Copyright © Spirit Racing LLC and Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center Privacy Policy   Terms  of Use

Presented by:

  Triathlon 500 Yard Swim, 10 Mile Bike, 5K Run      Duathlon  2.5 K Run, 10 Mile Bike, 5K Run       Aquabike  500 Yard Swim, 10 Mile Bike

2016 Race date
Saturday  August 6


Thursday - July 23, 2015

Special thanks to all our great sponsors this year and especially to our 2015 presenting sponsor - Zeigler Auto Group.  

A number of our sponsors will be on site again this year including Pedal Bicycle, Sub Aquatic Sports, Billy's Bike Shop, Gazelle Sports, and Agility Physical Therapy & Sports Performance.

I’m still getting questions about weeds in the lake. I understand.  But they are more or less gone. Two years ago the invasive weeds went wild.  But the abatement program at the lake which looks like a series of big aquarium bubblers, has really done the job well.  Weeds are hardly noticeable around the lake. And the Shermanator swim course is darn near weed free. The entire waterfront area at the Y was rebuilt this spring too and everything looks great.

We are continuing with the swim course layout we set up last year. Out and back going counter clockwise. You can review the map on the Race Data/Maps page.

39th St, the main road along the Y which we use for the opening/closing section of the bike course, was partially resurfaces last year.  This spring, the Kalamazoo County Road Commission finished the rest of the way from “FG” to the Y main entrance with chip seal.  No loose gravel left at this point. The entire section of 39th for the bike course is looking anda riding great.

Start checking your gear today if it hasn’t been used in a while.

Need some help with your bike?  Get to Pedal Bicycle in downtown Kalamazoo or in Portage. Or to your local bike shop. Don’t wait.  Pedal will be on site race morning but that is primarily to assist with last minute issues that develop, not for a tune up or anything like that.

Are you self sufficient in terms of being able to fix a flat or handle a minor issue while on the bike course.  If you don’t carry a flat kit, get one and learn how to do the basics. That is riding 101 whether you are racing or out training.

One thing that comes up often is what to do with your bib number.  We need to see that on your front as you finish the run. Aquabike athletes, you don’t need to use it if you don’t want on the bike.  No one needs to have the bib number on during the bike, let alone the swim. But we need that showing when you approach the finish line.  A great way to manage the bib number is a number belt. Gazelle Sports and Pedal both carry them. Your bib number attaches to the elastic belt. When you transition from bike to run, grab the belt and put it on while you head out. Then make sure the bib is facing the finish line arch as you approach the line. This is one of the must have pieces of equipment if you plan to do many multisport events.  And if you use high end apparel, nice way to save your stuff from safety pin holes.

Wetsuits are allowed. No matter what. If you have one and want to wear it, don’t let anything get in your way. Water temps have been bouncing around in the mid to upper 70’s so far.

Everyone should review the course maps in advance of race morning.  Know where you are going.  Our courses are well marked and well supported.

While we do not sanction the Shermanator, we do follow the USAT “age up” rule to help keep some consistency with those events that do.  So you are placed in the age group based on your age on December 31.  Example - if you are 44 on race day but your birthday is past race day so you are 45 on December 31, you “age up” to the 45-49 age group.

Several law enforcement units will be out on the bike course assisting with traffic control. Remember that if something big comes up, they may get pulled. Or maybe something bad happens nearby and they need to divert traffic or clear the way for other emergency vehicles. Stay alert and pay attention.

No mp3’s or similar allowed.  You need to be aware of what is happening around you for your own protection, and the safety of other athletes on the course.  

Let's look at a couple of basics to remember for yourself and your spectator or support crew for next Saturday morning:

-No dogs are allowed on site. Assistance dogs of course are welcome

-The Sherman Lake YMCA Outdoor Center is not open prior to the race for venue visits or training since we have children enjoying camp up until race day.  If you need a nice spot for final week training, consider the nearby Ft. Custer State Recreation Area. Nice swim waterfront and a huge marked swim area along with nice paved main drive from the main entrance at M-96 back to the Eagle Lake beach.

-All athletes use the 38th St parking area. Remember - there is a long walk to the Rec Cntr. For check in, and then from there down to the waterfront.  

-Spectators arriving up until 7:45 should also use the 38th Street parking area. Spectators arriving after 7:45 must use the parking area accessed just north of the YMCA main entrance on 39th St. - and please come in at that point from the north and M-89, not from “G” Avenue.

-Handicapped accessible parking is available at the Rec. Cntr. - But anyone needing that must arrive prior to 7:45.

-No alcoholic beverages are allowed on site.

-The Sherman Lake YMCA is a non smoking site.

I’ll plan on probably two more updates prior to race morning.  Don’t hesitate to let me know if you have questions.  Now is the time to get them handled.

Train hard...race well

Jim Mishler
Volunteer RD

Wednesday - July 29, 2015

We are ready for the 13th annual Shermanator.

The Live Results pages are ready to go on both the desktop and  mobile versions of the event web site.  We will be pushing results to those pages once we start having athletes cross the finish line. Please let your friends and relatives who want to keep track of your great finish know how to access those pages.

I’m pleased to report that the construction on 35th Street from the I-94 interchange up to M-96 is all but finished.  You are able to exit at 35th Street from both east and west bound I-94. That makes getting to the Sherman Lake YMCA a lot easier for many of you.

Please review the parking map.  Athlete access to the site is off 38th St. From “G” Ave.  There will be a large sign at the intersection to help guide you in.

There is a long walk with your gear from parking to the Rec. Cntr. for check in, and then a bit more of a walk down to transition.  Arrive early.  We start on time with first wave at 7:45. Pack your gear to make it easy to walk.

Review your gear and packing/transport process no later than Friday night. Don’t wait until tomorrow morning to do that.

Make sure you have all your basics, and whatever extras you may need - Goggles, towel(s), bike, helmet, race apparel, shoes.

Bug spray - hate to say it but the mosquitos are out in force all across SW Michigan this year. Bring some repellent.

The Duathlon, and Relays start with Wave 1. Aquabike athletes start with your age group.  We will have the wave breakdown posted at check in and the waterfront.

Billy’s Bike Shop will do a quick check of your bike before entering transition. Bar end plugs is a particular point of review.

Pedal Bicycle will be on site to assist with any other last minute issues you may have with your bike.

Water temps have been fluctuating, but holding in the mid to upper 70’s. Wetsuits are allowed.

We will have our full contingent of lifeguards in the water, along with divers from sponsor Sub Aquatic Sports.

What are all those bubbles in the water?  Race morning, some will come from the dive team.  But the stationary areas of bubbles are from the lake association weed abatement program. It is like a system of big aquarium bubblers.  The bubble action and the extra air in the water does something to inhibit the growth of the the nasty invasive weeds.  The program is a huge success.

Review your course maps and know where you are going. We’ll have lots of support volunteers on the bike and run courses, and several units from the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department assisting with traffic control on the bike course.  You won’t get lost.

Weather - So far the forecast is for clear skies Friday night with a low around 60 and sunny and a high around 80 for race day.  This is Michigan however and things might change. Our weather policy is that as we approach 7:45 and have lightning, thunder, or rain heavy enough to reduce visibility or traction on the bike course, we delay. We can delay for a maximum of 30 minutes.  If threatening weather continues past that point, we cancel. No other option.

Online registration is open until around 6 PM Thursday, the 30th.  We will post on the registration links, and on the site home page if same day registration will be offered.

We are lucky to have a large and enthusiastic group of volunteers to help stage this event. Some have been with us every year since we started. Please thank them for their support when you get a chance. Same goes with our great sponsors.

Looking forward to seeing you Saturday morning.

Remember - and especially if this is your first multisport event, or among your first - plan to arrive early.

Questions?  Ask away -


Jim Mishler

Thursday - July 30, 2015

Barring unforeseen circumstances this will be the final pre race update.

Online athlete registration is now closed.  Same day on site registration for individuals and relays will be offered beginning at 6:15 am Saturday morning.  Individuals-$100.00, Relays-$190.00

Double check your driving directions and leave home with plenty of time to arrive early.

We will have designated racks for relays, and for the Valley Family Church Team.  All other rack spots are first come first server.  VFC is bringing a very large group to the Shermanator this year so it is only fitting we allow them to rack together.

Technically, there is no distance advantage comparing one spot to any other.

We will keep our Rec. Cntr. Open until noon if you would like to use the locker rooms and showers to clean up post race before driving home.  Please bring your own towel and lock.

The weather outlook is holding up great with Friday night lows expected to be around 60

And Saturday daytime highs around 80.  That means when we start first wave at 7:45

The air temp will probably be cooler than the water temp. Not by a lot, but near perfect racing conditions.

We’ll have the wave start schedule posted at the Rec. Cntr. when you come in for check in or same day registration. I expect all waves will be underway before 8:00 am.

Remaining questions?  Let me know -

See you Saturday.  

Jim Mishler