, socks, and anything else you want to carry along dry. Yes, some folks just wear their shoes in the swim — or tuck them up their swimsuits — and don’t worry about the squishy wetness and chafing, and more power to them. If that’s not your cup of tea, we’ve got a solution for you: the SaferSwimmer!

Safer SwimmerThe International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) developed the SaferSwimmer as a personal safety device for open-water swimmers and it is ideal for the Battle of Waterloo. The SaferSwimmer makes you visible to our lifeguards while you are swimming. It can be used as a flotation device in case you suffer cramps, dizziness, or need a breather. Its waterproof seal also provides storage to keep your stuff safe and with you during the three one-way swims. Take a look at our slide show at the top of this page; you’ll see photos of Battle of Waterloo participants, all sporting the brightly colored SaferSwimmer. Want a SaferSwimmer? Contact us at info@epicraces.com to request a special code for 25% off the purchase of a SaferSwimmer, plus free shipping!



Preliminary results will be posted at the race venue, with finalized results posted on our site several hours following the conclusion of the event. As per USA Triathlon rules, there will be no time adjustments should participants be delayed by traffic, train crossings, accidents, weather, or other causes of detainment.


Sneak Peek at What Lies in Store…

Check out this trailer by Greg Sadler for the 2014 Battle of Waterloo!


USAT (USA Triathlon) Information

USAT Sanctioned Event Color

USAT offers youth annual memberships at $10 per child per year. USAT adult annual memberships cost $50. As of Oct. 24, 2017, USA Triathlon will allow athletes to apply the cost of up to three (3) one-day licenses (up to $45 total), purchased within the past year, toward an annual age-group membership (not valid on elite or youth memberships). Previously, athletes could only apply the cost of one (1) one-day license toward an annual membership. The one-day license receipt is valid for one year from the date of the event for which it was purchased. One-day licenses cannot be applied retroactively; however, the athlete can apply their one-day(s) toward their next renewal. If you participate in more than three USAT-sanctioned events per year, purchasing a USAT annual membership not only is more cost efficient but also helps fund USAT development and training programs for athletes, coaches, referees, and more! See USA Triathlon for more information and to join as an annual member.

Non-USAT Fee Explanation: The $15/daily adult fee for non-USAT members pays for USAT insurance. The entire fee goes to USAT. USAT is the national governing body for the sport of triathlon. Epic Races’ affiliation is with USAT. Non-USAT members who pay a one-day USAT license fee need not present proof of membership.

All participants, regardless of whether or not they are USAT members, must present photo ID.

Click here to see USAT’s competition rules. To learn the most common USAT rule violations, click here.


Park Information

The Portage Lake Unit of Waterloo State Recreation Area is located at 11500 Seymour Road, Grass Lake, MI 49240. For personalized directions, click here. A State of Michigan Park permit is required to enter Waterloo Recreation Area. The Recreation Passport is your ticket to Michigan’s state parks and outdoor adventures for an entire year! Michigan residents are not able to purchase a one-day park pass. For State Park entry, all Michigan residents must have a Recreation Passport. Out-of-state residents will be required to purchase either a daily permit or an annual Motor Vehicle Permit.

For current pricing and more information about the Recreation Passport, click here.

Event Schedule

5:45 AM — Packet Pick-Up
5:45 AM — Transition area opens
7:00 AM — Packet Pick-Up closes
7:15 AM — Transition area closes
7:15 AM — Mandatory meeting
7:30 AM — Race begins: Full Battle
8:00 AM — Race begins: Half the Battle
11:30 AM — Post-race celebration and athlete snacks in the finish area
Award Ceremony — time to be decided


Male and Female Age Divisions: 15-17, 18-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+


All Battle of Waterloo finishers will receive a commemorative finisher's medal.

Special awards will be presented to the 1st Overall Male/Female, the 1st Overall Masters (40 and up) Male/Female, and the top 5 finishers in each age division in the full Battle of Waterloo.

Special awards will be presented to the 1st Overall Male/Female and the first-place finisher in each age division in Half the Battle.

The 1st Overall Athena and Clydesdale finishers in 39 and under and in 40 and up will receive a special award. Please note: Athena and Clydesdale finishers are ineligible for age-group awards.

Hotel and Camping Information

Chelsea Comfort Inn & Village Conference Center

1645 Commerce Park Drive
Chelsea, MI 48118

Click Here to Reserve Your Room

Special rate: Special $104/night room rate for the evening of Saturday, July 23. Be sure to mention Battle of Waterloo to receive this special rate! Reservations must be made by June 23, 2016.
Distance from race: 12.5 miles There are two options for reservations at the Waterloo/Portage Lake campground:

Visit PureMichigan.org and click on the "Book at Waterloo Recreation Area Now" link in the middle of the page. Click on “Campsite go >>” and choose Portage Lake Campground.

