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Paratriathlon Nationals Returns to New York This Weekend

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The Big Apple is set to host the 2009 USA Triathlon Accenture Paratriathlon National Championship this weekend as part of the Nautica New York City Triathlon.

Close to 50 physically challenged athletes will be taking part in Sunday’s race, which will be the first under the new Paratriathlon label. Participants include some of the top names in the sport: Paul Martin, Scout Bassett, Sarah Reinersten, Amy Winters, Kelly Bruno, Sandy Dukat, Rivaldo Martins, Jeff Glasbrenner, Rudy Garcia Tolsen, as well as several other members of the USAT Paratriathlon National Team.

The triathlon is one of the world's most Paratriathlete-friendly courses. The 1.5k Hudson River swim is very fast since athletes swim with the current. The 40k bike is the paved one-loop Westside Highway. The 10k run is across 72nd St. with a loop in Central Park.

Accenture has been an avid supporter of the event for several years, and will once again treat the athletes like royalty. They are organizing a number of hospitality events, including a National Team and Challenged Athletes Foundation breakfast on Saturday. Accenture also organizes the training of volunteer handlers to assist the athletes in the transition area.

"Paratriathletes amaze and inspire us, and ultimately, show us there is no limit to high performance,” said Cathinka Wahlstrom, managing director of Accenture's NY Metro location. “It is our honor and privilege to serve as host for the elite group of men and women vying to represent the U.S. in this sport."

The athletes compete in six categories based on their physical disabilities:

•    TRI 1 - Handcycle: Paraplegic, Quadriplegic, Polio, Double Leg Amputee. Must use hand-cycle and racing wheelchair on run.
•    TRI 2 - Severe Leg impairment: Above-knee Amputees. Athlete must ride bicycle and run with above knee (or similar) prosthesis or crutches.
•    TRI 3 - Les Autre: Includes athletes with Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Double Leg Amputee (runners) or Paralysis in multiple limbs. Must ride a bicycle and run. (May use braces or prosthesis)
•    TRI 4 - Arm impairment: Including Above and Elbow Amputees or "impairment" in one or both upper limbs. Athletes may use prosthesis, brace or sling on the bike and/or run.
•    TRI 5 - Leg impairment: Below-knee amputees. Athlete must ride bicycle and run with prosthesis or crutches.
•    TRI 6 - Visual Impairment: Legally Blind. (20/200 vision with best corrective vision). A handler of the same sex is mandatory throughout the race. Athlete is tethered during the swim. Athlete uses a tandem bicycle and may be tethered during the run.

Find out more about the 2009 USA Triathlon Accenture Paratriathlon National Championship.

Find out more about the sport of Paratriathlon in the United States.

About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the national governing body for triathlon – the fastest growing sport in the world – as well as duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 2,800 races and connects with more than 120,000 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.

Media Contact:
Jason Mucher
Communications & Media Relations Manager
PH: 719-597-9090 ext. 105
FAX: 719-597-2121

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