Breezy Point Triathlon

Sunday, June 4th, 2017 at 8:00am

The History of the Breezy Point Triathlon

The Breezy Point Triathlon began in 1992 when individuals from the Ocean View Triathlon Board of Directors approached the Tidewater Striders concerning their takeover of the event. It was decided by the Tidewater Striders that the support given in the past by the City of Norfolk may not have been present since the event was no longer a fund-raiser for the Juvenile Court of Norfolk. In the event that Norfolk did not support the event, it could have potentially cost as much as $10,000 in city services alone to put on the race. It was for this reason that the Norfolk Naval Base was approached to serve as the venue for the event. With the approval of the Commander of the Naval Base, the Breezy Point Triathlon was born. Shortly thereafter, the race incorporated as a non-profit organization.

In our first year, we were hoping to draw 200-225 athletes. We were delighted to actually draw 300 participants. The event has several advantages that make it so popular among the athletes including the following:

  • It is the first major local triathlon of the season so several athletes use it as a measure of the success of their winter training programs.
  • The course is one of the safest venues ever seen for a triathlon in Hampton Roads due to the fact that it is held entirely within the confines of the Naval Station Norfolk and is virtually devoid of traffic.
  • The Breezy Point Triathlon is a very popular event among first-time triathletes due to its manageable distances and relatively benign water conditions.
  • We have a post-race party that allows all of our athletes and volunteers to enjoy food, beverage and camaraderie. While this is also our awards ceremony, a back-of-the-packer can rub shoulders along with our award winners. We also have raffle give-aways for which all are eligible.
  • This year's total prize purse will be close to $2500 which should produce one of our strongest fields ever.
  • The Breezy Point Triathlon is now one of the largest multi-sport events in southeastern Virginia/northeastern North Carolina.
  • The Breezy Point Triathlon has drawn such high acclaim from USA Triathlon over the years that the 1997 event was designated as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Sprint Championship.
  • The Breezy Point Triathlon was selected by the Hampton Roads Sports Commission to host the event of Triathlon for the National Senior Olympics in 2003.
  • In 2006, the Breezy Point Triathlon was chosen as the Sprint Distance event representing the Mid-Atlantic Region in the Inaugural USA Triathlon Grand Prix Series.

Over the years, many aspects of the event have changed. In 1995, we began giving out prize money to the fastest overall male and female finishers. This drastically increased the caliber of the top competitors and the event became one of the most competitive races on the East Coast. The prize money for the event has steadily increased over the years and will again be close to $2500 this year.

While the prize money does attract some of the best triathletes, the primary focus of the Breezy Point Triathlon has always been the average triathlete -- whatever his or her reason is for competing. Today the race continues to have a reputation as an event that is fun, safe and enjoyable for all competitors. We have reached our field limit for the last several years and fully expect that trend to continue. Our field for the race includes numerous local athletes as well as many from Richmond and northern Virginia. We were also visited by several out-of-state athletes who are always helpful in promoting the event on a national level by telling others in their area about the quality of the event.

Due largely to the word-of-mouth reputation of the event coupled with the inherent safety of the course, the Breezy Point Triathlon earned the distinction of being named the 1997 USA Triathlon Mid-Atlantic Regional Sprint Championship and the 2003 Senior Olympic Triathlon Championship. Over the last several years our field has included USAT-licensed professional triathletes although they often can not beat some of our excellent local talent.

We feel as though we have an event of which we can all be proud. The yearly increases in participation indicate that we have found the correct group of people to market the event to and that the event is one that warrants their participation. We are constantly listening to the input of the participants and some of these suggestions have resulted in more awards being given to age group competitors as well as the addition of Clydesdale and Athena Divisions in 2000. Also, based on suggestions from our athletes, we began using the ChampionChip timing system for our event in 2002 - thus making us the first multi-sport event in the area to do so.

When the Breezy Point Triathlon was started, it was determined that any proceeds realized by the event would be used to benefit a number of local charities. Some of the charities include the Tidewater Striders, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society - Hampton Roads Chapter, the American Diabetes Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Virginia Beach Friends of the Juvenile Court, Operation Smile, Davis Corner Volunteer Rescue Squad, the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters, the Joint Forces Staff College MWR as well as numerous others. Over the history of the event, we have contributed over $80,000 to these and other local and military charities.