PIMA — The largest Boy Scout triathlon event in the nation is set for this weekend in Pima and will debut its new name.

For the 23rd annual Varsity Scout Triathlon, the race will now be known as the Coronado District Jim Brinkerhoff Varsity Triathlon, to pay tribute to the man who founded the event, according to organizer Mons Larson. Racers will begin with an icy swim early Saturday morning.

“He was a big scouter and to do this — something that has lasted for (23) years — that's something I thought was quite very visionary,” Larson said.

The event is hosted by the Coronado District Grand Canyon Council of the Boy Scouts of America and will utilize the town of Pima's swimming pool as it has the past few years. After taking the plunge for a 75-yard swim, competitors will transition to their bicycles for a six-mile round trip through Pima to the Central Cemetery before finishing with a 2.25-mile run.

Larson expects another large turnout this year and said the number of participants might be about 1,400. As of Monday, 1,330 entries were accepted with two days left to register. Most of the competitors traditionally have been 14- and 15-year old Boy Scouts from the Phoenix area, but girls and non-Boy Scouts are also encouraged to participate, and a fair number of racers are local or come from the Tucson area and elsewhere.

The population of Pima is expected to increase by about 40 percent during the weekend as a number of the racers head into the area by Friday night and camp at the Pima rodeo/baseball grounds.

More than 150 volunteers assist with the event, which is also coordinated with cooperation from the town of Pima, the Pima Police Department and Graham County Sheriff's Office.

Follow reporter Jon Johnson on Twitter@EACourierJon.

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