USA Triathlon’s Age Group National Championships Returning to Cleveland Next Month
22 Jul, 2019
USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running national championship event returns to Cleveland’s Edgewater Park next month, with the most accomplished amateur triathletes in the nation set to compete for national titles and world championship berths on Aug. 10-11 as part of the 2019 Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships.
Thousands of age-group triathletes from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. are expected to compete in the event, which first debuted in 1983 and was previously held in Cleveland in 1992 and 2018. Age Group Nationals is consistently one of the top-five largest triathlons in the United States and last year’s event was the second-largest Age Group Nationals in the event’s history with more than 5,400 participants. The largest field to date was in 2014, when 5,789 athletes registered to race in Milwaukee.
“Triathletes of all ages from across the country make the trek to Age Group Nationals each year to test their skills against an immensely talented and competitive field,” said Brian D’Amico, USA Triathlon’s Director of Events. “It is a great source of pride to welcome these triathletes back to this two-day event year after year, and as we host this field in Cleveland for a second consecutive year, we’re grateful to all our partners in the local community, including the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Cleveland Metroparks, and the City of Cleveland, who are helping us ensure every competitor has a memorable race experience.”
The races will start at 7 a.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 10, with the Olympic-Distance National Championships, where athletes will race across a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course. Action will then resume at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 11, with the Sprint National Championships, covering a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run. Both events will be centered at Edgewater Park, a 147-acre lakefront with 9,000 feet of shoreline.
National titles are on the line both days, as are coveted spots on USA Triathlon’s Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur athletes who represent the U.S. at ITU Age Group World Championship events. The top 18 finishers in each age group of Olympic-Distance Nationals, after applying the age-up rule (rolling down to 30th place), will earn the right to represent Team USA at the 2020 ITU Standard-Distance Age Group World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, set for Aug. 20-23, 2020.
The Sprint Age Group World Championships will also be contested in Edmonton, and while Sprint Nationals in Cleveland is not draft-legal, the 2020 Sprint World Championships will feature a draft-legal bike leg. The top eight finishers in each age group at Sprint Nationals will earn their spot for Edmonton, and athletes will have a second opportunity this season to qualify at the USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Triathlon National Championships, set for Nov. 16 in Tempe, Arizona.
A number of athletes competing in Cleveland in August have already earned their opportunity to race for Team USA (through last year’s National Championships) and will compete at the 2019 ITU Age Group World Championships set for Aug. 29-Sept. 1 in Lausanne, Switzerland. Visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa to learn more about the Team USA program for amateur athletes.
In addition to the championship events, USA Triathlon is hosting a 750m Open Water Swim Competition in partnership with USA Swimming and U.S. Masters Swimming, allowing athletes to gain access to a competitive race in Lake Erie prior to the start of the multisport races. While no national titles will be awarded as part of this event, top-placing athletes will receive awards.
Registration is still open for all the weekend’s events. Athletes must qualify for Olympic-Distance Nationals through the criteria outlined on usatriathlon.org, and must be at least 17 years old by Dec. 31, 2019, to compete. Sprint Nationals do not require qualification, and athletes may register by clicking here. Sprint Nationals participants must be at least 15 years old by Dec. 31, 2019. The Open Water Swim Competition also requires no qualification and registration is open now here.
Admission to the races is free to all spectators, and the Cleveland community is encouraged to attend to support the competitors and experience the excitement of multisport for themselves. Last year that included witnessing Justin Lippert (Middletown, N.J.) sweep the men’s Olympic- and sprint-distance overall titles, while Gabrielle Bunten (Forest Lake, Minn.) claimed the overall women’s Olympic-distance title and Gina Sereno (Madison, Wis.) took home the overall women’s sprint title. Bunten is on the start list again this year. Complete results from 2018 are available here.
The community is also invited to volunteer at the event, with registration for available spots open here.
For more information about the 2019 Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, visit the event page at usatriathlon.org/agnc2019.
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 at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors – as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation – 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).