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May 28

Now in its 37th year, event adds new club challenge and is expected to sell out

Posted on May 28, 2021 at 3:01 PM by Becky Burnside

After athletes had to take a year off because of the pandemic, excitement and registrations are running high for the 2021 Shawnee Mission Triathlon & Duathlon coming up on July 11. 

“People are so excited to get back to racing - they spent their time ‘off’ training hard and preparing for this so they can’t wait to get back out there,” Race Director Katy Renner said in late May. “At this time, our registration numbers are seeing over 50% of new athletes who have never competed in this event, which is super exciting. We are expecting a sellout year. Our numbers are trending 107% above our 2019 numbers at this time, and continue to be steady.”

2021 marks the 37th year for the Shawnee Mission Triathlon & Duathlon, making this the longest running event in the metro area.  The event offers course options for athletes ranging in experience from first-timer to the seasoned veteran: Super Sprint Triathlon, Short Course Triathlon, Long Course Triathlon, Olympic Triathlon, Duathlon, and Mixed Team Relay. The 2021 Shawnee Mission Triathlon and Duathlon is a USA Triathlon sanctioned event. The triathlon portion of the event has again been designated by the USA Triathlon Paratriathlon Committee as Paratriathlon Friendly.

“This race has something for everyone,” Renner said. “In 2019, we added the Super Sprint Triathlon which allowed us to welcome athletes as young as 11 years old.  Now it is a true family affair with parents and children competing in the event.”   
A Club Challenge has been added for 2021. 

“Multisport Clubs come from all over to participate in this event and we wanted to give them something more to strive for so we added a Club Challenge,” Renner explained. “Those participating in the Club Challenge earn points by participating in the event and/or volunteering. Additional points are awarded for athletes that place in the top three overall as well as within their age group.”

The event also has a new charity partner/beneficiary this year: Team Fidelis is an organization dedicated to preventing suicide among military service members, veterans, and families by raising awareness, providing a bridge of hope, and building camaraderie.  

“We teamed up in 2020 but weren’t able to make it to race day,” Renner noted. “We’re excited to be partnering with them again and raising awareness around suicide prevention among service members, veterans, and their families. 

The Triathlon Olympic Course consists of a 1,500-meter swim, followed by a 27-mile bike, and a 6.2-mile run. For individuals, the cost is $125 until June 30, then increases to $130 per person through race day, if space is available. For teams, the cost is $150 until June 30, and then $160 through race day.  The Triathlon Long Course consists of a 1,000-meter swim, followed by an 18-mile bike, and a 4.5-mile run. For individuals, the cost is $110 until June 30, then increases to $120 per person through race day. For teams the cost is $140 until June 30, and $150 through race day. The Triathlon Short Course consists of a 500-meter swim, followed by a 9-mile bike, and a 3.1-mile run.  For individuals, the cost is $100 until June 30, then increases to $105 through race day. The team cost is $130 until June 31, and then $135 through race day. The Triathlon Super Sprint Course consists of a 200-meter swim, followed by a 4.5-mile bike, and a 2.25-mile run. For individuals, the cost is $65 until June 30, and $70 through race day. For teams, the cost is $100 until June 30, and $110 through race day.  The Triathlon Mixed Team Relay consists of a 200-meter swim, followed by a 4.5-mile bike, and a 1-mile run.  The cost is $170 until June 30, then increases to $180 through race day.  The Duathlon consists of a 3.1-mile run, followed by a 13.5-mile bike, and another 3.1-mile run. The cost through June 30 is $95 per individual or $125 per team, and then $105 per individual or $135 per team through race day.

Each participant will receive a T-shirt (if registered by June 30) and a finisher’s medal. Individual prizes will be awarded to the top three male, female, and team overall finishers in each of the courses. Individual awards will be presented to the top three athletes of each age division. 

Shawnee Mission Park is located at 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee. Entries will be limited to the first 750 entries. As a result of this event, Shawnee Mission Park will not open for public use until noon on this date.

To register, go to runsignup.com. Online registrations will end at midnight on July 8. Late registrations will be accepted at packet pickup on July 9 at Elite Cycling, 10673 Mission Road., Leawood, and on July 10 at the Shawnee Mission Park Marina, 7900 Renner Road, Shawnee and Lenexa.

Renner said one of the most unique aspects of the Shawnee Mission Triathlon and Duathlon is the closed course.  

“What cannot be understated is the safe environment it presents to our athletes and their families,” she said. “There is no worry they will come into contact with motor vehicles while competing in the event.  We receive so many positive comments about the closed course inside such a beautiful park, and the wide range of athletes - elite to novice.”

Even after 36 years, this event remains a great experience for participating athletes. 
“This race has stood the test of time,” Renner said. “All sports have their highs and lows in terms of the number of participants but this race is beloved by the community and has continued to sustain itself.  Last year was a setback for everyone, but we have been striving for the last several years to emphasize to athletes to ‘race local’ and this year our community is showing us that local is the place to be. The course is challenging, and while the bike course is hilly, that’s why folks are happy to say they conquered the ‘Dam Hill (at the south end of the Shawnee Mission Park Lake dam),’ the support from other athletes, and volunteers makes it a don’t miss experience!”  

Sponsorships and vendor opportunities for the Shawnee Mission Triathlon & Duathlon are still available, and you can learn more by calling Kate Buenger (913) 826-3016 or at kate.buenger@jocogov.org.