USA Triathlon has announced that the 2020 Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships will return to Long Beach, California, in conjunction with the second annual Legacy Triathlon on July 18. The race will once again take place at Alamitos Beach, the proposed site of the triathlon competitions at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
With its launch of the Legacy Triathlon, USA Triathlon became the first national governing body in the US Olympic and Paralympic family to bring a new annual event to the Los Angeles footprint ahead of the 2028 Games, ‘giving participants the chance to be a part of Southern California’s rich Olympic history.’
Paratriathlon Nationals will be held as part of an expanded Legacy Triathlon event weekend, which also includes an age-group sprint triathlon, an open water swim competition in partnership with USA Swimming and US Masters Swimming, a PATCO Sprint Triathlon Panamerican Cup, a Splash & Dash youth aquathlon, a paratriathlon skills clinic and a host of other ancillary events.
For the second consecutive year, USA Triathlon, Toyota and the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) will combine to offer a total professional prize purse of US$36,750 for Paratriathlon Nationals podium finishers in each of six paratriathlon sport classes. Male and female national champions will receive US$1,500 each, runners-up will receive US$750, and third-place finishers will receive US$375. Guides for athletes with visual impairments will also receive equivalent winnings.
Paratriathlon athletes will cover a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. The course features several improvements from 2019, including a pre-transition area located immediately at swim exit; a new run course on closed neighbourhood streets; and adjustments to the bike course to eliminate several tight turns.
All paratriathlon waves will start first, prior to the age-group waves, and paratriathletes will have a designated swim warm-up area on race day.
In addition, a paratriathlon swim familiarization will be offered on Friday, July 17, and the packet pick-up area will feature accessibility improvements.
“USA Triathlon is proud to recognize the incredible achievements of US paratriathletes while continuing to lead the professionalization of paratriathlon worldwide,” said Amanda Duke Boulet, Paralympic Program Director at USA Triathlon.
“We look forward to showcasing the sport in Long Beach once again next year, with an improved course that enables all paratriathlon competitors to race to their potential.”
“We continue to be in awe of the performance of these elite athletes,” said Dedra DeLilli, Group Manager, Olympic and Paralympic Marketing at Toyota Motor North America. “We’re thrilled to play a small role in helping to grow the sport of paratriathlon and are honoured to support the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships by contributing to another professional prize purse. As a mobility company and partner of USA Triathlon, Toyota is cheering on all of these inspiring athletes as they compete for a national title.”
Bob Babbitt, CAF Co-Founder and USA Triathlon Hall of Fame Inductee, said “When we created The Challenged Athletes Foundation 26 years ago, our goal was to provide the equipment, travel and coaching challenged athletes need to stay in the game of life through sport. To be able to help fund prize money for our nation’s best paratriathletes at the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships is something we are very excited to support.”
Prize purse recipients must hold a current paratriathlete or elite paratriathlete USA Triathlon membership valid through July 18. In addition, they must be either a US citizen or US national able to immediately represent the United States at International Triathlon Union (ITU) competitions.
In addition to chasing national titles, athletes competing at the 2020 Toyota USA Triathlon Paratriathlon Nationals also have the opportunity to qualify for the USA Paratriathlon Development Team Program, designed to identify and develop athletic potential leading into the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.
Athletes wishing to compete at the 2020 Toyota USA Paratriathlon Nationals must be officially classified in a paratriathlon sport class and must meet the qualification standards. Athletes who are not classified or who do not meet the qualification standards may choose to race in the PC Open Division, which does not require qualification. A National Classification opportunity will be offered in Long Beach prior to the event.