News Flash


Posted on: August 15, 2019

36th Annual Rhoades McKee Reeds Lake Triathlon


East Grand Rapids, Michigan, Aug. 15, 2019 – The City of East Grand Rapids will hold the 36th annual Rhoades McKee Reeds Lake Triathlon on Sept. 7 and welcomes anyone looking to test their strength in swimming, biking and running.

All triathlon participants will dive into the race with a 750-meter swim in Reeds Lake, followed by 20 kilometers on bike and finish by running five kilometers. Those participating in the duathlon will substitute the 750-meter swim with an additional 5K run. Aquabike and relay races are also available.

This year’s race has 16 special athletes participating from Calvin University and Millikin University.

Calvin’s newly formed Women’s Triathlon team, made up of seven women, is the only one of its kind in the state of Michigan. In its inaugural year, the season will begin in early September and conclude in November at the Women's Collegiate Triathlon National Championship. The Rhoades McKee Reeds Lake Triathlon marks the first of their competitions.

Similarly, Millikin University, located in Decatur, Illinois, is in its second year competing after taking an impressive third place in the NCAA Triathlon Tournament during its first season of competition. The team has more than doubled since last fall from four to nine triathletes.

“Over the years the triathlon has become a favorite community event and tradition for so many athletes,” said Race Director Betsy Granstra. “We are so pleased not only to welcome both triathlon teams to the race, but also to be part of one of their first competitions together as they work to build their programs.”

According to the Calvin University team coach, Kattie Carpenter, participating in the event will set the stage for their season.

“We are incredibly excited to be racing in the triathlon and starting our season with some fun competition right in our backyard. The triathlon will not only serve as a foundation to our training this fall, but also offer the girls a sense of community amongst fellow triathletes in the area,” Carpenter said.

Coach Molly Duesterhaus of Millikin University echoes Carpenter’s excitement and thanks the City of East Grand Rapids for its welcoming hospitality.

“On top of the course looking fabulous, this event is an established one that will give our athletes a quality experience that is consistent with race distances,” said Duesterhaus. “Participating in this triathlon will help our communities launch successfully.”

Athletes and spectators 21 and over are also welcomed to celebrate their completion of the race with a beer or two at the Founders and Alliance Beverage post-race celebration on Wege Plaza at the EGR Community Center. The celebration will include award presentations and all participants will receive one complimentary beverage ticket. All proceeds from refreshment sales will go directly to the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation.

Registration is currently open, with late registration running through Thursday, Sept. 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 6 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the EGR Parks & Recreation Department, 750 Lakeside Dr. SE. There will be no day-of registration.

Packet pick-up will be held Friday, Sept. 6 from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 7 from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m.

Body marking will be available during packet pickup, however, planners advise participants to avoid the crowd on Saturday morning and to get marked on Friday evening.

To register, sign up to volunteer or for more information, please visit

For more information on East Grand Rapids, visit Follow the City on Twitter @cityofeastgr and on Facebook at

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