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USA Triathlon Returning to Tuscaloosa for National Championships

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Tuscaloosa, Ala., has become a hotbed of triathlon over the past few years, at least as far as USA Triathlon (USAT) is concerned.
 
With the 2009 USAT Age Group and Elite National Championships – the organization’s premier events – coming to Tuscaloosa on Saturday, Aug. 22, it marks the third straight year a major triathlon championship event has been held in the city.
 
Successful USAT Collegiate National Championships in 2007 and 2008, as well as last year’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials, have helped to develop a strong bond between the city, the Tuscaloosa Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the University of Alabama, and USA Triathlon.
 
This year’s event will bring close to 1,000 amateurs to town to battle for national titles in 28 age groups on the 1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run course, which starts in the Black Warrior River, runs along Jack Warner Parkway, and touches downtown and the University of Alabama campus before finishing at the transition area at Riverwalk Park East.
 
Another 50 professionals will vie for elite national crowns on a draft-legal course that covers the same distance as the amateurs. Professionals aged 18-23 will also be in contention for U23 national titles. The event is an ITU Continental Cup race and the final race of the five-event USAT Twenty-12 Elite Race Series [learn more at www.twenty12triathlon.org].
 
The age group competitors are among the best amateur triathletes in the country, with many having garnered numerous All-America honors, national championships and world titles. They are traveling to Tuscaloosa from all 50 states after meeting strict qualification standards at USAT-sanctioned qualifying events throughout the 2009 season.
 
In addition to the bragging rights of claiming a national title, the age groupers will be competing for coveted spots to represent the U.S. at the 2010 ITU World Championship in Budapest, Hungary. There will be 18 slots on Team USA available per age group, with slots rolling down to 25th place.

A number of elite athletes will be visiting local schools on Friday, Aug. 21 to give presentations on triathlon and life as a professional triathlete.

Local Involvement
The citizens of Tuscaloosa are encouraged to come down on race day to cheer on the competitors and experience the excitement of multisport. The events are family and pet-friendly and include a number of activities for the kids, including moon jumps, face painters, cotton candy and a chance to meet Big Al and sign up for Big Al’s Kids Club.

A variety of giveaways are also planned throughout the day.
 
USAT is also looking for volunteers. Anyone interested in assisting with the event should visit usatriathlon.volunteerlocal.com and click on the “Volunteer Now” link for the event at the bottom of the page. Individuals can also volunteer by stopping by the Ferguson Center the week of the event.
 
Schedule of Events

All times are subject to change.

Friday, August 21
8 a.m.              Women's Commission Breakfast (Hotel Capstone)
9-11 a.m.         Be Race Ready: Nutrition Tips to Race Well in the Heat (BCC)
                        Athletes only (Registration Required)
11 a.m.-6 p.m.  Vendor Fair/Expo (Sellers Auditorium)
12-5 p.m.         Athlete Packet Pick-Up (Sellers Auditorium-BCC)
2-6 p.m.           Mandatory Bike Check In (Riverwalk Park East)
2 & 4 p.m.        Rules Briefing with age group head official (Rast Room-BCC)
 
Saturday, August 22    Riverwalk Park East (Jack Warner Pkwy/ Hackberry Lane)
7 a.m.         Age Group Race Starts
12 p.m.       Women Elite National Championship
2:15 p.m.    Men Elite National Championship
4:30 p.m.    Elite Awards Ceremony
6-8 p.m.      Age Group National Championship Awards Ceremony (BCC)
 
BCC = Bryant Conference Center
 
More information, including participants list, detailed schedule of events and course maps are available at the USAT Age Group and Elite National Championship website.

Media Information
Media should contact USAT Communications and Media Relations Manager Jason Mucher for questions on event coverage. Or call 719-955-2805.
 
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: 719-955-2805
FAX: 719-597-2121

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