Call 800-447-2757 and specify Waterloo Recreation Area Portage Lake Campground.

The Battle of Waterloo and Half the Battle Entry Fees


Q. I signed up for the Athena division but I'd like to switch to the Age-Group division. Can I transfer?
A. Yes! You can switch from your event to any other by logging in to your Run Sign Up account, clicking the My Registered Races button, clicking Manage Registration by Battle of Waterloo, then clicking the Transfer Event button and following the onscreen instructions. If you purchased a one-day USAT membership, you will need your one-day USAT membership number. You'll find this in the email sent to you within hours of registration by USAT; look for the subject line "USA Triathlon Membership Upgrade." You can also switch events at Packet Pick-Up.

Q. Can I transfer my registration to someone else?
A. Yes! Log into your Run Sign Up account, click the My Registered Races button, click Manage Registration by Battle of Waterloo, then click Transfer to Another Runner and follow the onscreen instructions. There is a $15 charge to transfer your registration to another event, as well as a Run Sign Up processing fee. NOTE: the deadline to transfer your registration to another person is Sunday, July 9.

Q. I can no longer attend. How do I get a refund?
A. By registering for an Epic Races event, you have purchased a ticket to participate in one of the most exhilarating and enjoyable races in Southeast Michigan. As with a ticket to any sports or entertainment event, there are no refunds or credits if you are unable to attend.

Q. I can no longer attend. Can I defer my registration to next year!
A. Yes! To defer your registration to 2018, email us at info@epicraces.com. NOTE: The deadline to defer your registration is June 11, 2017.

Q. I can no longer attend. Can I get my race shirt and medal sent to me?
A. We are happy to send you your race shirt; please follow the instructions under Mailing Race Items on our Policies page (http://www.epicraces.com/policies). Sorry, our finisher's medals are reserved for those who complete our race.

Q. Where do I park on race morning?
A. Parking will be available at Portage Lake.

Q. What happens if it's raining on race day?
A. The Battle of Waterloo will be held, rain, snow, or shine (we sure hope it's not snow). Please be sure to dress accordingly for the weather.

Q. Do I have to wear my race bib on my back during the bike legs?
A. While the local law enforcement prefers that all Battle of Waterloo participants wear their race bibs on their back during the bike legs so that they are easily identified on the course by patrolling officers, the only mandatory wearing of the race bib is for the final leg of the race.

Q. Do I have to pin my bib to my race outfit?
A. No. In fact, we strongly recommend the use of a race belt. The race belt will have toggles with loops that fit through the top two holes of your race bib. You will then be able to swivel your belt around from back to front without having to unpin anything.

Q. Do I need a wetsuit?
A. Wet suits are allowed up to 78 degrees, but do you really want to carry it with you while you bike and run?

Q. How many aid stations will there be?
A. We will have aid stations at each transition area as well as along the run course. See our Race-Day Guide for more details. As we get closer to race day, we will have more exact numbers as to how many aid stations we will have.

Q. Should I bring a lock to secure my bike to the rack while I'm swimming and running?
A. No! The transition area is for athletes only and we have volunteers securing the area. Locking and unlocking your bicycle would also cause you to lose time.

Q. I don't know how to set up my transition area. Will there be someone to help me?
A. Yes! We will have volunteers to assist you in Transition 1.

Q. Do I have to wear a helmet?
A. Yes! Helmets are mandatory! No helmet, no race.

Q. I really hate riding with a bike helmet. Can I take it off the second I'm back in the park?
A. No! USAT rules prohibit participants from removing their helmet until their bicycle is once again racked in transition. Your helmet must stay buckled and on until then. Similarly, you cannot go past the MOUNT line to start the bike leg until your helmet is on and buckled.

Q. Can I ride my bike out of transition to start building up speed?
A. No! For safety's sake, you can only mount your bike at the MOUNT line. You must also get off your bike at the DISMOUNT line prior to entering transition.

Q. My friend and I are doing the race together. Can we ride side by side?
A. No! USAT rules prohibit participants from riding side by side. Please remember that the course is open to traffic; you must ride to the right of the road in single file.

Q. What happens if I get a flat tire during the bike leg?
A. Fraser Bicycle will be providing bike support for our event. They'll be on the course, ready to help any cyclist in need of assistance. You may, however, wish to practice changing a flat tire prior to the race (plenty of how-to videos on You Tube) since our course is pretty widespread!

Q. Can someone else pick up my race packet for me?
A. Yes! They will need a photocopy of your photo ID and your USAT ID card, as well as a signed note from you giving them permission to pick up your packet for you.

