Earlybird Rates








Race Day: Sunday
Sept. 20th, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Rotary Multi-Sport RiverFest?

The Salem Rotary Multi-sport RiverFest is a community service event provided by the Rotary Club of Salem and the Rotary Club of South Salem to residents and visitors of Salem, Oregon. The events include:

  • Olympic distance triathlon (swim + bike + Run) for individuals and teams
  • Olympic distance duathlon (run + bike + run only for individuals and teams
  • Sprint distance triathlon (individual and team entrants)
  • Sprint distance duathlon (individual and team entrants)
  • 5K and 10K runs
  • Family Fun Run (“Over the Bridge and Around the World”)
  • Food, drinks, and exhibits for participants, friends, and all park patrons
When will the Rotary Multi-Sport RiverFest be held?

September 2020 Dates TBA

Where will the events take place?

The Salem Rotary Multi-sport Riverfest involves three downtown parks, two walking bridges, and the Willamette River.

Triathletes will enter the water at the Wallace Marine Park boat ramp, swim a triangular course in the Willamette River, and exit at the boat ramp. After transitioning to bikes at Wallace Marine Park, riders will cross the Union Street Bridge, go past Riverfront Park, and eventually ride along rural River Road South and back. The transition from biking to running will take place in Riverfront Park. Runners will cross the Peter Courtney Minton Island Bridge, follow trails in Minto-Brown Island Park, and return to the finish line in Riverfront Park.

Duathletes will first run a 1-mile course in Wallace Marine Park before transitioning to bikes. All cyclists will leave the park, cross the Union Street Bridge, cycle past downtown Salem, and ride along River Road South before reversing direction and returning to Riverfront Park. At Riverfront Park athletes will transition to the run. The running event will take participants across the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge and along trails on Minto-Brown Island Park before returning to the finish line at Riverfront Park.

All 5K and 10K runners will begin at Riverfront Park, cross the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge, and complete the same 5K or 10K circuit on Minto-Brown Island Park used for the triathlon and duathlon.

The Family Fun Run will start in Riverfront Park, cross over and back on the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge, and loop around the Eco-Earth Globe before crossing the finish line.

How many participants will be involved in the events?

The triathlon and duathlon are limited to the first 400 participants who register. There is no limit on the number of participants in the running events or the Family Fun Run.

Is day-of-race registration available?

Yes. Day-of-race registration for all events—including the Family Fun Run—will be available prior to the events on Sunday morning. On-site registration will also be provided on Saturday at Riverfront Park. Availability of t-shirts, medals, and goody bags may be limited for late registrants.

Who is conducting these events?

The Rotary Multi-sport RiverFest is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Salem and the Rotary Club of South Salem. EnMotive NW is providing race management, timing, and event production support. This event is made possible by the generous support of local businesses, corporations, and individuals.

How can I find out more information about the events?
Do you need volunteers?

Yes. The success of this event depends on having a sufficient number of volunteers. We need about 200 volunteers to help with: event set up, traffic control, race management, water safety, information ambassadors, event take down, and site clean-up, to name a few opportunities. Volunteers receive a t-shirt and community service hours.

How much does it cost to participate?

If registering before July 31, 2019, the cost for triathletes and duathletes is $95 per individual or $55 per person if registering as a member of a team. The cost for the running events depends on the age of the runner and ranges between $15 and $40 if registering before July 31, 2019. Additional registration information is on our website (see Question 7 above).

In honor of their service, all current and former members of the Uniformed Services and all First Responders can receive a 20% discount on the cost of registration.

Are there opportunities for businesses to be sponsors of the event?

Yes. There are opportunities for local businesses, corporations, and individuals to support this event. In addition to cash gifts, we are interested in working with businesses who would like to receive credit as a sponsor based on in-kind service contributions.

We have six levels of sponsorships, ranging from $500 (Supporting Sponsor) to $10,000 (Title Sponsor), with ascending measures of recognition. More information for sponsors is available on our website (rotaryriverfestsalem.org) or by contacting Whitney Pitalo, Sponsor Chair, at wepitalo@willamette.edu

What will happen to proceeds raised from this event?

Funds raised from this event will be used by the Rotary Club of Salem and Rotary Club of South Salem to support local and international projects. Rotary is dedicated to building international relationships, improving lives, and creating a better world. The areas of focus for our work include:

  • Promoting peace
  • Fighting disease
  • Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Saving mothers and children
  • Supporting education
  • Growing local economies
  • Ending polio forever

To learn more about the work done by Rotarians around the world, go to rotary.org/en/our-causes

The Swimming Event

How far is the swimming stage of the triathlon?
The swimming stage of the triathlon will be 750 meters (820 yards) for sprint distance triathletes and 1500 meters (1640 yards) for Olympic distance triathletes.
How will the swimming course be set up?

Swimmers will enter the from the boat ramp at Wallace Marine Park and swim across the river, turn upstream along the bank Minto-Brown Island, and then diagonally downstream to the boat ramp at Wallace Marine Park.

View Course Maps

How safe is it to swim in the Willamette River?

The City of Salem has been collecting monthly water quality samples in the Willamette River near the site of the swimming event since the mid-1990s. Based on an analysis of data collected between 2001 and 2017, the Willamette River scores 90 out of 100 (Excellent) year-round. These values are determined using a methodology developed by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Known as the Oregon Water Quality Index, the scores provide a summary measure of the overall health of a water body based on temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, bacteria, and other contaminants.

Based on water quality sampling conducted for the 2017 Rotary Triathlon, it is safe to swim in this portion of the Willamette River. If any condition exists that calls into question the safety of having swimmers in the water—a pollutant spill up river or excessively high river flows, for example—the swimming stage will be canceled and race organizers will transition the triathlon into a duathlon.

