“Triathlete” magazine just named Clermont one of the Top 35 destinations for triathletes in the world. The coveted spot was among exotic locales, such as West Brisbane, Australia; Quebec, Canada and Kato Paphos, Cyprus.

Writers Erin Beresini and Chris Foster said they asked “dozens of globe-trotting pros, prolific racers” and others to submit their all-time favorite places to swim, bike and run, the triple challenge that makes up triathlons.

Clermont got a boost from hometown champion Sara McLarty, who is an aquathlon world champion, qualified in the Olympic swimming trials and is a former ITU racer.

The magazine described Clermont as family-friendly and affordable.

“The local tri community is friendly and welcoming…,” McLarty said. “There’s easy access to year-round open water. Country roads go for miles with surprising elevation from al the rolling hills and there are multiple running and mountain-bike trails nearby.”

And, McLarty noted, “You can hit up Disney World and Universal Studio on your rest days.”

Clermont’s reputation in the sport began 35 years ago when native son Fred Sommer began hosting triathlons in the city. Since then, a growing number of triathletes, Olympic runners and other elite athletes have been drawn to the city.

“We are proud to be named among the world’s best destinations for triathletes and welcome them and their families, as well as all visitors, to Clermont,” said City Manager Darren Gray.

To see all the top world destinations for triathletes, go to www.triathlete.com.