COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today opened registration for the Power Within Virtual Tri Across America presented by Toyota, a six-week team challenge that encourages athletes to share their love of the outdoors while collectively swimming 7 miles, biking 2,400 miles and running 905 miles between Oct. 15-Nov. 29. Teams and individuals can sign-up now at virtual-tri.com, and registration closes on Oct. 25.
The Power Within Virtual Tri Across America is inspired by Eric Byrnes — a former MLB player, current MLB Network Analyst and avid triathlete who undertook his own Triathlon Across America in 2018 in an effort to bring awareness to the lack of youth physical fitness in the United States. Over 57 days, Byrnes swam 7 miles across the San Francisco Bay, biked 2,400 miles to Chicago and ran 905 miles to Yankee Stadium in New York City. Through the effort, he raised funds for his nonprofit, the Let Them Play Foundation, which provides grants to local and national organizations that empower play.
The Power Within Virtual Tri Across America is free to enter, with an option to make a $45 donation to the USA Triathlon Foundation. Participants who choose the donation package will receive a finisher’s medal and a digital copy of “Let Them Play — A Triathlon Across America,” the documentary film recapping Byrnes’ journey. Teams may also choose to fundraise as a group for the USA Triathlon Foundation (click here to set up your team’s fundraising page), and every team member will receive a finisher’s medal if the fundraising minimum is met.
The USA Triathlon Foundation will work with Byrnes and the Let Them Play Foundation to direct all proceeds to organizations supporting youth multisport programming.
“When the COVID-19 pandemic upended our daily lives, it inadvertently led many athletes to discover — or rediscover — their passion for the outdoors. We hope that through the Power Within Virtual Tri Across America presented by Toyota, multisport athletes nationwide will have the chance to showcase the amazing places they get to swim, bike and run,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “This first-of-its-kind team challenge provides an opportunity for athletes to work together with friends and family to accomplish a collective goal, all while generating support for more youth to get outside and play.”
“Our message regarding youth health and physical fitness is as important today, as ever,” Byrnes said. “Families are home together, and activities are restricted, but it’s important to stay moving — it will make you feel physically and mentally better.”
“As a mobility company and a proud partner of USA Triathlon, Toyota is dedicated to helping people move in a barrier-free world, regardless of whether that’s safely outdoors or indoors,” said Dedra DeLilli, Group Manager, Toyota Olympic and Paralympic Marketing. “We hope that this unique virtual challenge inspires people all over the country to demonstrate that when people work as a team and are free to move, anything is possible.”
The Power Within Virtual Tri Across America is also supported by KitBrix, a company that aims to improve the lives of active people by offering a kit solution like no other. KitBrix designs and makes modular, highly water-resistant bags that zip together to enable easy access as well as protection. The company will give away six KitBrix USA Bags (Stars and Stripes, Limited Edition) as prizes for Tri Across America participants.
In addition, one Power Within Virtual Tri Across America participant will be selected randomly to receive a USA Triathlon-branded TrueForm Trainer Treadmill valued at $4,995. The following USA Triathlon partners will also offer more than $1,500 in prizes to participants: Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, ROKA, the USAT Store, Wahoo Fitness and XX2i. All prize winners will be selected at random and notified by Nov. 16.
During the registration process, individuals can create a new team or join an existing one. There is no minimum or maximum number of participants per team, and each team can create its own strategy for finishing the total mileage for each discipline. There is no minimum or maximum distance or number of disciplines that any one team member must complete. Teams do not need to be USA Triathlon Certified Clubs.
Individuals who do not have a specific team affiliation may join one of the following teams captained by members of the U.S. National Team and Toyota U.S. Paratriathlon National Team: Team #Eyeronvision (Kyle Coon), Davis & Elkins College (Chris Hammer), Multisport Madness (Kevin McDowell), Team Norman (Grace Norman), Team Pearson (Morgan Pearson), Team Lights Out (Aaron Scheidies and guide Ben Collins), Team Spivey (Taylor Spivey) and Team Stockwell (Melissa Stockwell).
Athletes can upload their workouts to the Power Within Virtual Tri Across America platform, powered by FitRankings, over the course of the six-week challenge. Run and bike workouts can be synced to the platform automatically via most GPS-enabled workout devices, smartphone apps and smartwatches — including Garmin, Apple Watch, Fitbit, Misfit, Polar, Strava, Suunto, Google Fit, RunKeeper, Apple Health and MapMyFitness. Manual uploads are also available.
Workouts may be completed outdoors or indoors while observing social distancing and all applicable government guidelines. Spin bikes and stationary bikes, bike trainers, treadmills, indoor and outdoor pools and open water swims are all acceptable. Participants are encouraged to share experiences from their journey and their love of the outdoors by posting on social media with the hashtags #TriAcrossAmerica and #PowerWithin.
Participants can join the Power Within Virtual Tri Across America Facebook event page here and connect with fellow athletes throughout the challenge. USA Triathlon will share periodic updates, and participants are encouraged to share their photos, motivate each other and celebrate milestones along the way.
To learn more about the Power Within Virtual Tri Across America presented by Toyota, visit virtual-tri.com. To donate to the USA Triathlon Foundation, or to learn more about the foundation and the programs it supports, visit usatriathlonfoundation.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 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).
About the USA Triathlon Foundation
The USA Triathlon Foundation was created in 2014 by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an independent tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. Under the leadership of its Trustees and Committee members, the Foundation serves as a means to create a healthier America through triathlon and seeks to transform lives by opening up new pathways to the sport for all, especially those who are otherwise underserved. The USA Triathlon Foundation operates with the belief that every child should have the chance to participate, every paratriathlete should have the opportunity to compete, and every aspiring elite athlete should be able to chase his or her Olympic dream. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $3 million has been provided to worthy causes and organizations that support its mission. Donations to the USA Triathlon Foundation ensure America's youth are introduced to the benefits and fun of a multisport lifestyle, athletes with disabilities receive the training, support and gear to be able to participate and excel, and the best aspiring young athletes have a chance to pursue their Olympic Dreams. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.
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