2007 Elite National Titles Also on the Line
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (May 3, 2007) -- For the third-straight year, The Honolulu Triathlon will serve as the opening event for the USA Triathlon Haul to the Great Wall Series.
The intermediate-distance race (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run) - set for Sunday, May 20 - will also serve as an ITU Pan American Continental Cup event and as the USAT Elite National Championship.
With the U.S. championship, a prize purse of $30,000, and valuable Olympic qualifying points on the line, look for a strong contingent of U.S. and international athletes at the start at Ala Moana Beach Park.
Rising American star Sarah Haskins (St. Louis, Mo. / Colorado Springs, Colo.) will look to defend her 2006 title, but a deep group of women will challenge her, including 2006 USAT Female Triathlete of the Year Laura Bennett (N. Palm Beach, Fla. / Boulder, Colo.), 2006 U23 National Champion Sara McLarty (DeLand, Fla. / Colorado Springs, Colo.), 2006 USAT Non-ITU Female Triathlete of the Year Becky Lavelle (Minnetonka, Minn. / Los Gatos, Calif.), Julie Swail (Irvine, Calif.), and returning ITU competitor and 2000 Olympian Joanna Zeiger (San Diego, Calif. / Boulder, Colo.).
See the complete elite start lists for Honolulu. The Honolulu Triathlon weekend of activities also features a two-day expo, a kids triathlon on Saturday, May 19, and sprint and intermediate age group races on Sunday, May 20.
Visit the race website: www.honolulu triathlon.com
About the Haul to the Great Wall Series
Now in its third year, the Haul to the Great Wall Series allows triathletes and spectators to get their first look at who might be competing at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Each race is sanctioned by USAT. The ITU world rankings system is used as part of the qualification process for the Olympic Games.
The 2007 series includes five great race destinations with more than $800,000 in prize money up for grabs. Following Honolulu, the series moves on to Des Moines, Iowa and the Hy-Vee Triathlon on June 17. This race alone will feature a prize purse of $700,000, and will serve as the only ITU World Cup on U.S. soil in 2007. The series continues with the Musselman Triathlon in Geneva, N.Y. on July 14, the Great Colorado Triathlon (USAT U23, Junior & Youth Elite Nationals) in Longmont, Colo. on August 12, and the Treasure Island Triathlon (Series Championship) in San Francisco, Calif. on November 10.
The overall series men's and women's champions will each receive $6,000. Athletes must compete in a minimum of three events to be eligible for the overall series title. If athletes compete in more than three events, the top-three results will be included in the points total.
Swimwear and sports apparel giant Speedo is also providing $5,000 in bonus money for each race on the five-city tour. American men and women who finish in the top-three in their respective races are eligible for the bonuses, with $1,500 going to the top finisher, $750 to second, and $250 to third.
In addition to the individual race bonus pool, Speedo is providing a $15,000 end-of-the-season bonus to be split if U.S. athletes finish first or second in the series. First place will receive $5,000 and second place will take home $2,500 in both the men's and women's categories.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is the national governing body for triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon and winter triathlon in the United States. USAT sanctions 2,000 races and connects with more than 90,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world.
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By Alex Sharp
By Alex Sharp