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Triathletes Prepare for Rev3

It takes more than biking, running and swimming to attract triathletes. The racers come to Branson for a family experience.
BRANSON, Mo. -- Triathletes from around the world will take on one of the world's most difficult sports on Sunday.

A race called the Revolution3, or Rev3, brands itself as a family-friendly venue that offers a complete family experience for its participants.

That's why many athletes like Ryan Heisler brought their friends and families to the Ozarks for the weekend.

"The bike here is super challenging," Heisler said. "That's part of what drew me to the area. It's got some really fast descents. It's also got a lot of climb."

The race's manager, Eric Opdyke, said nearly 500 athletes preregistered from more than 35 states and 5 countries. He said that triathletes tend to be affluent and can afford to bring people with them and enjoy a tourist town like Branson.

"It's an expensive sport to participate in, so they have no problem coming to a place like this and bringing their family and spending a lot of money," he said.

Ross Summers, the director of the Branson Area Chamber of Commerce, said that was what made the race a good fit for Branson. The race is part of an ongoing effort to bring more sporting events to the area in hopes of expanding the radius of tourists who come to visit.

"When people come here they're surprised at what they see" Summers said. "There's more activity here. They're going to tell their friends about when they get home and bring their friends next year."

The race begins on Sunday morning. The athletes will swim 1.2 mi. through Table Rock Lake, bike 56 mi. over the Ozark Mountain Highroad, then finish the race with a half marathon.

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