Nominations are now being accepted for the Time to Tri Best First-Timer Event, part of Triathlon Business International (TBI)’s annual Triathlete’s Choice Awards. The award will be presented to a race that focuses on first-timers, with the goal of increasing participation by making triathlon more accessible to youth, women, paratriathletes and others who are new to the sport.
The winner will be announced at the 2019 Annual TBI Conference, set for January 25-27 in Tempe, Arizona.
To nominate a USA Triathlon-sanctioned event, athletes can fill out the online nomination form no later than December 20. The top-five nominated events will be announced on January 1, 2019, and the public will have one week to vote on the top event in multiple categories. Voting will close at midnight PT on January 8.
Time to Tri was unveiled at the 2018 TBI Conference in a presentation by USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris and IRONMAN CEO Andrew Messick. The industry-wide initiative aims to grow the sport of triathlon in the United States by supporting and inspiring beginners to complete their first race. Time to Tri provides training and racing resources at its online hub, mytimetotri.com.
The roll-out also included a public pledge form for coaches, clubs, race directors, retailers and brand manufacturers to commit to supporting first-timers at the grassroots level.
“Since Time to Tri’s launch, a number of race directors across the country have stepped up to create new beginner-friendly races, waves within races, and clinics,” said Rocky Harris. “These contributions have made a tangible impact on our sport by offering more opportunities for new triathletes to cross their first finish line in a non-intimidating environment.
“I can think of several deserving candidates for this award, and I look forward to seeing the winner at the TBI Conference next month.”
TBI’s Triathlete’s Choice award categories also include Best Large Race, Best Small Race and Best Scenic Course. The award criteria encompasses events around the world that challenge, inspire or bring out the best in participants; create an atmosphere of fun, excitement and energy; go beyond the call of duty when it comes to customer service, participant safety, organization, reasonable fees, coaching/advice, race day assistance and volunteers; and/or raises money for charitable causes.
At the 2019 TBI Conference – the one-year anniversary of Time to Tri’s launch – Harris will serve as a keynote speaker while reporting on the initiative’s progress and the industry partnerships it has inspired under the mission of recruiting new triathletes.