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Winter Triathlon

Mt. Bachelor to host 2009 Winter Triathlon National Championship

    The USA Triathlon Winter Triathlon National Championship will return to Mt. Bachelor on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009, the Oregon Sports Authority announced today.  The national championship features a mass start run, followed by a mountain bike portion on snow, and finishes with a Nordic ski leg.  Even though this is a national championship, there are no pre-qualifying races so all athletes are encouraged to participate in winter triathlon’s premiere event.

    USAT will offer a $3,000 cash purse to age group and overall winners along with many other prizes from our sponsors.  Best of all, this event will qualify the top three male and female American finishers for the Elite World Championship in Gaishorn, Austria, in February 2009.  Qualified athletes will receive a $1,000 travel stipend, reimbursed uniform costs and paid entry.  Athletes do not have to be a USAT Elite Member but must have a current USAT Membership – Elite, Amateur.  One-day licenses are also available.  The top three age group athletes also qualify but are fully responsible for their own costs if they choose to attend the World Championship.

    “Last year’s competitors loved the trails and course at Mt. Bachelor so we’re happy to return to this venue,” said USAT National Events Director Jeff Dyrek.

    The USAT Winter Nationals is one of several events the Oregon Sports Authority has helped bring to the Bend area since launching its Central Oregon chapter one year ago.  Other Oregon Sports Authority events include the ABA/BMX Great Northwest Nationals and the recent XTERRA Trail Running National Championship, both of which will return in 2009.

    Planned improvements for the Winter Nationals this year are aimed at providing a faster riding surface on the bike course. The total event distance will be 25-30k for elites, while some age groups may race on shorter courses.  This race is designed to be fun, exciting and challenging but in no way daunting.  The course will be open for practice for the week prior to the event and skills clinics will be offered through local and national coaches.

    Registration begins Nov. 15 with entry fees starting at $45.  Participants can enter as individuals, pairs or relay teams.  For those traveling to Bend for the weekend, the Mount Bachelor Sports Education Foundation is holding the Patagonia Pursuit 12k Nordic ski race on Saturday, Jan. 10.  This event will feature a 6k classic leg followed by a 6k skate leg; this will be a great warm up for the triathlon. Participants who do both races will receive a discounted entry.  More details about the weekend and suggestions for lodging and travel will be available from the event’s page at usatriathlon.org when registration opens.

    New for 2009 is a partnership with the Council for Responsible Sport.  Event organizers will work together to minimize waste, raise awareness of environmental issues related to sporting events and help offset carbon emissions from grooming, participant travel and energy used for the event.  Mt. Bachelor already purchases 100 percent of their electricity from clean sources like wind and geothermal.

    Mark your calendars now for the Winter Triathlon National Championships – a great way to kick off your 2009 racing season!


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