Omaha to host state's largest triathlon

Omaha will play host to more than 1,000 athletes from across the country this summer in the largest triathlon event ever held in Nebraska.

In a news conference Monday with the race organizer, Mayor Jim Suttle announced that the USA Triathlon Midwest Regional Championship and the Paratriathlon Regional Championship will be held July 21 at Lake Cunningham.

The event serves as a qualifier for triathletes hoping to compete in the age-group national championships, which will be held later this summer in Milwaukee, the USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals.

Race director Alan Kohll said he hopes to bring the national championships to Omaha in 2015. His group, Race Omaha, hosts several races in the area.

“We've worked hard to make (Omaha) a premier destination for athletes,” he said.

The Regional Championship, which is expected to attract participants from more than 22 states, will coincide with the annual Omaha Triathlon. That race, now in its fourth year, includes Olympic- and sprint-distance triathlons for adults and a sprint-distance race for teens.

Race Omaha also runs several other sports events in the Omaha area. Among them: the Omaha Women's Triathlon, the Omaha Duathlon and the Omaha Kids Triathlon.

Suttle said he is excited to see Omaha add to its growing list of major sports events, ranging from the College World Series to the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

“Omaha has a rich sporting history, and we are excited to add a new chapter to that history with the USA Triathlon Midwest Regional Championship,” he said.

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