International crossing - FAQ's

How to clear Customs prior to the race?

You MUST have a valid Passport or govt ID that will allow you to cross bridge in any other situation in order to participate in this triathlon.  There are NO EXCEPTIONS!

PLEASE NOTE!!!   that there are admissibility regulations that need to be met and any criminal convictions may adversely affect your entry into either country.  A pre-registration list of participants will be delivered to both the US and Canadian Customs.  Custom agents would like a list 1 month prior to event as to get everyone cleared and ready early.  If you have any questions as to your ability to cross the border, registering early gives you the opportunity to clear up any past issues.

NOTE: You must be a current (non-expired) USA Triathlon annual member or a Ontario Aria Triathlete (OAT) member or be able to obtain a one (1) day membership to race.  No exceptions. 

US/Canadian Immigration Requirement

All participants in the Shore to Shore International Triathlon must have a valid passport to enter the USA or Canada. All participants other than Canadian and American citizens must have a valid Visa for both Canada & the United States of America and a valid Passport. Some countries do not require a Visa—please check with the consulate in your country to find out what is required.

ID (Passport & Visa) must be available on race day to re-enter the USA or Canada. You may give it to a loved one to carry across the border for you while you are racing.  We will offer a secure courier service (armed police officers) to transport legal documents from T1 to T2.

You will receive body tattoos that will be required to be adhered to your left arm at packet pickup.  You will need to show proper ID and then we will put the tattoos on for you.  YOU MUST HAVE THESE TATTOOS ON TO CROSS THE BORDER ON RACE DAY.  If they are not visible on your left arm during the bike portion of the race, you are at risk of being pulled from the race on the bridge.

Do I need a Nexus Card?

You are not required to get a nexus card.  However, a Nexus card is accepted in lieu of a passport.   US and Canadian customs agents will have you automatically cleared anytime you cross our border in any direction.  The nexus card is also accepted as ID at airports and is good for 5 years.  More info or to sign up for a Canadian or  US Nexus Card

What if I can't make packet-pick up on Friday because I am coming from Canada?

In these cases there will be race morning packet pickup available at the on-site location from 5:30-6:30 AM only.   This is for extreme exceptions only (60 min drive or more)

What do Canadian athletes with more than a 60 min drive do with run gear that needs to be in T2?

Anyone with a 60 min drive or more from Canada will be able to drop running gear at your preregistered bib number bike position on Saturday morning.  We will make arrangements for T2 transition to be open at 4:30 AM.  Bring ID to check in.  Packet pick up for these athletes will be from 5:30 AM - 6:30 AM at Gallagher Beach (race start venue). 

How do I get my things left in the U.S. transition (T1- Gallagher Pier) area?

All items left must be put into clear bag marked with your bib number that will be provided to you at packet pickup.   When you see your bib number in transition, that is your bike placement.   It is your responsibility to attach your provided bib # (received at packet pick up) to your clear bag.  This will be the ONLY way we will know which bags belongs to whom.   Those bags will be transported to T2 (Old Fort Erie) transition for pick up.  You must show matching tattoo number on your body to pick up items.  No one will be able to pick up any other athlete's items except for the matching numbered athlete. 

***It would be recommended that contact information be written on any items in case of emergency or misplacement during an athletes hurried transition.

There will be shuttle buses that will take athletes and their bikes back to Gallagher Beach.  Only athletes with triathlon body markings will be allowed on these shuttles.  Friends and family must return in personal vehicles.  We are contracting with a bus company.  Space for bikes will be LIMITED, as there will be no formal racking on these buses.  For the complete care and control of your personal race bike, please be advised to make every attempt to have alternative transportation plans.

Do I need a USA Triathlon or Triathlon Ontario membership?

You will need to get at least a one day Triathlon Ontario membership or USAT membership for insurance purposes. Both USAT and Triathlon Ontario annual memberships are honored for this race.  You can purchase at packet pickup or online through our registration process with  

What do I need to bring to packet pick-up?

You will need to bring the following to registration:

  1. Government issued photo ID (i.e. State license, passport, green cards)
  2. Current USA Triathlon or Triathlon Ontario membership card. You must be able to prove your membership status with USA Triathlon or Triathlon Ontario. If you do not have your card with you, you will have to purchase a one day or annual membership at the event. No exceptions!
  3. Temporary cards printed from will be accepted if your membership card is not available. If you have any problems printing a temporary card before the event, please contact the national office at 719-597-9090 or email [email protected].
  4. Triathlon Ontario membership information

How do I prove I am an athlete participating on race day?

Body Markings will be your ID to get in and out of transition areas.

Athletes will be given a bib #, and have tattoos put on their arms and legs at packet pick-up.  These numbers must visible during the race, and to enter and exit transition. These markings will allow athletes into transition at bike check-in and to pick up their bike after the race. No one will be allowed into transition without a bib number. Transition will be an athletes ONLY area.  This rule will be strictly enforced, no exceptions.

Chip Timing

Athletes will need to pick up chips on race morning if they did not get them at packet pickup.  Do not lose these chips!  They are the only way we know who you are for scoring and timing purposes.   Make sure you look for this when you pick up your race packet.

Bike Check In ~ Buffalo side ~ Gallagher Beach venue

Athletes will check their bikes in event morning. Bikes MUST have bib number or marking attached to bike to enter transition.  This ensures only matching athletes remove only their bike from transition.  All numbers must match up to leave with any items.

How do I choose a place for my bike in the Canadian transition (T2) area?

This race will be a chronological bike racking system.  Find your bib number and that is where you rack your bike.

Bike Pick Up ~ Canadian side 

Athletes will pick up their bikes in the transition area in Canada, showing body marking at security in and out of transition.


Where is bike support located?

Bike support will be available by Bert's Bikes and Sports on the US side at transition to help athletes with mechanical issues. Athletes that have major mechanical issues on Friday will need to go directly to the Bert's Bikes and Sports store for assistance.  Bert's Bike & Sports can also tune up, assist with mechanical or tire issues at any of the four area stores in the Western New York region.  One Bert's Bikes and Sports can be found at  4050 Southwestern Blvd.  Orchard Park, NY 14127. 716-646-0028. For more details - Berts Bikes

How do I get back to Buffalo if my car is left there?

There will be a shuttle bus that will transport athletes and their bike, back to The U.S. leaving every half hour after the finish of the race.  You must show your bib number to enter buses.  This is an athlete only bus shuttle.  Please understand as we are unable to transport everyone, just participants, thank you..

What if a volunteer can't answer my question?

Please go to the registration table and they will find someone to answer the questions you have. The registration table will be located inside with the packet pick-ups.  Also, there will be a mandatory athletes meeting 30 min. prior to the start of the race

What time should I get to race?

Generally speaking, you should arrive at least 1 1/2 hrs prior to start time.  Getting there early allows you to comfortably rack your bike, get your timing chip, get your body marked, warm up,stretch, and prepare yourself for one of the most unique and enjoyable races you will ever experience! 


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