This year’s Capital of Texas Triathlon (CapTexTri) will be held on Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28, 2012. CapTexTri starts off this special weekend with the Wounded Warrior Dinner, a special observance on Saturday, May 26 at the downtown Hyatt, which features “stories to and from our heroes” and includes special guests such as two-time Paratriathlon World Champion Melissa Stockwell, Paralympian and director of Veteran Affairs at the United States Olympic Committee John Register, and program director of Operation Rebound with the Challenged Athletes Nico Marcolongo.
Athlete activities start with packet pick-up on Sunday, May 27, at the Palmer Events Center from 11:15 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. (A reminder—photo ID and a USAT membership are required in order to get packets.) Athlete meetings, course talks, location announcements, and rules briefings, as well as a Doggie Du Dash and a CapTex Kids 1K run will take place throughout the day.
The main triathlon events take place on Monday, May 28, beginning with the start of the Pro Course at 6:45 a.m., featuring a 1.5K swim, 40K bike ride, and 10K run, with the winning pros receiving a share of $46,000 in prize money. Sarah Haskins and Andy Potts, the 2011 Race to the Toyota Cup Champions, will be on the course, defending their titles. Haskins has already won the first event in the 2012 Race to the Toyota Cup Triathlon Series, while Potts is coming off an impressive win at Ironman 70.3 in California. Can they pull it off or will someone else pick up a nice win to add to their 2012 race resume? At 7 a.m., the open Olympic distance race (which is the same distance as the Pro Course) begins, followed by the shorter Sprint distance at 9 a.m. The day’s events wrap up with, the First Tri at 10 a.m., which features a beginner-friendly 400-meter swim, a 10K bike ride, and a 5K run.
Because the various events occur on the same course, it’s a very spectator-friendly venue for triathlon fans. The swim portion begins at Auditorium Shores and takes place in Lady Bird Lake; the 1st Street pedestrian bridge is an excellent vantage point. Swimmers exit the water, return to the transition area at Auditorium Shores to collect their bikes, and then proceed to ride through downtown Austin. The bike course extends from Auditorium Shores out to Austin High School via Cesar Chavez, returns and heads up Congress Avenue, skirts around the Capitol, and proceeds as far as MLK Boulevard before riders return to transition. Excellent viewing points are at Cesar Chavez and Congress Avenue as well as Congress Avenue and 11th Street. Because the Pro Course and Olympic riders do four loops and the Sprint riders two, it’s a great way to see experienced triathletes multiple times without moving. After the athletes return their bikes to the transition area, they’re off on the run. The run takes place on Riverside Drive, with a turn-around on Lee Barton and a return past Auditorium Shores before runners head up Congress Avenue as far as 5th Street.
In observance of Memorial Day and to honor those who have fallen while serving their country in Iraq and Afghanistan, some 6,500 flags will be on display, each with a personalized identification card representing deceased service members, throughout the weekend at the Palmer Events Center in conjunction with the CapTexTri Health and Fitness.