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Thousands of triathletes prepare to compete in Omaha

Posted at 5:58 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 18:58:25-04

For the first time Omaha is playing host to the best amateur triathletes in the nation.  More than 4,000 athletes ages 15 and up will be competing Saturday and Sunday in the USA Triathlon National Championship.

“Everyone here is a serious competitor,” said one triathlete. 

“Everybody here is supposedly pretty fast,” said Sarah Warfield of Denver.

To qualify participants needed to place in the top 10% of their age group at a USA Triathlon sanctioned event. 

“It's a really competitive group of athletes which is really a great environment to be around with a lot of energy,” said Warfield.

The triathlon starts off with a little under a mile swim in Carter Lake, and then 25 miles on the bike and the triathlon ends with a 6.2 mile run. 

Friday served as a day for participants to check out each course and get used to our climate. 

“We’re coming down from training at altitude so that’s always an advantage,” said Courtney Culligan of Denver. 

Some participants from Denver welcomed the zero altitude, but had to get used to the humidity.  

“Oh Omaha in August,” said Warfield.

Despite a climate change, the gals from Mile High Multisport in Denver say they’re just excited to compete with the elite. 

"We have a great venue and we have a chance to race with the best of the best in the nation and that's always a really exciting opportunity,” said Culligan.

The ladies say they do triathlons for both the adrenaline rush and the fun. 

“We want to really do well because we are very competitive, but we're not too serious about the whole thing.  We're here to have fun and just let it happen tomorrow,” said Kathy Alfino.