The Jamestown Triathlon, hosted by Kinetic Multisports every June at Jamestown Beach Event Park, has been designated to host the USA Triathlon Mideast Olympic-Distance Regional Championship this year.
It will be the same event as previous years, but athletes can use their finish times at the June 8 race to qualify for the 2019 Age Group National Championships, Kinetic Multisports owner Greg Hawkins said.
The age group nationals will be on Aug. 11 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Last year, the Jamestown Triathlon attracted about 700 athletes. Hawkins hopes being a regional championship location will increase the number of athletes by about 20 or 25 percent, to 900 or 1,000 athletes.
The course includes a 1,500-meter swim in the James River, a 40-kilometer bike course and a five-kilometer run.
Lisa Pacheco, director of sports development for Sports Williamsburg, said the area has gradually become a desirable destination for races such as marathons and triathlons.
The course features scenic views of the historic James River and other parts of James City County. There are also family-friendly attractions in the area for athletes and their spectators to enjoy in their off-time.
RELATED STORY: Boon or bust? How will the world-popular Ironman race impact Williamsburg?
“It’s sports tourism, and we’re identifying that as its own market,” Pacheco said. “These people are bringing their families because we’re a family-friendly destination. That has helped make us a successful destination.”
Williamsburg Hotel and Motel Association President Ron Kirkland said the Jamestown Triathlon is held during a traditionally slow time in June: the weekend after Memorial Day, before school summer break.
Kirkland said data from Smith Travel Report shows Williamsburg area hotels were about 66 percent occupied on average in June 2018. Of more than 7,000 total rooms in the area, about 2,600 rooms were empty on the average day.
“That would suggest we do have capacity,” Kirkland said. “If you look at our competitors … things are event driven. What we’re hoping if while you’re here participating in a triathlon, you’re swimming by Jamestown and Jamestown Island, or riding a bike down the Colonial Parkway, and that’ll encourage you and other participators to come back again and see the attractions we already have.”
Police and emergency medical personnel need to be onsite, and James City County staff need to assist in planning certain components of the race.
“We pay for all the services, but it’s really nice to be able to call them up and say ‘Hey, we’re coming,’” Hawkins said. “Sports Williamsburg, James City County, Charles City County — they’re all really great to work with.”
Always be informed. to get the latest news and information delivered to your inbox