What is the expected temperature in the Willamette River in September?
Based on an analysis of data collected by the City of Salem, the temperature in the Willamette River on the day of the event is expected to be between 58.6°F and 62.4°F (14.8°C – 16.9°C).
What safety measures will be taken during the open water swimming event?

Safety measures include:
(1) A trained safety observer on the river;
(2) Kayaks and paddleboards ringing the periphery of the  course to provide opportunities for swimmers to rest by holding the bow, stern, or sides;
(3) The City of Salem Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue Team positioned downstream of the course; and
(4) An ambulance on standby prepositioned at Wallace Marine Park in the vicinity of the boat ramp. To protect the triathletes’ feet, a mat will be placed on the boat ramp.

Will the swim start in waves?
The decision to start the swim in waves or all together will be made prior to Race Day and will depend on the number of participants. For a wave start, swimmers will be divided into age groups prior to the start.
Where will T1, the Swim-Bike Transition, be located?
Triathletes will transition from the swim to bike stages at a transition area (T1) located in the parking lot of Wallace Marine Park not far from the boat ramp.
Where can I find more information about the swimming segment of the Triathlon?

We have posted a swim guide on our website. rotaryriverfestsalem.org/event#tri-du

The Biking Event

How far is the biking stage of the triathlon?
The biking stage of the triathlon will be approximately 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) for sprint distance triathletes/duathletes and 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) for Olympic distance triathletes/duathletes.
How is the bike course laid out?

After transitioning from the swim to bikes at T1 (See Question 7 under “The Swimming Event”), riders will exit Wallace Marine Park and cross the Union Street Bridge to the other side of the Willamette River. The course will then take riders past downtown Salem and along River Road South. The sprint distance turn-around point is at the intersection of Brown Island Road and River Road South; Olympic distance riders will change direction at base of the Independence Bridge just prior to crossing the Willamette River. The bike course will end at Riverfront Park, where riders will transition to the run.

View Course Maps

Will any roads be closed to vehicle traffic during the bike event?
One lane of Front Street in front of Riverfront Park, one lane on Commercial Street S between Trade Street and Mission, and both lanes of Owens from Saginaw to River Road will be closed to traffic. Cyclists will share the road with cars on River Road S, but safety observers, flaggers and professional traffic controllers will be present at key intersections and hazard points.
What safety measures will be taken during the bike event?

To reduce the number of vehicles on the road the event has been scheduled for early Sunday morning, a time typically with a low traffic volume. Safety mats will be placed at points where the bicycle course crosses a rail line. Among others safety measures to provide for a safe route for the biking stage of the event:
(1) Traffic barricades, cones, candles, and signs will mark the route and discourage traffic along the course;
(2) Where possible, segments of the route will be closed to all vehicular traffic;
(3) Volunteers will be placed along the route to provide information to residents, businesses, and spectators;
(4) Notices will be distributed well in advance to residents and businesses along the route informing them of the event and encouraging them to avoid using vehicles if possible;
(5) Motorcycle-mounted marshals will be contracted to serve as safety observers and to provide on-scene updates to Race Managers; and
(6) Professionals will be hired to manage traffic flow at key points along the route.

Where will T2, the Bike-Run Transition, be located?
Triathletes and duathletes will transition from the bike to run stages at a transition area (T2) located at Riverfront Park.

The Running Events

How far is the running course?

Participants in the running event for the Triathlon or Duathlon will complete a course of either the sprint distance of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) or the Olympic distance of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).

Run-only courses include a 10K (6.1 miles), 5K (3.1 miles) run/walk, and a Family Fun Run of about 1 km.

Is the same course used for both the Triathlon/Duathlon and Runs?

Participants in the 10K run and 5K run/walk will use the same course as the Triathlon/Duathlon, crossing the Peter Courtney Bridge and into Minto-Brown Island Park.

Are dogs or strollers allowed?

Strollers are allowed in both the Family Fun Run and the 5K run/walk. Dogs are allowed only in the 5K run/walk. Participants with dogs will have a delayed start, a few minutes after the other runners. Since the course is chip timed, this won’t affect your total running time.

How are the running courses laid out?

All runs start and finish in Riverfront Park. Triathletes and Duathletes will transition from the bike to the run stages in Riverfront park, cross the Peter Courtney Bridge and enter Minto-Brown Island Park and follow a network of paved trails. After completing the circuit of trails in Minto-Island Park, runners will again cross the Peter Courtney Bridge to the Finish Line at Riverfront Park. Participants in the 5K run/walk and 10K will follow the same courses as the Triathletes/Duathletes (but not at the same time).

View Course Maps

Events at Riverfront Park

What is happening at Riverfront Park?

To complement the triathlon, duathlon, and running events, there will be food and drink vendors and various health and wellness exhibitions at Riverfront Park. In addition to the field displays, there will be large tent adjacent to the Rotary Pavilion, which is also where the awards ceremony will be held.

Are the Exhibition Hall and Food Court open to the public?

Absolutely. The event is be open to participants, friends, families, and all park patrons.

Who do I contact if I want to be one of the vendors in the Exhibition Hall or Food Court?

Vendors interested in displaying or distributing goods at the event but who are not official sponsors will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For additional information regarding an opportunity to be a sponsor, please contact Whitney Pitalo, Sponsor Chair, at wepitalo@willamette.edu.

Register to Race!

The Triathlon and Duathlon are limited to the first 400 combined registered participants. Entry fees applicable as long as space open.

All other events have no participant limit.