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A Race to Tri: Age Group Mixed Relay World Championships

Break out of your tri bubble with the first-ever age-group mixed relay world championships, hosted in a beautiful Bermudan beach setting.

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Each magazine issue, we’ll be highlighting a race you might not know about. This month: the Age Group Mixed Relay World Championships in Bermuda.

From Oct. 15-17, Bermuda will host the Sprint and Relay World Championships. Never done a mixed relay before? Now’s your chance.

It’s a four-person event (two men, two women), where each athlete completes a full-speed super sprint tri (around 20 minutes for the pros) before handing off to the next person. Expect the Bermudans to come out and cheer like crazy for the Bermudan squad—likely to feature world champion Flora Duffy and Kona top five finisher Tyler Butterfield.

Here’s our quick snapshot of this race you should tri.

Photo: Courtesy Bermuda Tourism Board

What: The Sprint and Relay World Championships will kick off with the elite super sprint elimination events on Friday, then the age-groupers race in the individual sprint on Saturday before the elite finals. But the real kicker is on Sunday: the mixed relay world championship race. That includes the first ever age group mixed relay championship. Athletes will sprint up, down, and around the tri-crazy Bermudan town of Hamilton.

Why: Because it’s the first time there’s been a chance to race a mixed relay championship as an age-grouper! Get inspired watching the fast and furious action in Tokyo, then go out and try the super sprint relay format for yourself. Plus, you can make it a full vacation—the family and kids can jump in the open race on Saturday, and you can all enjoy the island life after.

OK, but how? Since this is the first time they’ve tried an age group mixed team relay world championship like this, qualification is a “bit of an unknown quantity,” said race director Alec Shepherd. While anyone can sign up for the open race, the world championship events are official World Triathlon championship events—which means each country manages its own qualifying process.

In the U.S., to qualify for the relay, you must have been top 12 in your age group at the 2019 Age Group Sprint National Championships or come in the top 12 this August at the 2021 Age Group Sprint National Championships. Spots will be offered and then roll down, teams will be matched up, Facebook groups will be established to get to know your new relay teammates, and then you’ll all be off to Bermuda.

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Photo: Janos Schmidt