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The road to worlds
Milwaukee will be the host city for a national triathlon during which athletes will compete for a spot on Team USA


June 2013

Milwaukee will be in the spotlight of the triathlon world this summer when the top amateurs in the nation will be running, swimming and biking in and around Lake Michigan.

Landing the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships is considered quite a coup for the city, which beat out seven other Midwestern cities, including Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Kansas City. "This is a first for the city. Milwaukee has never hosted anything like this," says Wendy Hanisch, who, first thought, "Why not Milwaukee?"

She and husband Bob own Peak Performance Professionals. They worked with VISIT Milwaukee’s Brent Foerster, Michelle Haider and Marissa Werner and put together a bid for the race, even though the process was already well under way. A trip to Milwaukee by Jeff Dyrek, the national events director for USAT Triathlon, gave Milwaukee the surge it needed. "We went from nobody to one of the top two really quick," Wendy Hanisch says.

Milwaukee learned last October it would host the 2013 and 2014 races.

The 2013 event will include the Olympic Distance Nationals held Saturday, Aug. 10, followed by Sprint Nationals on Sunday, Aug. 11.

Athletes must qualify in their respective age group at a USAT-sanctioned event of a qualifying distance in order to compete in the Olympic distance race. To qualify, athletes must have competed in the qualifying race between July 18, 2012, and ending eight days prior to the 2013 Olympic Distance National Championship, though the Olympic Distance race might close out sooner than the latest qualifying date.

Sunday’s Sprint Nationals are open to anyone who would like to compete.

The 2013 Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee will serve as the sole qualifier for Team USA for the 2014 ITU World Championships taking place in Edmonton, Canada. The top 18 finishers in each age group will qualify.

Each race will allow up to 3,250 athletes to compete. "This is by far the largest USAT National event that they ever had," Wendy Hanisch says. In 2012, there were 1,900 finishers at the event held in Vermont.


This story ran in the June 2013 issue of: