Top amateur run-bike-run athletes in the United States will compete for national titles next month, as the USA Triathlon Duathlon National Championships head to Greenville, South Carolina. Three action-packed races will take place over two days from April 7-8 at Lakeside Park, a scenic venue in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. More than 1,000 athletes are expected to compete.
On Saturday, April 7, duathletes will toe the line for the Draft-Legal Sprint Duathlon National Championships. The first wave is set to go off at 07:30 ET, and competitors will cover a 5K run, draft-legal 18K bike and another 2.85K run. The fast-paced draft-legal format, which enables athletes to pace off each other and work together on the bike, is typical in elite International Triathlon Union (ITU) races, and USA Triathlon notes it is becoming increasingly popular at the age-group level.
The draft-legal event, which was a World Championship qualifier but not a National Championship in previous years, is considered a National Championship for the first time this year.
The action continues on Sunday at 07:30 ET with the Non-Drafting Standard Duathlon National Championships, which cover an 8.45K run, 39K bike and 4.5K run. The Non-Drafting Sprint Duathlon National Championships follow at 13:05 ET, covering the same distances as Saturday’s sprint race but in a non-draft format.
In all three of the weekend’s races, athletes have the chance to qualify to represent Team USA in duathlon competition at the 2019 ITU Multisport World Championships Festival in Pontevedra, Spain.
Registration for the Duathlon National Championships is currently open at usatriathlon.org, and no qualification is necessary. Athletes may compete in multiple races throughout the weekend.
Greenville is a first-time host of the Duathlon Nationals. The city ranked second on Outside magazine’s ‘Best Towns Ever’ list in 2013. It was ranked ‘#7 Best in the US 2015’ by Lonely Planet, the ‘#1 Under-the Radar Southern Food Destination’ in 2016 by Zagat, and is among the ’10 Best Places to Travel in the South in 2018′ by Southern Living magazine.
“USA Triathlon is proud to bring the nation’s top duathletes to Greenville for the first time next month,” said Matt Reger, USA Triathlon National Events Manager and Race Director for the Duathlon National Championships. “We have been working with the city of Greenville, VisitGreenvilleSC, Greenville Parks & Recreation and many other local partners for the past year to make this event a reality. With national titles on the line in three different events, we are sure to witness fast-paced competition and countless inspiring performances on race weekend.”
“Greenville, South Carolina, is excited to host some of America’s best athletes for the Duathlon National Championships,” said Chris Stone, President of VisitGreenvilleSC. “Fifteen hundred competitors and spectators will enjoy events at Lakeside Park, socializing with family and friends on the banks of the Reedy River and breath-taking views from the Blue Ridge Mountains.”
At last year’s Duathlon National Championships, held in Bend, Oregon, Danielle Dingman (Branson, Mo.) swept the women’s overall titles in both non-drafting events. Albert Harrison (Moscow, Idaho) took the men’s non-drafting standard-distance win, and Keith Jackson (Loveland, Colo.) was victorious in the non-drafting sprint.
In the draft-legal sprint race, which was held as a World Championship qualifier but not a National Championship in 2017, Duncan Reid (Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.) and Melisa Christian (Dallas, Texas) claimed the overall men’s and women’s victories respectively.