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Close to 500 youth from around the nation will be competing in Colorado Springs this weekend as part of the 2009 USA Triathlon National Junior Olympic Festival.
The Saturday, August 8 events in Memorial Park (Prospect Lake) will include triathlon competitions for youth aged 7-19, including Youth Nationals and Youth and Junior Elite Nationals. While a national championship, the youth events are open to kids of all ability levels and the focus is on the fun of participation.
The Youth Elite and Junior Elite races are draft-legal events for those interested in high-performance racing. Many of these athletes are part of the USAT Development Program and have their sights set on competing as professionals and eventually in the Olympic Games.
Pre-event activities on Friday, August 7 include a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m., at Falcon Stadium Press Box on the campus of the United States Air Force Academy followed by event registration from noon to 4 p.m. Some of the activities at the stadium on Friday afternoon are open to the public, including the use of a number of bouncy houses.
USA Triathlon Coaching Education will be conducting clinics for kids and parents at the race site on Friday from 8 to 10 a.m., to offer tips on triathlon and orientation on the course. Members of the U.S. National Team and U.S. Olympic Team are planning to provide support and encouragement to the kids at the clinic and on race day.
On Saturday, all action will take place in and around Memorial Park, with the swim leg in Prospect Lake. The park and roads close at 5:30 a.m., with the Junior Elite races kicking off the day at 7:30 a.m. The final event of the day – the 7- and 8-year-old boys and girls – will start their races at 2:20 p.m. The awards ceremony ends the day at 3 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 7 Air Force Academy
8-10 a.m. Youth and Parents Clinic (Memorial Park – Registration Required)
9 a.m.- noon Pancake Breakfast (free for all athletes – parents must register)
Noon-4 p.m. Youth Age Group packet pick-up (Falcon Stadium – pressbox)
2-3 p.m. Youth Age Group pre-race meeting
4 p.m. Youth Elite and Junior Elite Mandatory pre-race meeting
Sat., Aug. 8 Memorial Park, Prospect Lake
5:30 a.m. Park and roads close
6-7:30 a.m. Junior Elite Transition Open
7:30 a.m. Junior Elite Women swim start
9:10 a.m. Junior Elite Men swim start
9-10:30 a.m. Youth Elite Transition Open
10:35 a.m. Youth Elite Women swim start
11:35 a.m. Youth Elite Men swim start
12-1:30 p.m. Youth Transition Open
1:20 p.m. Boys 11-12, Girls 11-12 swim start*
1:25 p.m. Boys 13-15, Girls 13-15 swim start*
2:15 p.m. Boys 9-10, Girls 9-10 swim start*
2:20 p.m. Boys 7-8, Girls 7-8 swim start*
3 p.m. Awards Ceremony
*Time trial start; three seconds between competitors
Here is the breakdown of the age groups and distances for the championship races.
Youth Age Group Championship and Open Race (ages 7-15)
Ages 7-8 and 9-10
Swim 100 meters, bike 5k, run 1k
Ages 11-12 and 13-15
Swim 200 meters, bike 10k, run 2k
Youth Elite Championship (ages 13-15; draft legal)
Swim 375 meters, bike 10k, run 2.5k
Junior Elite Championship (ages 16-19; draft legal)
Swim 750 meters, bike 20k, run 5k
Provided by USA Triathlon