COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Thousands of the nation’s top amateur triathletes will converge on Cleveland’s Edgewater Park next month, as the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships return to the city for the first time since 1992. Age Group Nationals, set for Aug. 11-12, is USA Triathlon’s largest and longest-running national championship event.
First held in 1983, this event regularly draws athletes from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The size of the field has more than tripled since 2010, making Age Group Nationals consistently one of the top-five largest triathlons in the United States. This year’s race will draw near-record participation, as more than 4,000 athletes are registered with a month to go until race day. The largest participation to date took place in 2014, when 5,789 athletes registered to race in Milwaukee.
“USA Triathlon is proud to showcase the nation’s fastest age-group triathletes — from competitors in their teens all the way through their eighties — for this annual showcase of multisport talent,” said Brian D’Amico, USA Triathlon’s Director of Events. “We have been overwhelmed by the support of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission, Cleveland MetroParks, the City of Cleveland and the entire community as we prepare for an action-packed weekend of racing.”
“The Cleveland community can’t wait to welcome a near-record number of national triathletes to Northeast Ohio,” said David Gilbert, President and CEO of Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. “USA Triathlon, Cleveland Metroparks and the City of Cleveland have been incredible partners in the hosting this event. We are confident that the attending athletes and their families will have a great experience as they take to the shores of the Lake Erie.”
The event features two national championship races over two days at Edgewater Park, a 147-acre lakefront with 9,000 feet of shoreline. The Olympic-Distance National Championships, set for 7 a.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 11, will cover a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. The Sprint National Championships, which feature a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run, will begin at 7 a.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 12.
Registration is still open for both events. Athletes must qualify for Olympic-Distance Nationals through the criteria outlined on usatriathlon.org, and must be at least 17 years old by Dec. 31, 2018, to compete. Sprint Nationals do not require qualification, and athletes may register by clicking here. Sprint Nationals participants must be at least 15 years old by Dec. 31, 2018.
In 2017, Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.) swept the women’s Olympic- and sprint-distance overall titles. Bill Jones (San Diego, Calif.) claimed the overall men’s Olympic-distance title, while Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.) was the overall men’s sprint champion. Sass is registered for both races again this year. Click here for complete results from 2017.
In addition to chasing national titles, athletes will also compete for coveted spots on USA Triathlon’s Team USA, comprised of the nation’s top amateur athletes who represent the U.S. at ITU Age Group World Championship events. At Olympic-Distance Nationals, the top 18 finishers in each age group, after applying the age-up rule (rolling down to 25th place), will earn the right to represent Team USA at the 2019 ITU Standard-Distance Age Group World Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Sprint-distance competitors must finish in the top eight of their age groups to make Team USA for the Sprint World Championships. While Sprint Nationals in Cleveland is not draft-legal, the Sprint World Championships in Lausanne will feature a draft-legal bike leg. Athletes will have a second opportunity this season to qualify for the Sprint World Championships through the USA Triathlon Draft-Legal Triathlon National Championships, set for Oct. 13 in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida.
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 2018 ITU Age Group World Championships in September in Gold Coast, Australia. Visit usatriathlon.org/teamusa to learn more about the Team USA program for amateur athletes.
The Cleveland community is encouraged to come out and support the competitors and experience the excitement of multisport. Admission to the races is free to all spectators. Volunteer spots are also still available, and those interested may register here.
For more information about the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships, visit the event page at usatriathlon.org/agnc2018. To apply for media credentials, please fill out the USA Triathlon National Events Media Credential Request Form or contact Caryn Maconi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 events and connects with more than 400,000 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).