The HITS Triathlon Series has announced an annual schedule that includes one triathlon every month, to take place in cities across the U.S., from California and Arizona to Texas, Illinois, NY, Wisconsin and Florida.
Most, if not all, of the races will include a full spectrum of race distances, from the "open" category (basically a super-sprint, shorter than typical sprint tris), to sprint, Olympic, half and full. (This isn't a WTC series so they can't use the word "Ironman".) The registration fees may be on the higher end, but within the usual range of popular/big city triathlons. The "full" races will be $600, close to the price of an official Ironman.
But the "open" mini-sprint distances will be free. They are intended to draw in new participants to the sport of triathlon. They are short enough so that previously inactive people will have a chance to finish a triathlon without a long period of training.
According to the press release, all five distances will be staged over a single weekend in each city. Ironman legend Dave Scott is a spokesman and advisor for the new tri series.
The first set of races will take place in Palm Springs, CA, on Dec. 3-4 this year. None of the races will be held in the DC area, although there is an open slot for the October 2012 event.
According to their Facebook page, the distances may not be exactly the standard distances, but they will be "very close". For example, in response to one question, an organizer says that the Wisconsin race could be slightly different from 140.6. By how much? He doesn't say.
For more info on the schedule, the cities and logistics, check out their website: http://www.hitstriathlonseries.com/