USA Triathlon announced the schedule for the 2018 Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival, a two-day event that features ITU Triathlon and Paratriathlon World Cup events, the CAMTRI Triathlon Mixed Relay American Championships and the USA Triathlon Age Group Draft-Legal National Championships. The events are set for Oct. 13-14 in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, and will be held at Nathan Benderson Park for the second consecutive year.
“USA Triathlon is proud to host an ITU World Cup on American soil for the second consecutive year. We look forward to welcoming elite triathletes and paratriathletes from around the world, while at the same time offering our first-ever Draft-Legal Triathlon National Championships for amateurs,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “In addition, the elite mixed relay competition will showcase this rapidly-growing race format ahead of its inclusion in the upcoming Olympic Games.”
“We are happy to welcome triathletes from near and far to Nathan Benderson Park for the ITU Triathlon World Cup,” said Stephen V. Rodriguez, President and CEO of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, Inc. (SANCA), which operates Nathan Benderson Park. “The Sarasota-Bradenton area is proud to partner with USA Triathlon and the ITU to produce this outstanding event and opportunity for triathletes of all skill levels to interact with the world’s best competitors.”
For more information about the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU World Cup and CAMTRI Mixed Relay events, visit triathlon.org. For additional details on age-group events, visitusatriathlon.org/sbtrifest2018.
Racing will begin Saturday morning with the USA Triathlon Age Group Draft-Legal National Championships. Amateur athletes will compete for national titles in their age groups, with top finishers qualifying to represent Team USA at the 2019 ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland. While this race has been held as a World Championship qualifier in previous years, it is considered a National Championship for the first time in 2018.
The multi-loop, spectator-friendly course features a 750-meter swim, draft-legal 18-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run, similar to the course that will be contested by elite athletes later that day.
On Saturday afternoon, elite triathletes from around the world will race for a share of a $60,000 prize purse in the sprint-distance Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Triathlon World Cup. The race will also serve as the USA Triathlon Elite National Championships, with national podium placements awarded to the top-three U.S. finishers in each race.
In the 2017 edition, which was shifted to a run-bike-run due to water conditions, China’s Juri Ide earned the women’s title and Mexico’s Rodrigo Gonzalez took the win for the men. Chelsea Sodaro (Poway, Calif.) was the runner-up and top American in the women’s race, while Kevin McDowell (Phoenix, Ariz.) took third in the men’s race to lead the U.S. effort.
The action continues Sunday morning with the ITU Paratriathlon World Cup, in which elite athletes in various paratriathlon divisions will complete a 750m swim, non-drafting 18k bike and 5k run. Nine U.S. paratriathletes earned medals in 2017, including gold medalists Ahalya Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Ill., PTWC), Amy Dixon (Encinitas, Calif., PTVI), Andrea Walton (Washington, D.C., PTS4) and Ruth-Ann Reeves (Hattiesburg, Miss., PTS5).
Wrapping up race weekend will be the CAMTRI Triathlon Mixed Relay American Championships, an elite international race featuring four-person mixed-gender teams. Each athlete will complete a 300m swim, 6.4k bike and 1.5k run before handing off to the next teammate, with the fastest combined time winning the race. Triathlon mixed relays are growing in popularity worldwide, as the International Olympic Committee announced in June that it would add the discipline to the program of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Registration is now open for the USA Triathlon Draft-Legal National Championships. No qualification is required, but all competitors must be at least 15 years of age by Dec. 31, 2018.
To learn more about the ITU Triathlon and Paratriathlon World Cup events and the CAMTRI Triathlon Mixed Relay American Championships, visit triathlon.org. For more information on the age-group race and the festival as a whole, visit usatriathlon.org/sbtrifest2018.
About SANCA: The Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center, Inc. (SANCA), is a not-for-profit business created to manage Nathan Benderson Park, a community/public asset and world class, multi-use sports venue. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for our community and be an economic generator for the region. SANCA’s primary purpose is to develop and promote Nathan Benderson Park as a world class event center, team training site and Sarasota County Park, while providing outreach programs through recreation, safety training, education and volunteering as a service to our community.
About USA Triathlon: USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).