COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon, along with race production company Smooth Running, today announced that the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships have been canceled due to ongoing precautions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships were initially scheduled to take place July 18 in Long Beach, California, as part of the Legacy Triathlon. When Legacy Triathlon event weekend was canceled, Paratriathlon Nationals were rescheduled to take place as part of the Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Triathlon hosted by Smooth Running on Sept. 20 in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
USA Triathlon and Mitch Varnes, race director of the Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Triathlon, have closely monitored all recommendations by local and national public health authorities, including the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Due to the extensive travel required for a competitive national event, the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships have been canceled for 2020.
The Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Triathlon will continue as a local USA Triathlon-sanctioned event for age-group athletes — including a triathlon, duathlon and relay division — as well as the USA Triathlon Southeast Paratriathlon Regional Championships. The age-group event has twice been named a finalist for Triathlon Business International’s “Best First Timer’s Race” award. To register as an age-group athlete, click here.
“We are disappointed that we cannot move forward with this year’s Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships, but we know our athletes will adapt and be ready to come back stronger in 2021,” said Amanda Duke Boulet, Paralympic Program Director at USA Triathlon. “This annual showcase of paratriathlon talent — from up-and-coming stars to Paralympic champions — should only be designated a national championship if it can be held safely and fairly for all competitors, and this was not feasible in 2020. With that said, we hope our more local athletes who can travel safely will take the opportunity to participate in the Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Triathlon, which still serves as a paratriathlon regional championship.”
“While our team at Smooth Running was eager to welcome the nation’s best and fastest paratriathletes for the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships, we recognize many would be unable to travel to the race this year, and on the recommendation of USA Triathlon, we mutually agreed to cancel this part of our race,” said Mitch Varnes, Ron Jon Cocoa Beach Triathlon Race Director and Owner of Smooth Running. “We are excited to host our Cocoa Beach Triathlon and Duathlon on September 20 and proud to still host the regional championship event, with stringent COVID-19 protocols in place to prioritize the health and safety of all participants, staff and volunteers.”
The date and location of the 2021 Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships will be announced later this year.
Updates from USA Triathlon regarding COVID-19 are available at usatriathlon.org/covid-19. USA Triathlon continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19, while following the guidance of local authorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), when making decisions regarding the status of USA Triathlon events and programs. Any further potential changes to USA Triathlon’s National Championships event calendar will be communicated immediately.
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 at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — 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 & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).