Now in its eighth year, the Pioneer Power Sprint Triathlon and 5-kilometer run has expanded its visibility as one of the most popular sprint triathlons in North Texas while aiding the TWU soccer team as a reliable fundraiser.
Held at TWU, the USA Triathlon-sanctioned event is slated to begin at 6:45 a.m. Sunday and features a 200-yard swim, a 16.1-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run. Starting at 7:30 a.m. will be the 5K, which is in its second year as a part of the Pioneer Power Sprint.
Jeff Bowerman, TWU assistant athletic director, said the event is headed in the right direction.
“I’m excited about the fact that this event is a unique fundraising concept for college athletics,” Bowerman said. “We started at such a smaller magnitude to grow to where we are now with 450 triathletes and 150 doing the 5K. There are 10 sponsors and 20-plus vendors. We’ve managed to carve out a spot in the crowded Texas multi-sport menu of events.”
For the second year, there will be a team competition with male, female and coed divisions. Each member will compete in all three segments of the triathlon, and their times will be added together to determine the team time.
“Those additions have proven to be smart decisions,” Bowerman said. “The thought with the 5K is, a triathlon can be intimidating with the three disciplines, so let’s scale it back, add a run and let them use that as an introduction to what the triathlon is. That’s 150 people that wouldn’t be out there, but it also serves a purpose to show those weekend warriors that can do a 5K easily how a sprint triathlon is done and the transition areas. The hope is that we’re exposing triathlon as a sport and show them that they can do it.”
TWU’s post-race party will feature a concert by Fort Worth-based Americana artist Kyle Redd, free food and drink, vendor booths and an awards ceremony.
“It has done nothing but get better every year,” said race director Dan Jones, of Dallas Athletes Racing. “This year, we are going to have the most entries and most participation and probably raise the most money for the soccer team. It’s one of my favorite races because I get to work with Jeff and he’s great to work with. For Denton, it’s getting to be one of the best triathlons around.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.