ROCKWALL – Expect some traffic delays this Sunday because approximately 2,000 professional and amateur athletes from across the U.S. will be visiting Rockwall this weekend to compete in the U.S. Toyota Open Triathalon (Dallas), the seventh and final event in the 2012 Life Time Triathlon Series, scheduled Oct. 7, 7 – Noon or later.
The Triathlon Sports and Fitness Expo, including athlete registration and packet pick-up, will be Oct. 6, 10 am – 5 pm, at the Hilton Bella Harbor Hotel. The hotel is sold out. Athletes will be likely be practicing across Rockwall County all week long, particularly Saturday in the lake.
The race is the final event in the 2012 Race to the Toyota Cup Series where professional athletes compete for the coveted Toyota Cup, a cash purse - including $574,000 in individual race awards – and a 2012 Toyota vehicle.
The athletes will swim, bike and run their way to the finish line in either a sprint or international distance. The Sprint distance is an 800-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. International distance is a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run.
The competition will begin with the swim in Lake Ray Hubbard, beginning and ending near the boat docks at The Harbor. Swimmers will race to I-30 and back.
The best place for spectators to watch the swimmers will be near the Harbor lighthouse, where you will be able to watch athletes enter and leave the water.
Bikers will race from The Harbor up Summer Lee Dr. to Hwy. 205, to John King Blvd. to the Tom Thumb Food Store in north Rockwall, and back down John King to Hwy. 205 to Hwy. 549 and up Horizon Rd. to The Harbor.
The running race will include two laps around Yacht Club Dr. in Chandler’s Landing. Runners will use the inner hike & bike lane. Traffic will be limited to one-way only (clockwise) the morning of the race, and the North Gate will be closed.
For a map of the competition, click here.
This event, considered to be the pioneer in U.S. Open triathlon history, will have pros battling for the larger $60,000 purse, with the winner in both the female and male divisions taking home an additional $15,000 each. The winners of this race will also earn 20 points, double the standard of all other events in the Series.
For a recap of the 2012 Race to the Toyota Cup, participant results and point standings are available at racetothetoyotacup.com, the official website of the Race to the Toyota Cup.
Since 2006, the Race to the Toyota Cup has connected some of the most prominent international-distance triathlon events in the country. In 2012, the series consisted of seven events, including: the April 1 Nautica South Beach Triathlon (Miami); the May 28 Capital of Texas Triathlon (Austin); the Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon June 24; the July 14 Life Time Tri Minneapolis; the Life Time Tri Chicago August 26; and the Herbalife Triathlon Los Angeles September 30.
For more information, visit www.racetothetoyotacup.com.
By J.J. Smith