Approximately 4,500 of the US nation’s top amateur triathletes return to Cleveland’s Edgewater Park on Saturday, August 10, and Sunday, August 11, for the Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. In addition, an open water swim competition will be held as part of Age Group Nationals weekend for the first time on Friday, August 9.
First held in 1983, Age Group Nationals is USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running National Championships event. Athletes from all 50 US states and Washington DC, are set to compete. The youngest athlete on the start list is 15, and the oldest is 90.
Cleveland hosts the event for the second consecutive year, and also hosted in 1992. The main venue is at Edgewater Park. 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.
Athletes must qualify to compete in Saturday’s Olympic-distance race by earning a competitive age-group finish at a previous USA Triathlon-sanctioned event. No qualification is required for Sunday’s sprint-distance race. Both races will be qualification-based starting in 2020, when Age Group Nationals returns to its 2013-2015 host city of Milwaukee.
Athletes racing in Cleveland have access to special qualification opportunities for 2020.
Racing action begins on Friday at 11:00 ET with an open water swim competition, hosted by USA Triathlon in partnership with USA Swimming and US Masters Swimming. Athletes will cover a 750m course in Lake Erie. Also on Friday, at 18:30, Greater Cleveland Sports Commission hosts the Sunset Sprint 5K starting and ending at the USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals finisher’s arch.
On tap for Saturday are the Olympic-Distance National Championships, featuring a 1,500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run. The first wave of athletes will go off at 06:50, the last wave starts at 09:06, and the course will close at 11:45.
On Sunday, racing continues with the Sprint National Championships, in which athletes will cover a 750m swim, 10km bike and 5km run. The first athletes will start at 06:50, the last wave goes off at 08:20, and the course closes at 11:45.
In both races, athletes will be chasing national titles in their respective age groups. Top finishers in each age group will also earn the opportunity to represent Team USA at the 2020 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Age Group Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, in their respective race distances.
At Olympic-Distance Nationals, the top 18 finishers in each age group (rolling down to 30th place) will earn a spot on Team USA. Sprint-distance competitors must finish in the top eight in their age groups to secure a spot for the Sprint World Championships, which will feature a draft-legal format.
Athletes may also qualify for the Sprint World Championships with a top finish at the USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Sprint National Championships in Tempe, Arizona, on November 16.
The Cleveland community is encouraged to come out to Edgewater Park, support the competitors and experience the excitement of multisport. Admission is free to all spectators.