USA Triathlon, in partnership with the City of Cleveland, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Cleveland Metroparks, has announced that Cleveland has been selected as the host city for the 2018 and 2019 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. The 2018 event will take place from 11-12 August at Edgewater Beach Park and the surrounding neighbourhoods of downtown Cleveland.
As USA Triathlon’s largest annual event, the Age Group National Championships typically attract nearly 5,000 athletes and 10,000 spectators.
“USA Triathlon will be proud to bring our nation’s most dedicated triathletes to Cleveland, a city with a rich sporting history and countless attractions,” said USA Triathlon CEO Rob Urbach. “We are encouraged by the enthusiasm and commitment of the city, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and Cleveland Metroparks, and we look forward to excellent championship events in 2018 and 2019.”
Cleveland has a history of hosting premier national sporting events, including the 2007 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four and 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Midwest Regional. The city has hosted national championships for several sports in the US Olympic movement, including gymnastics (2002), weightlifting (2005), taekwondo (2006) and figure skating (2009).
The 2016 Republican National Convention further demonstrated Cleveland’s ability to host large-scale national events, and brought with it many newly paved roads and city improvements. Cleveland has also been selected to host the 2018 NCAA DI Wrestling Championships, 2018 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2019 MLB All-Star Game.
The USAT Age Group National Championships are projected to provide Northeast Ohio with about US$6.5 million per event year, providing a total economic impact in the region of US$13 million.
“We’re extremely excited that Cleveland was selected to host the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships for two years in a row,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “This is USA Triathlon’s Super Bowl. What better place to showcase their event than the City of Cleveland, which has successfully hosted many Olympic sport National Governing Body championships. We have an incredible lake, beautiful all-purpose trails throughout Cleveland Metroparks and a community who will welcome these athletes and spectators with open arms.”
The weekend of racing will begin with an Olympic-distance race on Saturday, which covers a 1500m swim, 40K bike and 10K run. Athletes must qualify to compete, and top finishers in each age group will qualify to represent Team USA the following year at the ITU Age Group World Championships. The 2019 World Championships will be in Lausanne, Switzerland, while the 2020 edition will be in Edmonton, Alberta.
The weekend of racing will also include an open sprint-distance race on Sunday, covering a 750m swim, 20K bike and 5K run along the shore of Lake Erie overlooking downtown Cleveland.
The course for both races will include a swim at Edgewater Beach Park. The remainder of the Olympic-distance route may showcase the neighbourhoods of Detroit-Shoreway, Downtown Cleveland, St Clair-Superior and University Circle. Specific race routes are still being finalized with the City of Cleveland and USA Triathlon, and will be confirmed in due course.