Nearly 300 athletes have already registered for the Marco Island Triathlon on Oct. 7.
Linda Gregory, triathlon director, expects to have 375 competitors, up from the 300 in the inaugural event a year ago.
The starting point will be the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort, where the quarter-mile swim and 3.1-mile running events will be staged. The 15-mile biking portion goes into the hilly Marco Estates, out to Key Marco and back.
The competition order is the swim and bike riding, finishing with the run along the beach.
Entry fee for USA Triathlon members is $80, while others pay $95, which includes a $10 fee for a one-day license to the USAT, which is mandatory for the event.
There also will be team competition. A USAT team fee is $140 and $175 for non USAT, which includes the one-day USAT license.
The top five overall female and male finishers will be specifically recognized and all finishers will receive finisher medals, T-shirts and race bags. There will be four-year age groups, beginning at 16 to 19, all the way to 80.
Register by going online to www.thefitnesschallengetriathlon.com and click on The Fitness Challenge Marco Island. There will be no registration the day of the triathlon.
Competitors are asked to bring canned goods for Grace Place for children and families in Naples.
The triathlon will begin with a splash at 8 a.m., with the entire triathlon expected to conclude by 10:30 a.m.
Gregory urges residents to come out and cheer on the athletes. During that time there will be cyclists on the roads and runners on the beach. Gregory asks motorists to be cautious during that time and be aware that motorists may encounter momentary delays.
"Everything possible is being done, under the direction of the Marco Island Police Department, to ensure convenience and safety that morning," she said.
Event parking will be at Sasso's Restaurant off Winterberry Drive and the outside lanes in the San Marco Catholic Church parking lot that face San Marco, Landmark and Flamingo roads.