The fifth annual event at Tombigbee State Park is set for an 8 a.m. start Saturday. After four years of being contested in August, it's being tried this year as a spring event.
"Overall, we're getting good feedback from the people we have talked to," said one of the race organizers, Mark Bresee. "Registration is running about where we were last year."
About 160 competitors took the challenge last year of swimming a half mile, cycling for 20 miles and running 3.6 miles. For the winner, covering the course will take about 90 minutes.
"We try to make it a top-notch event," Bresee said. "We give out the good stuff, we have the good food ... we have people who come back every year and we think that's a great sign."
Bresee said event organizers, including his fellow race director Brian Cooper, decided to "take a gamble" and schedule the event in the spring "to help fill a void in the spring triathlon calendar" and in hopes of finding milder weather conditions.
"Of course, the weather around here in the spring can be relatively unpredictable," Bresee said. "But right now the water is cleaner than it would be in August and things are in pristine shape at the park."
One significant change for the USA Triathlon-sanctioned event: competitors will likely be allowed to wear wet suits, as the water temperature on the course is expected to be below 78 degrees.
Bresee said he expected "a pretty competitive field" that will include a number of triathletes from the Memphis area.
As in previous years, a relay division allows three-person teams to split the responsibility for competing in each leg of the event.
"One thing that's pretty exciting for us is to see more people from Tupelo and the surrounding area signing up," Bresee said. "That shows me that the race has the attention of people in this area and hopefully the sport is getting more attention."
Individual entries, accepted through Thursday, are $80 and $160 for a team. Race packets can be picked up at Trails and Treads in Tupelo on Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on at the race site starting at 6 a.m.
Contact John L. Pitts at 678-1522 or email@example.com.
Who’s the king?
- What: 5th Annual King of the Hill
- Where: Tombigbee State Park
- When: Saturday, starts at 8 a.m.
- Entry fee: $80 individual, $160
- For more info: Trails and Treads,