As many as 1,000 athletes are expected to test their strength and endurance in the fourth annual Key West Triathlon, set for Saturday, Dec. 7, on the subtropical island, and the weather is idyllic. The forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with a 78-degree high temperature, a 10 percent chance of rain and wind East at 16 mph.
Key West Triathlon participants are to swim in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, bike along a portion of the Florida Keys' scenic Overseas Highway and run on a fast, flat course beside the Atlantic. Presented by Key West's TRIKW LLC, the event challenges beginning and seasoned athletes alike.
Both Olympic-distance and shorter sprint-distance triathlons are scheduled. The Olympic-distance challenge features a 1.5k swim, 40k bicycle ride and 10k run, while sprint-distance competitors are to complete a .75k swim, 20k bicycle ride and 5k run.
Three-person relay teams can compete as well, with each team member tasked with completing one leg of the challenge.
The weekend events kick off with a final race packet pickup and expo set for noon to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at Higgs Beach on Atlantic Avenue, headquarters for the race and associated activities. Packets will not be available for pickup on race day.
Early arrivals can pick up their packets 3-6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at Charlie Mac's, the event's primary sponsor, located at 404 Southard St.
Saturday's triathlon action is to begin at 7 a.m., a minute after official sunrise time, with wave starts planned at preset intervals and the finish line at Higgs Beach.
An awards ceremony and post-race party are planned for 6-11 p.m. Saturday at Charlie Mac's. Awards await the top three finishers in varying age groups for each competition, as well as the top three overall male and female finishers and top three male and female masters for racers age 40 and above.
The Key West Triathlon is sanctioned by USA Triathlon.
Event information, entry fees and registration: www.trikw.com
Key West visitor information: www.fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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