Triathlon now huge

Triathlon now huge

July 11th, 2009 by Andrew D. Holt in Sports

A summer intermediate-distance triathlon has been a tradition in Chattanooga for over two decades, but the move to the downtown waterfront keeps making it bigger and bigger.

The number and span of entries immediately grew when it became the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon and the Chattanooga Track Club got organizational help from Team Magic of Birmingham in 2005. The three-discipline event drew 700 registrations, 643 actual competitors and a winner from New Zealand that year.

Entries were cut off Monday at more than 1,200 for the fifth waterfront version Sunday morning. Each entry represents an individual racer or a team of two or three, so the track club is predicting more than 1,300 participants.

Competitors will swim 1.5 kilometers down the Tennessee River from the rowing center to Ross's Landing, bike 42 kilometers along U.S. Highway 27 and finish with a 10k run along the Riverwalk.

A 2009 USAT USA Triathlon special qualifier, the Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon also is a qualifying event for the National Age Group Championship triathlon Aug. 22 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Further, each top male and female from Tennessee will qualify for the U.S. Amateur triathlete competition in California.

Chattanooga's triathlon generates more than $900,000 for the local economy, officials estimate.

Competition is set to begin Sunday morning at 7:30. The awards ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m.