More than 3,200 athletes are currently signed up for the 2018 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships (sprint- and Olympic-distance), as registrations for the August 11-12 event are tracking more than 55% higher than at the same point last year. After stopping in Omaha, Nebraska, for the past two years, the event moves to Cleveland this August for the first time since 1992.
Age Group Nationals is USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running National Championships event. The race regularly draws amateur athletes from all 50 US states and Washington, DC; and national titles are awarded in every age group from 17-19 to 85 and over.
With approximately two months until race day, 2,256 qualifying athletes are registered for the Olympic-distance race — putting the event well on track to surpass the 2017 total of 2,439 athletes. The sprint-distance race, which does not require qualification, has 959 registrants to date, and is also on track to exceed last year’s total of 1,235.
“With support from the City of Cleveland, the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and the city’s thriving local multisport community, USA Triathlon is pleased to see registrations for Age Group Nationals exceeding even our own ambitious goals,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “We look forward to celebrating the nation’s most passionate amateur triathletes and producing a world-class event for both participants and their families this August.”
The course in Cleveland is centred around Edgewater Beach Park, a 147-acre lakefront venue featuring 9,000 feet of shoreline. Athletes will swim in Lake Erie, bike and run along the lakeshore overlooking downtown Cleveland, and finish with a sprint down USA Triathlon’s iconic National Championships red carpet within the park.
Age Group Nationals will also be held in Cleveland in 2019. The event is projected to provide Northeast Ohio with approximately US$6.5 million in tourism revenue per year, with a total economic impact estimated in excess of US$13 million.
“We’re thrilled to see that the registration numbers for USA Triathlon’s Age Group Nationals are pacing beyond the event goals,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “We have no doubt that Cleveland has a great infrastructure to host this type of event. There’s something special about our community, and we’re happy that others share in our sentiments.”
Qualification is required to compete in Saturday’s Olympic-distance race, which features a 1,500m swim, 40K bike and 10K run. Sunday’s sprint-distance race, which features a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run, is open to all participants. Athletes may register to compete at usatriathlon.org. Registration for both races will remain open until the week before the event or until the race sells out.
Both the sprint- and Olympic-distance races at Age Group Nationals will qualify top finishers in each age group to represent Team USA at the 2019 ITU Age Group World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland.