02 November 2021
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — A test of stamina, speed and endurance awaits athletes in Key West during the Tri Conch Republic, an annual challenge that draws competitors from around the U.S. and abroad.
Set for Saturday, Dec. 4, the warm-weather race was called the Key West Triathlon before being renamed for the Florida Keys’ “republic” alter ego. Participants swim in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, bike along Key West’s oceanfront South Roosevelt Boulevard and run on a fast, flat course beside Smathers Beach.
Sanctioned by USA Triathlon and presented by Integrity Multisport, 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.
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 Olympic Aquabike category that consists of a 1.5k swim and 40k bike ride.
The weekend events kick off with an early race packet pickup set for 4-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Smathers Beach on South Roosevelt Boulevard, headquarters for the challenge.
Saturday starts with a 5:30-6:30 a.m. packet pickup and bike check-in. All athletes must arrive at Smathers Beach by 6:15 a.m.
Olympic racers are to begin the challenge at 7 a.m. followed by sprint-distance contenders at 7:45 a.m. Wave starts are planned at preset intervals.
Awards ceremonies are scheduled to follow the action. Awards await the top three finishers in varying age groups for each competition, 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. All finishers receive a medal.
Organizers plan to implement COVID-19 protocols including requesting athletes to wear face coverings before and after competition.
Olympic-distance entry fees are $169 for an individual athlete and $249 for a relay team. Entry fees for the sprint-distance triathlon and duathlon are $119 for an individual and $179 for a relay team, while aquabike entry is $169 per person.
The event is to benefit Reef Relief and its efforts to improve and protect the coral reef ecosystem.
Event information, course maps and registration: triconchrepublic.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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