U.S. Elite Triathletes Welcome Competitors From the Americas, Caribbean
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (May 5, 2009) - Elite athletes from the Americas and Caribbean nations will gather in the heartland of the United States for the 2009 ITU Pan American Triathlon Confederation Championships in Oklahoma City, Okla., on May 16.
The elite draft-legal Olympic distance championship races are part of the weekend of activities at the Boathouse International Triathlon. Sprint distance junior and age group races are also on the schedule. A total prize purse of $30,000 will be awarded in the elite division.
The race also kicks off the five-race USA Triathlon Twenty-12 Elite Series, the first year in a build up to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
"This is a great opportunity for athletes from all of the PATCO countries to come together and compete and form new friendships," said USA Triathlon Sport Performance Director Scott Schnitzspahn. "We look forward to hosting this event where PATCO athletes can earn valuable points for the ITU World Cup and World Championship Series entries down the line."
The participant list for U.S. athletes includes several from the USAT National Teams program, including Sara McLarty, Julie Ertel, Jasmine Oeinck, Becky Lavelle, Jillian Petersen, Hunter Kemper, Matt Reed, Brian Fleischmann, Ethan Brown, Matt Chrabot, and Tim O'Donnell. Petersen and Chrabot are the defending PATCO champions. The junior races will feature some of the top up-and-coming U.S. and international competitors.
The U.S. athletes will serve as proud hosts to athletes from Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Honduras, and other Pan American countries.
The race begins off the docks of Chesapeake Boathouse with a one lap, 1.5k swim in the Oklahoma Rivers. Athletes will then bike 40k, four laps north and south up Lincoln Boulevard circling the Oklahoma State Capitol. The race ends with a 10k, four lap run along the River Trails west of the Boathouse.
The Oklahoma River
More than $56 million was spent to create what is now known as the Oklahoma River. Completed in 2004, the seven miles of river offers one of the best aquatic sports venues in the country. Since its conception, the Oklahoma River has hosted international Olympians in the USA Rowing World Challenge and the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Flatwater Sprint.
About the Twenty-12 Elite Series
The Series follows the highly successful four-year Haul to the Great Wall Series. Twenty-12 will give triathlon fans a chance to see athletes who are looking to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games. The series will include U.S. and international competitors, some who have competed in past Olympic Games and others who are beginning to make names for themselves on the international triathlon circuit.
2009 Twenty-12 Series Race Schedule
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla.
Date: May 16
Prize Purse: $30,000
Details: PATCO Championship
Location: Austin, Texas
Date: May 25
Prize Purse: $10,000
Date: June 27
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Prize Purse: $1,000,000
Date: July 11
Location: San Francisco, Calif.
Prize Purse: $20,000
Date: August 22
Location: Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Prize Money: $30,000
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon - the fastest growing sport in the U.S. - as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 2,500 races and connects with more than 115,000 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, USAT provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including World Championships, Pan American Games, and the Olympic Games.