Approximately 200 people have registered for the first Coldwell Banker Longboat Key Triathlon and Duathlon, which will take place Sunday, Oct. 24, beginning and ending at the Longboat Key Club and Resort. But that’s just a fraction of what the event could become in the future. Although this year’s event is capped at 500 participants, organizers hope that in future years it could expand to as many as 1,000 athletes.
“We want to make it an exclusive, high-end event that people from all over the world will come to,” said promoter Tony Driscoll, of the Sarasota Open.
Approximately 50% of participants are from out of state. Many plan to stay at the hosting Key Club, which is offering special rates for the event, while others will stay at area hotels and motels throughout the Sarasota area.
The Longboat Key Triathlon and Duathlon was announced in January, at the Longboat Key, Lido Key, St. Armands Key Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards breakfast. Since then, the chamber has coordinated approximately 300 volunteers to assist with the event. Local vendors have contributed approximately $10,000 worth of coupons, discounts and goody-bag items.
According to Driscoll, the course is an appealing one for athletes.
“The course is very straight and fast, which triathletes love,” he said. “And the course is great as far as being aesthetically pleasing.”
The tri-distance course will consist of a half-mile swim, 20-mile bike ride and five-mile run. The duathlon will begin with a two-mile run, which will be followed by a 20-mile bike ride and two-and-a-half-mile run.
The bicycle phase will be the only part of the course that isn’t contained within the Key Club. According to Longboat Key Police Chief Al Hogle, eight additional officers will be on duty to handle traffic.
Registration is currently $75 and can be completed online at longboatkeytri.com through Tuesday, Oct. 19. After Oct. 19, the price will go up to $85, and online registration will close, with only paper registration accepted. The final opportunity for registration will take place during the event expo from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at Longboat Key Club and Resort Islandside.
if you go
Longboat Key Triathlon
When: Race begins at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 24
Where: Begins at the lagoon south of the Longboat Key Club property bordering Longboat Club Road
Contact Robin Hartill at email@example.com.