Milwaukee to host USA Triathlon national championships in 2020, 2021

Expected to draw 15,000 visitors, generate $6 million in economic impact to area

A triathlete competing in Boulder, Colorado. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Last updated on November 21st, 2019 at 02:33 pm

More than 10,000 spectators will descend upon downtown Milwaukee next August to watch 5,000 athletes compete in the country’s largest and longest running annual triathlon event.

USA Triathlon earlier this week announced it has selected Milwaukee to host its Age Group National Championships in 2020 and 2021, with the 2020 event set for Aug. 7 to 9. 

The event, which is sponsored by Toyota, is expected to draw more than 15,000 visitors and have an estimated local economic impact of $6 million.

It will be the fourth and fifth times the Age Group National Championships are held in Milwaukee, which previously played host in 2013, 2014 and 2015. The 2014 event drew a total of 5,789 registrants, which remains an all-time record for the Age Group National Championships, USA Triathlon said. 

“Milwaukee was a beloved host city for Age Group Nationals from 2013 to 2015, offering both an ideal venue and strong local partnerships that gave us the ability to offer outstanding championship events,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “We look forward to bringing the nation’s most dedicated sprint and Olympic-distance triathletes back to a city that has welcomed us with open arms.”

The competition will take over the city’s lakefront, using Lake Michigan’s shoreline for its swim portion, the Hoan Bridge and Lake Freeway for its bike portion and the paved trails along Veterans Park and North Memorial Drive for its running portion.

The 2020 National Championship will kick off on Friday, Aug. 7, with a 750-meter open water swim competition, which is open to anyone and does not require qualification. The qualification-based Age Group Olympic-Distance National Championships will take place on Saturday, Aug. 8, including a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run.

The Age Group Sprint National Championships are set for Sunday, Aug. 9, when qualified athletes will participate in a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course. 

“While competing, attendees will get to experience our beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, award-winning Milwaukee County Parks, world-class sporting facilities, a vibrant downtown, the Milwaukee Art Museum and all of Milwaukee’s wonderfully random facets that make it a top destination,” said Marissa Werner, senior sports and entertainment sales manager for VISIT Milwaukee.

USA Triathlon recently announced the Age Group Nationals sprint-distance race, which previously did not require qualification, will be qualification-based starting in 2020.

Early registration for the 2020 Toyota USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships will open on Aug. 8 only for participants at this year’s Age Group Nationals, set for Aug. 8-11 in Cleveland.

Online registration will open for all qualified athletes and open wave participants on Aug. 12.

2020 is shaping up to be a busy year for the region’s hospitality and tourism industries. Milwaukee will host the Democratic National Convention from July 13-16, 2020, and the Ryder Cup is set to take place Sept. 22 to 27, 2020 at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan County.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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