The 2018 USAT Age Group National Championships (sprint- and Olympic-distances) are currently on track to surpass 2017’s participation numbers, USA Triathlon announced on Monday. Registration totals to date are around 50% higher than at the same point last year, as the event moves to Cleveland in August 2018.
With 34 weeks until race day, 1,193 participants are registered to take part in either the sprint or Olympic-distance race – compared to 807 at this time last year. Age Group Nationals will take place in Cleveland for the first time since 1992, and will be held from Aug. 11-12.
“One of the most important outcomes of USA Triathlon’s 2018 strategy is increased participation at all levels,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “The more athletes who compete in our National Championships, the more that passion for multisport gets filtered back into communities nationwide. It’s local support from experienced age-groupers that often inspires newbies to try the sport for the first time.”
On schedule for Saturday 11 August, is the Olympic-distance race, which includes a 1,500m swim, 40K bike and 10K run. This event requires qualification to compete and features the US nation’s top amateur athletes in each age group.
The sprint-distance race, set for Sunday 12 August, covers a 750m swim, 20K bike and 5K run. Sprint-distance registration is now open at ACTIVE.com, and no qualification is required to compete.
“The year-over-year increase in registration reaffirms some of the strategic decisions we’ve made for 2018,” said Brian D’Amico, USA Triathlon Director of Events. “As Age Group Nationals head to Cleveland for the next two years, we benefit from the city’s thriving multisport community as well as the outstanding support of our local organizing committee.
“Cleveland’s location within driving distance of several major cities, its status as a central airport hub and its history of hosting prestigious national sporting events will all play key roles in attracting competitors and their families.”
Registration for the 2018 Duathlon National Championships is also tracking ahead of last year, outpacing the 2017 total by 64% at 16 weeks out. The event is headed to Greenville, South Carolina, for the first time, and will be held earlier in the year – on 7-8 April – than the June timeframe of the past three years.
Racing at Duathlon Nationals will include a draft-legal sprint-distance race (5K run, 18K bike, 2.85K run) on Saturday, 7 April, and two non-drafting races at the standard distance (8.45K run, 39K bike, 4.5K run) and sprint distance (5K run, 18.2K bike, 2.85K run) on Sunday, 8 April.
Both Age Group and Duathlon Nationals offer the opportunity for top finishers to qualify for Team USA to compete at the ITU Age Group World Championships.
The 2018 ITU Age Group Triathlon World Championships are set for September (sprint-distance and Olympic-distance) in Gold Coast, Australia, while the 2018 Sprint and Standard-Distance Duathlon World Championships will take place in Odense, Denmark, as part of the ITU Multisport World Championships Festival from 4-6 July.
For all four of USA Triathlon’s owned National Championships – Collegiate Club, Duathlon, Youth & Junior and Age Group – registration will remain open until the week before the event or until the race sells out.