by Kathryn Taylor, USAT SE Regional Council Member
In 2012, Bradley Dean and his wife Jordyn decided that their hometown of Florence, Alabama would be the perfect place for an Olympic Distance Triathlon, the Renaissance Man Triathlon. They had participated in triathlons all over the southeast region and knew that with it’s beautiful downtown, access to the Tennessee River and southern sense of hospitality, Florence needed it’s own race. They wanted to create an event that would give back to the community with tourism dollars, donations to local charity partners and bringing awareness of a healthy lifestyle to the local community.
2016 will be the third year of the actual race and the second year that the race will serve as a USAT Southeast Regional Qualifier.
Participants will get to swim in the Tennessee River then hit the bike for a challenging one loop ride then back to transition for a beautiful run out to the University of North Alabama featuring live lions, passing by a Frank Lloyd Wright home and enjoying the quaint and historical downtown of Florence.
If you’re making a weekend out of it or just planning to spectate, Florence is a great city for that as well. You’ll find it to be a creative community with a very rich music history with many one of a kind restaurants and shops. It also has a wonderful community that is warm and welcoming to our participants. One could easily spend an entire weekend exploring the town.
The race is on July 10th and this year all proceeds will go to benefit the 610 project a community-driven partnership program dedicated to empowering the Haitian people by providing physical and financial assistance for self-sustaining education and micro enterprise development.
Sign up at www.shoalstri.com