By John L. Pitts/NEMS Daily Journal
It’s moved around the calendar a couple times, but organizers of the King of the Hill triathlon think they’ve found a good home.
The eighth renewal of the popular event is set for Saturday at Tombigbee State Park.
“This looks like the time slot where we’re going to stay,” said race director Mark Bresee. In the past, the race was held as early as May 1, and also at the height of August’s heat.
“So far, registration is going well, up a little bit from last year,” Bresee said. “We’re ready to roll.”
The men’s winner last year, Jarred Thweatt of Memphis, had not registered as of mid-week, but defending women’s winner Debbie Carey of Germantown, Tenn., had. The two men who finished behind Thweatt, Clay Curtis of Plantersville and Aaron Ford of Saltillo, are expected in the field.
The course remains the same – a half-mile swim followed by a 20-mile cycling race followed by a 3.2-mile run.
Thweatt won in 1 hour, 27 minutes, 13.88 seconds last year, about 25 seconds ahead of Curtis. Carey won the women’s division in 1:34:23.93.
The King of the Hill attracts athletes from regional triathlon clubs. “We get a lot of support from clubs in Birmingham, Memphis and Meridian,” Bresee said. “We try to race their races, too, so it’s a win-win.”
Success for the local Tri Tupelo club should also be reflected in Saturday’s turnout. “The Tri club had really expanded and should have a really good Tupelo representation this year,” Bresee said.
Registration ($80) will remain open at today’s packet pickup, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Tombigbee State Park Office, and from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. on race day.