MILWAUKEE — More than 6,000 athletes have converged on Milwaukee this weekend for the USA Triathlon nationals age group races. A record breaking number of participants competed.
After COVID put a halt on competitions last year, athletes are excited to compete once again.
"I'll tell you what I've done 25 including 2 iron men and this venue is fantastic," Chris Mcelduff from Mequon said.
However, organizers say while they are excited to have the athletes back, they're ensuring safety.
USA Triathlon Communications Director Caryn Maconi said the organization has worked tirelessly on a nationwide safe return to multi sport initiative.
"We've increased disinfection and cleaning practices all around the venue and minimizing touch points," Maconi said.
One example is the food is more of a grab-and-go to limit people from congregating.
They are also recommending masks for people who are not vaccinated and requiring masks for indoor events.
Russ Miller drove 20 hours from Boston to compete and said he's optimistic about COVID.
"The people that are getting COVID are more the people that didn't bother getting vaccinated in the first place," Miller said. "So, shame on them."
Mcelduff added, "I do wear a mask I'll be putting one on here in just a minute. So, it's on my mind but it's not a concern.
Both athletes say they are just excited to get back to some form of normalcy and enjoy the race.
"Oh my gosh! You know it's so nice to be around everybody," Miller smiled. "It just makes you feel younger than you are."
Milwaukee will also host next years USA Triathlon.