USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running national championship event returns to Cleveland’s Edgewater Park next month. The nation’s amateur triathletes are set to compete for national titles and world championship berths on August 10-11 as part of the 2019 Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships.
Thousands of age-group triathletes from all 50 US states and Washington, D.C. are expected to compete in the event, which first debuted in 1983 and was previously held in Cleveland in 1992 and 2018.
USAT notes that its Age Group Nationals is consistently one of the top-five largest triathlons in the United States and last year’s event was the second-largest Age Group Nationals in the event’s history with more than 5,400 participants. The largest field to date was in 2014, when 5,789 athletes registered to race in Milwaukee.
“Triathletes of all ages from across the country make the trek to Age Group Nationals each year to test their skills against an immensely talented and competitive field,” said Brian D’Amico, USA Triathlon’s Director of Events. “It is a great source of pride to welcome these triathletes back to this two-day event year after year.
“And, as we host this field in Cleveland for a second consecutive year, we’re grateful to all our partners in the local community, including the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Cleveland Metroparks, and the City of Cleveland, who are helping us ensure every competitor has a memorable race experience.”
The races will start at 07:00 ET on Saturday, August 10, with the Olympic-Distance National Championships, where athletes will race across a 1,500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run course. Action will then resume at 07:00 ET on Sunday, August 11, with the Sprint National Championships, covering a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run. Both events will be centred at Edgewater Park, a 147-acre lakefront with 9,000 feet of shoreline.
National titles are on the line both days, as are coveted spots on USA Triathlon’s Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur athletes who represent the US at ITU Age Group World Championship events.
The top 18 finishers in each age group of Olympic-Distance Nationals, after applying the age-up rule (rolling down to 30th place), will earn the right to represent Team USA at the 2020 ITU Standard-Distance Age Group World Championships in Edmonton, Alberta, set for August 20-23, 2020.
The Sprint Age Group World Championships will also be contested in Edmonton, and while Sprint Nationals in Cleveland is not draft-legal, the 2020 Sprint World Championships will feature a draft-legal bike leg. The top eight finishers in each age group at Sprint Nationals will earn their spot for Edmonton, and athletes will have a second opportunity this season to qualify at the USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Triathlon National Championships, set for November 16 in Tempe, Arizona.
A number of athletes competing in Cleveland in August have already earned their opportunity to race for Team USA (through last year’s National Championships) and will compete at the 2019 ITU Age Group World Championships set for August 29 to September 1 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
In addition to the championship events, USA Triathlon is hosting a 750m Open Water Swim Competition in partnership with USA Swimming and U. Masters Swimming, allowing athletes to gain access to a competitive race in Lake Erie prior to the start of the multisport races. While no national titles will be awarded as part of this event, top-placing athletes will receive awards.
Registration is still open for all the weekend’s events. Athletes must qualify for Olympic-Distance Nationals through the criteria outlined on usatriathlon.org, and must be at least 17 years old by December 31, 2019, to compete. Sprint Nationals do not require qualification. Sprint Nationals participants must be at least 15 years old by December 31, 2019. The Open Water Swim Competition also requires no qualification.
Admission to the races is free to all spectators, and the Cleveland community is encouraged to attend to support the competitors and experience the excitement of multisport for themselves.