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There are few places in Tennessee better than Gatlinburg to get a feel of the fresh spring air of the Great Smokey Mountains. For those who want to experience the picturesque town and the Smokies at a faster pace, give the Gatlinburg Gateway Triathlon a try, or cheer them on if you prefer the sidelines. The sprint-tri race is perfect for new competitors to triathlons while providing plenty of challenges for the seasoned athlete.
The fifth annual Gatlinburg Gateway Triathlon takes place Apr. 13 beginning at 8:15 a.m. The day begins with a half-mile swim in the Gatlinburg Community Center pool. Participants then head out into the early spring air for a 20-kilometer bike ride (just over 12 miles) along the streets and surrounding roads of Gatlinburg.
The 5k running leg of the race takes the athletes along the rustic beauty of Ogle Road, then to the finish line back at the community center.
The sprawling foothills of the Smokies provide subtle and unexpected tests for novice and accomplished competitors alike. The unpredictable early-spring weather, typically in the middle 60’s, provides racers with a spark that the fresh air that a new season brings. The Gatlin Gateway Triathlon is a great way for athletes to kick off their racing campaigns.
The race is open to men and women 15 years or older. Participants can also enter as a mixed team. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $25 per person, $60 per team. There is an optional lunch provided for an additional $5.
Athletes must register by Apr. 8. To find a registration form, go to the Gatlinburg Community Center website and click on the link for the Gatlinburg Gateway Triathlon. Also note that athletes typically swim two to a lane and there are a limited number of competitors allowed in the pool at one time. Racers start in heats, so get an idea of your estimated time for a half-mile swim.
Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers in each age group, which include 14-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50 and over. There is also a team relay category.
For more information call (865) 436-4990.