Q. My race shirt doesn't fit. Can I exchange it?
A. Yes! However, exchanges can only be done after the race and there is no guarantee of size.

Q. I left before results were posted and I won an award! How do I get it?
A. Congratulations! To receive your award, please visit our Policies page at https://epicraces.com/Policies and click the Mailing Race Items link for instructions on how to have your award mailed to you.

Q. Are headphones/ear buds allowed?
A. No. Portable music devices are not allowed in any USAT-sanctioned event. They are a safety concern, especially on an open bike course. It's important for you as a participant to be able to hear oncoming traffic as well as your fellow participants and our course marshals. Plus there's a darned good chance they'll get soaked in one of the lakes.

Q. When will results be posted and where?
A. You'll find the results by clicking on the blue Results button at the top of this page. Results will be posted within 12 hours after the race ends.


Sunday, July 21, 2019
7:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Event Category:
Event Tags:




Packet Pickup Information
Saturday, July 22 at Portage Lake, 2PM - 4 PM. Sunday, July 23 at Portage Lake from 5:45 AM to 7 AM.
Average Water Temperature


11500 Seymour Road
Grass Lake, MI 49240 United States
+ Google Map


Year Race Results
2017 Searchable Results View Results
2016 Overall Results View Results
2016 Age-Group Results View Results
2016 Searchable Results View Results
2014 Age Group Results View Results
2012 Results View Results
2011 Results View Results

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19 Responses to “”

  1. Erin May 10, 2014 at 5:38 PM #

    Is there an option to complete this race as a team or relay?

    • Eva May 12, 2014 at 7:22 AM #

      Hi Erin,
      At this time, we do not have a relay option, though we are looking into the possibility. Stay tuned!

  2. paul July 22, 2014 at 10:19 PM #

    Is the bike legs for mountain bikes or tri bikes?

    • ana July 24, 2014 at 9:46 AM #

      You are welcome to use whichever bike you prefer: mountain bike, tri bike, road bike. At this year’s race we had all three.

  3. Tom June 16, 2015 at 11:13 AM #

    Is this race not happening in 2015? How come??! Sounds awesome!!

    • ana June 16, 2015 at 11:24 AM #

      We alternate years with the Battle of Waterloo. Watch for it in 2016!

  4. jeff September 29, 2015 at 7:42 PM #

    so do you carry your shoes through the swims?

    • ana September 29, 2015 at 9:24 PM #

      Yes! Many of our participants use the Safer Swimmer, which features a watertight pouch in which to carry their shoes. A number of our participants also choose to just swim with their shoes on!

  5. Dan October 2, 2015 at 7:56 AM #

    Looks interesting…

  6. Emily October 21, 2015 at 9:09 AM #

    Did this race occur in 2015? Or were there not enough participants signed up? Just wondering what the odds of this race happening this year are because this looks fun!

    • ana October 21, 2015 at 9:18 AM #

      We alternate years for this race. We held it in 2012 and in 2014. 🙂

  7. Fred November 21, 2015 at 6:02 PM #

    What is the length of each leg of the race and in what order is each leg of the race (run first, bike second, run third, etc.) Is the biking on trail or pavement?

    • ana November 21, 2015 at 6:46 PM #

      Battle of Waterloo is: 1.5-mile run, 20.5-mile bike, 0.45-mile swim, 4-mile run, 0.25-mile swim, 3.4-mile run, 0.7-mile swim, 3.3-mile run, 5.8-mile bike, 1.4-mile run. The bike legs are on paved roads.

  8. David Harris April 29, 2016 at 4:21 PM #

    If the participant quota is not reached, will the registration fee be reimbursed?

    • ana April 29, 2016 at 4:33 PM #

      No worries, David… we just actually scheduled an announcement for tomorrow to let everyone know that the race is ON!

  9. Lauren Kyser December 23, 2016 at 10:26 AM #

    I see the map for the new “Half the Battle” course, but I’m wondering what the distances are? Is that listed somewhere?

    • ana December 23, 2016 at 11:13 AM #

      Hi Lauren! Half and Full first and final legs are the same: a 1.4-mile run on the park trails. Half legs 2 and 5 are identical to Full leg 9: approximately 5.8 miles. Half and Full leg 3 are the same: a .4 swim. Half leg 4 is unique to Half the Battle: an approximately 4-mile trail run. Hope this helps!

      • Lauren December 24, 2016 at 7:03 AM #

        Thanks, Ana! Sounds awesome! I’m looking forward to trying this race!

        • ana December 24, 2016 at 8:18 AM #

          Super! See you in July!

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