The 25th annual Memorial Day triathlon is slated for Monday with an expected field of 2,000-plus athletes in downtown Austin, Texas. The race features three divisions – Olympic, Sprint and Super Sprint – and Relays.
In addition, the USAT Paratriathlon National Championships return for the third time. And a new event debuts – the Austin B-Cycle Super Sprint where 20 individuals can do bike course in one of Austin’s B-Cycle’s. For an extra quick transition, consider placing your running shoes in the basket on the front of the bike.
If you’re unfamiliar with the distances, here’s a refresher:
Olympic: 1500 Meter Swim, 40 Kilometer Bike, 10 Kilometer Run
Sprint: 750 Meter Swim, 20 Kilometer Bike, 5 Kilometer Run
Super Sprint: 400 Meter Swim, 10 Kilometer Bike, 5 Kilometer Run
Paratriathlon National Championship: 750 Meter Swim, 20 Kilometer Bike, 5 Kilometer Run
Top American paratriathletes will race for national titles in five divisions on a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course through downtown Austin. This will be the third time the CapTexTri has hosted the championships, returning after a late change last year due to a modification in the classification process.
Paratriathlon makes its Paralympic debut at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Paralympic Games in September of next year.
Athletes in the Austin B-Cycles challenge will participate in the super sprint distance with a bike provided by Austin B-Cycles. The course will see some changes from the 2014 alternate routes to the bike and run course. With the City of Austin finishing the construction to the park, transition will be returning to Auditorium Shores the 2,000 participants. The proximity of the transition to the water will greatly decrease the T1 time for many athletes.
Returning to Town Lake…err, “Lady Bird Lake”…the starts and finishes on at Auditorium Shores. The clockwise course will have athletes sighting buoys to their right shoulder, heading west towards Mopac first. The rectangular course will have 4 turns with a possible 5th depending on the required distance. Olympic distance athletes going 1500 meters will find themselves passing beyond the South 1st Street bridge until they reach the turn around. Historically water condition temperatures tend to favor wearing a wetsuit, hovering in the mid-60’s.
International Elites/Invitational and Paratriathlon will have mass starts waves. All other waves will be Time Trial Start.
The bike course has changed for this year, moving to a 10 kilometer loop compared to previous out/back routes. Olympic distance participants will have four loops to complete, Sprint and Paratri two loops, and Super Sprint one loop.
The course is a rolling terrain with a total gain of just 268 feet. Riders will quickly ascend the South 1st Street bridge before turning east on Caesar Chavez. Another sweeping turn north onto Congress Avenue will have cyclists climbing the long, steady hill to the Capitol. Once they reach the top, a quick 180-degree turnaround awaits for a blazing downhill to Cesar Chavez.
From there, the course goes out towards Mopac and back around, making a loop in front of Austin High School. athletes will climb the long steady hill north to the State Capital building, before making 180 degree turnaround downhill.
The run course – a 5 kilometer loop – hasn’t changed from the 2014 race. It’s mostly flat but has two 180-degree turnarounds and a giant loop around Butler Park. Olympic Distance participants make two loops while everyone else does just one.
A benefit of the route is the stretch on Barton Springs Road that provides a reprieve from the blistering sun. Current weather forecasts have temps in the mid-80’s for the high and a low of just 72, meaning it will be warm and muggy with near 100 percent humidity at sunrise.