KEY WEST, Florida Keys — A test of stamina, speed, endurance and discipline awaits athletes in the continental United States’ southernmost city during the Key West Triathlon, an annual challenge that draws competitors from around the U.S. and abroad.
Set for Saturday, Dec. 1, the warm-weather “Tri Key West” features a field of up to 1,000 entrants. Participants swim in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, bike along a portion of the Florida Keys’ scenic Overseas Highway and run on a fast, flat course beside the Atlantic Ocean.
The event includes multiple divisions designed to appeal to both veteran athletes and newcomers.
The Olympic-distance triathlon features a 1.5k swim, 40k bicycle ride and 10k run, while sprint-distance triathlon participants are to complete a .75k swim, 20k bicycle ride and 5k run. Two- or three-person relay teams can compete as well, with individual team members tackling different legs of the triathlon.
In addition, a sprint-distance duathlon is planned for individuals or two-person relay teams that features a 1-mile run, 20k bicycle ride and 5k run.
Alternatively, athletes can choose to compete in an Aquabike category that consists of a 1.5k swim and 40k bike ride, or an Aquathlon category that features a 1.5k swim and 10k run.
The weekend events kick off with a final race packet pickup set for noon to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at Higgs Beach on Atlantic Avenue, headquarters for the challenge. A vendor expo and prerace clinics are scheduled Friday as well.
Saturday’s racing action is to begin at 7 a.m., with wave starts planned at preset intervals and the finish line at Higgs Beach.
Following all races, a 3 p.m. block party and 4 p.m. awards ceremony are scheduled at Charlie Mac’s restaurant at 404 Southard St.
Awards await the top three finishers in varying age groups for each competition, as well as the top three overall male and female finishers, top three male and female masters for racers age 40 and above, and winners in relay and other categories.
The Key West Triathlon is sanctioned by USA Triathlon.
Olympic-distance entry fees are $169 for an individual athlete and $270 for a relay team. Entry fees for the sprint-distance triathlon and duathlon are $125 for an individual and $200 for a relay team. Aquabike entry is $169 per person, while Aquathlon entry is $159 per person.
Event information, course maps and registration: trikw.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY