With the “triathlon beginner” in mind, the annual Gatlinburg Gateway Triathlon will kick into high gear Saturday April 13. The Gatlinburg Community Center is hosting this annual event and it promises to be fun for both participants and spectators. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a triathlon as: “An athletic contest in which participants compete without stopping in three successive events, usually long-distance swimming, bicycling, and running.” Contestants are going to challenge that definition with a .5 mile swim, 20k bike race and a 5k run.
The event will start at 8:30 am but seeing as they have almost doubled the number of participants from last year, I would plan to arrive early. The triathlon itself is open to anyone 15 years and older capable of swimming one-half mile, biking twenty kilometers, and running five kilometers consecutively.
The .5 mile swim will take place in the indoor pool at the community center. Immediately following the swim triathletes will step outside for the 20km bike race. From the bikes they will start the 5k foot race along Ogle Road and finish back at the community center. This style of triathlon is called a “Sprint” triathlon.
Participants will be broken down into age brackets and then each age bracket will have a men’s and women’s division.There will also be a Team Relay for teams of two or three people. In the past, the entry fee has been $25 for individuals and $60 per Relay Team. There will be prizes for the winners of each division in each age group and for the first two teams. For more information about the rules for the race, and to register, please contact the Gatlinburg Recreation Department at 865-436-4990.