The sport has picked up momentum in Vermont, with several local series and competitions.
When Kim Loeffler moved to Vermont 10 years ago, there were “only a handful” of people in the area participating in triathlons.
These days, however, the sport is spreading through the Green Mountain State like wildfire.
“There are so many people around here interested in triathlons,” said Loeffler, a professional triathlete from Colchester. “The sport has exploded.”
And it’s about to take over the Burlington area.
Approximately 2,500 triathletes from around the country will flock to the Burlington’s Waterfront Park this week to compete in the USA Triathlon age group and sprint national championships. The major event — a 1,500-meter swim in Lake Champlain; 40-kilometer bike ride through South Burlington and Shelburne; and 10-k run in Burlington’s North End — will take place Saturday. It will serve as a qualifier for the 2012 world championships in New Zealand.
The championships are creating a loud buzz among a local triathlon community that has grown rapidly each summer.
It’s a national trend. An estimated 2.3 million people completed triathlons in 2010, representing a 55 percent increase from the previous year, according to a recent report from the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association.
Read more: Burlington Free Press