Friday, April 24, 2009

Where have all the Duathlons Gone?

This weekend is the Duathlon National Championship.  It begs the question, if a championship were held and nobody noticed, is it a championship?

Ten years ago duathlon was flourishing.  Often, triathlons and duathlons were held on the same course.  Those were the days when people didn't draft because if you did you'd never hear the end of it from your training mates.  You read the rules because you were afraid to be caught as the one who didn't know the rules.

These days duathlon doesn't exist - that may be an exaggeration. Duathlon is in exile at best.  Why?  Do we all have "Ironman Fever"?  Is the multisport community changing its interests?  Or is it just a matter of race profitability?  Why go through the effort of putting on a duathlon when you could do a triathlon and make more money?  I'm not sure.

I've been thinking about this today.  Why not have duathlons here in Chicago?  Our spring weather would make a PERFECT "spring classic" like racing.  Chicagoans and northern people back me up on this one!  Wouldn't you go to a duathlon if it was fairly cheap and in April?  I would.  Having coached two age group USAT Duathlon National Champions doesn't hurt my interest in the sport either.

Duathlon may be on life support but it is just like the Frankenstein monster; it just needs a jolt of electricity.  I'm going to look into starting a race.


  1. Hi! Don't remember how I found your blog, but I guess you could say I've been a "lurker" for a few months now. I like your blog. It's refreshing, thoughtful and entertaining. Your duathlon idea is a good one. My brother-in-law who lives in Alabama competed in several last summer/fall. His first one this year was the beginning of March. Yes, spring comes earlier in the South, but why wouldn't it work here? I think it would. So many people dread the swim portion of the tri (not me, love it!) and duathlons are cheaper. Best wishes with your training and job hunting!
    Valpo, IN

  2. Thanks Jennifer! I talked to our mayor this weekend. I'm going to see what it would take to do a "short" duathlon around here. Seems like an easy idea if we can get the city behind it. A good way for the IL, WI, IN folks to get in the swing of things.

    Thanks for reading!