ITU Triathlon and Paratriathlon World Cup Races Highlight Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival Next Weekend

By USA Triathlon | Sept. 29, 2017, 6:06 p.m. (ET)

SARASOTA, Florida — Nearly 90 elite triathletes hailing from 28 countries are set to compete from Oct. 7-8 at the Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Triathlon World Cup, a race that doubles as the USA Triathlon Elite National Championships. The elite competition headlines the Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival at Nathan Benderson Park, a weekend of racing that also includes an elite Paratriathlon World Cup, collegiate and age-group events.

ITU Triathlon World Cup
The Sarasota-Bradenton ITU Triathlon World Cup, the only World Cup event held in the United States this year, features an Olympic-distance 1,500-meter swim, draft-legal 36.6-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run course. Elite athletes will compete for a share of a $60,000 prize purse.

The women’s race, which is set for 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, Oct. 7, is headlined by 2016 U.S. Olympian Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Md.). Zaferes earned a silver medal last month at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and finished third in the overall World Triathlon Series rankings for 2017. 

USA Triathlon National Team members Taylor Spivey (Redondo Beach, Calif.) and Chelsea Burns (Seattle, Wash.) are on the start list for the elite women, as is Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.), who won a gold medal at the Under-23 World Championships in Rotterdam earlier this month. In total, 12 U.S. women are set to compete.

Visit triathlon.org for a complete women’s start list.

The men’s World Cup is set for 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 8, and features 2016 U.S. Olympian Ben Kanute (Geneva, Ill.). Kanute had a breakout performance at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last month, finishing second behind 2012 Olympic silver medalist Javier Gomez of Spain. 

Also set to compete is USA Triathlon National Team Member Kevin McDowell (Geneva, Ill.), who has momentum on his side after taking silver at the ITU Triathlon World Cup in Huelva, Spain, on Sept. 23. Eric Lagerstrom (Portland, Ore.), who led all U.S. men with a 17th-place finish at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final last month, is also on the start list. Thirteen U.S. men overall are set to compete.

Visit triathlon.org for a complete men’s start list.

ITU Paratriathlon World Cup
Elite paratriathletes will race for World Cup medals on Sunday, Oct. 8, with the first wave of athletes set to go off at 10 a.m. Paratriathletes will cover a sprint-distance 750m swim, non-drafting 18.3k bike and 5k run. 

Headlining the U.S. contingent is Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill., PTS2), a three-time ITU paratriathlon world champion and bronze medalist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Stockwell, a U.S. Army veteran, was the first female American soldier in history to lose a limb in active combat in April 2004. The World Cup will be her first elite international race since giving birth to her second child in August.

Also racing in the Paratriathlon World Cup are 2017 U.S. national champions Ruth Ann Reeves (Hattiesburg, Miss., PTS5), Brian Norberg (Chicago, Ill., PTS3) and U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Allan Armstrong (Colorado Springs, Colo., PTS2).

Twelve U.S. paratriathletes, including six men and six women, are set to compete on Sunday. Visit triathlon.org for a complete paratriathlon start list.

Women’s Collegiate Triathlon East Regional Qualifier
Nearly 50 varsity women’s collegiate triathletes will compete in a regional qualifying race on Saturday, Oct. 7, in hopes of earning a berth to the 2017 Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championship on Nov. 5 in Tempe, Arizona. The race, which is set for 5 p.m., covers a 750m swim, draft-legal 18.3k bike and 5k run, and is the final qualifying opportunity before the National Championship.

Arizona State University, the defending national champions, were victorious at the Central Regional Qualifier in Naperville, Illinois, on Sept. 4. ASU athletes Hannah Henry, Katie Gorczyca, Kyla Roy, Sarah Quintero, Grace Obando and Delaney Bucker took first through seventh place; Hannah Blystone of Trine University and Morgan James of East Tennessee State University also recorded top-10 finishes.

The West Regional Qualifier is set for this weekend in Berkeley, California. For more information on triathlon as an NCAA Emerging Sport for Women, and to view the list of schools offering varsity women’s triathlon programs, visit usatriathlon.org/ncaa.

Age Group Draft-Legal World Qualifier
Nearly 200 amateur triathletes will race in Saturday’s Age Group Draft-Legal World Qualifier, competing for the chance to represent Team USA at the 2018 ITU Age Group Sprint Triathlon World Championships in Gold Coast, Australia. The race is the first event of the Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival, set for 7:15 a.m. on Oct. 7.

Athletes will complete a 750m swim, draft-legal 18k bike and 5k run, and top finishers in each age group will qualify for Worlds in 2018. For more information about Team USA, comprised of the top amateur triathletes who represent the United States at ITU Age Group World Championships, visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa.

Age Group Open Sprint Triathlon
More than 250 amateur triathletes will compete in the Age Group Open Sprint Triathlon, set for Sunday at 7:10 a.m. This race, geared toward athletes of all ability and experience levels, was offered free of charge as a way to support Floridians affected by Hurricane Irma. USA Triathlon announced on Sept. 15 that it would waive the initial $110 race registration fee, encouraging participants to instead donate, if able, to Hand in Hand’s Hurricane Relief Fund.

The Age Group Open Sprint Triathlon features a 750m swim, non-drafting 18k bike and 5k run. More than 90 percent of the participants are local Floridians. 

More Information
All races and awards ceremonies will take place at Nathan Benderson Park, a 600-acre community park operated by Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates, Inc. (SANCA). For complete event information for the Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival, visit usatriathlon.org/2017sbtrifest

For live coverage of the elite ITU Triathlon and ITU Paratriathlon World Cup races, follow @TriathlonLive on Twitter, and visit usatriathlon.org for recaps of U.S. performances of all races. The official hashtag for the Sarasota-Bradenton Triathlon Festival is #2017SBTriFest.  

To RSVP for the Elite Athlete Press Conference on Thursday, Oct. 5, or to apply for media credentials to cover the races, please fill out the USA Triathlon Media Credential Request Form. All members of the media must have a credential to access the mixed zones and media center on race days. 

SARASOTA-BRADENTON TRIATHLON FESTIVAL 
Nathan Benderson Park | Oct. 7-8, 2017

Thursday, Oct. 5

11 a.m.: Press Conference with Elite Athletes | Nathan Benderson Park Finish Tower

Saturday, Oct. 7
7:15 a.m.: Age Group Draft-Legal World Qualifier
11:10 a.m.: Age Group Draft-Legal World Qualifier Awards Ceremony
1 p.m.: ITU Triathlon World Cup Elite Women
3:30 p.m.: ITU Triathlon World Cup Elite Women Awards Ceremony
5 p.m.: Women’s Varsity Collegiate Triathlon East Regional Qualifier
7 p.m.: Women’s Varsity Collegiate Triathlon East Regional Qualifier Awards Ceremony

Sunday, Oct. 8
7:10 a.m.: Age Group Non-Draft Open Sprint Triathlon
9:20 a.m.: Age Group Non-Draft Open Sprint Triathlon Awards Ceremony
10 a.m.: ITU Paratriathlon World Cup
1 p.m.: ITU Paratriathlon World Cup Awards Ceremony
2:30 p.m.: ITU Triathlon World Cup Elite Men
4:45 p.m.: ITU Triathlon World Cup Elite Men Awards Ceremony

About USA Triathlon

USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 races and connects with nearly 500,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).