By Yitka Winn
5/23/2011 Update: The Age Group Race on Sunday has been cancelled. Visit http://trimonroe.com for more details.
If you want to experience the exhilaration of a world class triathlon without shelling out big bucks for a ticket to Hawaii, this summer is your chance. From June 25-26, the city of Monroe, Washington will welcome professional and amateur triathletes alike to compete in a unique weekend of Olympic distance races.
Monroe was one of six U.S. cities to be chosen as a 2012 series site for International Triathlon Union (ITU) elite professional races. In preparation for that, Total Health Events is putting on the TriMonroe this June to allow elites and amateurs to share the playing field.
“This will be a stepping stone for both amateurs and elites in tri racing,” says Total Health Events director Jonathan Hoskins. “You have all the sprint tri’s and fun local events, but this is the next level.”
Saturday will invite elites to compete on a draft legal course for a prize purse of over $30,000. There will also be special US National Cup junior and youth races.
It is Hoskins’ hope that the local community will come out to support the event, whether as a spectator on Saturday, a participant on Sunday, or ideally, both. If all goes well, next year the race will be an official qualifier for the 2012 Olympics.
“Monroe is getting behind this in a big way,” says Hoskins. “It’s up to them and the rest of the Northwest to show that we can really put on an Olympic caliber event.”