NEW ROADS, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Triathlon, which is set for May 13 in downtown New Roads, has been selected at the 2017 USA Triathlon State Championship race for the state.
Since the Rocketkidz Foundation took ownership of the race in 2013, the 28-year-old competition has grown from 70 participants to 350-400 this year, making it one of the largest triathlons in the state.
The course will feature some changes this year, including a closed course, to accommodate the growing number of participants. The 800m swim, 30k bike, and 5k run will begin at 7:30 a.m. with the swim at the floating dock next to Satterfield's Restaurant on Morrison Pkwy. The bike portion will then take athletes towards Audubon Bridge via New Roads St. and Parent St. for the 17-mile ride. Then, the 5k run will take participants toward Major Subdivision and back for a finish line at the Crawfish Jams Festival.
The triathlon also includes a beginner option with a 400m swim, a duathlon, and options to compete as a two or three person relay team.
"Over the last four or five years, we've seen a remarkable increase in community involvement, including city and parish officials, local businesses, schools, and organizations. Rocketkidz Foundation donates $1,000-$1,500 annually to local clubs, such as Boy Scouts, 4-H, Beta, CHSPC Track and Cross Country, Girl Scouts, and Girls on the Run, in return for volunteering at the events. The students volunteering also gain service hours, as RKF is a non-profit organization," said Aimee Moreau, race director.
Hotels and restaurants in the area have also been enjoying increased business thanks to more participants in the triathlon.
"While it's difficult to determine an exact figure of the economic impact, we feel that these events are bringing money to our parish, especially since many of the athletes train here throughout the year. We are attracting a unique group of people that may not otherwise visit New Roads through the sport of triathlon," said Moreau.
Following the triathlon, there will be live music at the Crawfish Jams stage on Morrison Pkwy., as well as the awards presentation. Live music will continue at The Landing at noon and at the Crawfish Jams stage from 4 to 9 p.m.
There will be road closures in the area between 7:30 and 10 a.m. due to the triathlon. W Main St. will be closed from St. Mary's St. to New Roads St. from 7:30 to 10 a.m. Hwy. 10 will be closed from 7:30 to 9:45 a.m. and all traffic to or from the Audubon Bridge will be diverted to Levee Rd. Those trying to access W Main St. from the East Main area, Waterloo, or Ventress should turn right on North Carolina and will be allowed to cross New Roads St. between athletes. Drivers should expect delays, mostly between 8:45 and 9:30 a.m.