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Elites Arrive in Oklahoma for PATCO Championship


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Elite athletes from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean have gathered in Oklahoma City, Okla., for the ITU Pan American Triathlon Confederation Championship this weekend as part of the Boathouse International Triathlon.

In addition to the championship on the line, the race is also the first in the USAT 2009 Twenty-12 Elite Series, and features a prize purse of $30,000.

The majority of the athletes, representing 17 countries from the region, arrived Thursday and went through the traditional pre-race orientation with the race director and the ITU technical delegate.

Friday was a chance for the athletes to swim in the Oklahoma River, take a spin on the bike course, and familiarize themselves with the run course.

Five U.S. athletes were part of the pre-race press conference. Hunter Kemper, Susan Williams, Amanda Stevens, Matt Chrabot and Jillian Petersen shared their thoughts on the race and the chance for the U.S. to play host to other Pan American athletes.

Race action begins Saturday at 8 a.m., with the Junior Elite Women, followed at 9:30 by the Junior Elite Men. The Elite Women race at 1 p.m., with the Elite Men wrapping up the day's events at 4 p.m.

An age group race is slated for Sunday.

Find out more about the weekend.