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Race Radar: Arizona’s Tempe International Triathlon

The 14th running of the Tempe International Triathlon, in Tempe, Ariz., will have 800 athletes participating this month.

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The 14th running of the Tempe International Triathlon, in Tempe, Ariz., will have 800 athletes participating across the sprint and Olympic distances this month. The race is the first triathlon to be held in Tempe Town Lake, which is also the site of the swim for other well-known races such as Ironman Arizona and Life Time Tri Tempe. The race has served as a USAT Regional Championships, an ITU Pan American Cup and also hosts the Arizona Club Championships, “offering a unique opportunity for club members to race against teammates and competitors from other clubs,” says Jonathan Grinder, Tempe International’s race director.

Local athletes love the race for both the course and its well-thought-out details. The course starts from a beach, which is unique in Arizona, and features a shaded finish line and shaded transition area (under the 202 freeway). But what draws athletes year after year, Grinder says, “is our long history of being a triathlete’s race—we cater to both beginners and experienced triathletes.”

For beginners, they have the chance to attend a comprehensive triathlon how-to session the day before the race, have their own color swim caps so lifeguards can keep an eye on them, and a separate area of transition staffed by a coach to help with pre-race jitters and questions.

Meanwhile, experienced triathletes can complete a fast race with a swim in Tempe Town Lake, a mostly flat and closed bike course and a run with multiple aid stations. “No matter what, the Tempe International Triathlon tries to take care of its athletes,” Grinder says.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2014 Ironman Arizona

Details
What: Tempe International Triathlon
Where: Tempe, Ariz.
When: May 17, 2015
Distance: Sprint, Olympic, relay
Website: Tucsonracing.com

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