ITU Worlds Penticton adds Aquabike

The 2017 ITU Multisport World Championships in Penticton, BC, has added Aquabike to its event roster. In addition to sprint and standard duathlon, cross triathlon, long distance triathlon, and aquathon (swim + run), the 10-day event now has a swim + bike. Here’s a link to the release with all the details.

The aquathon and aquabike don’t exactly get the fields that triathlon or even duathlon see, but they are great events for people new to multisport that a) like to swim, and either b) don’t want to mess with the bike or c) don’t want to mess with the run. It’s also another option for folks that want to compete in multiple events in Penticton. I know at least one person that’s planning to compete in the standard duathlon, long course triathlon, and aquathon in the same week!

To compete in multiple world events, you have to qualify for those events. USAT’s duathlon nationals took place last month in lovely Bend, Oregon. But if you like to swim (unlike me!), there’s still time to compete in the long course tri, aquathon, and aquabike national championships! Why not? You could be the next aquabike world champion!

In the U.S., the aquathon nationals are October 8 in Santa Cruz, Calif; the aquabike is November 13 in sunny Miami…the same day as the long course tri. Here’s the link to the full list of national qualifiers.

Canadian athletes have the home field advantage. Their primary long course tri, aquathon, and aquabike event will be held on August 28. There are other ways to qualify. Click here for details. They also have some qualifying spots left for duathlon. Click here for info.

Some of Great Britain’s qualifying races are TBD. This is the best link I could find.

As for me, I will be competing in one event only—the standard distance duathlon (10K run, 40K bike, 5K run). It would be fun to plan a racing vacation, but ugh! So much swimming! I’d much rather run more. That’s why I’m in the perfect sport!

Are you planning to attend the ITU World Multisport Championships in Penticton next year? Will you do a double? Or even a triple?  Let us know in the comments!

In honor of Bridget Dawson

I noticed Bridget Dawson for the first time in Bend, Oregon, at the USAT Duathlon National Championships. I bumped into Rick Cordes, who was cheering for his wife, Suzanne (recently featured here). Suzanne had a good shot at the podium, and Rick was keeping tabs on where Suzanne was in relation to other top age-groupers. He pointed out Bridget, well in the lead, and her image stuck in my mind because she was very tall.

That night, she would stand on the tallest spot on the podium — Number One –during the awards ceremony.

Now she’s gone.

On Thursday, July 14, a motorist drifted onto the shoulder of Highway 227, in San Luis Obispo, and hit Bridget from behind when she was riding her bike. The police don’t suspect alcohol or drug use was a factor in the incident.

Bridget leaves a husband, a son, and a daughter.

It rattles me every time I hear of a bike collision, whether it involves an acquaintance or a stranger, whether it happens on roads I ride all the time or in another state. I’m reminded that in an instant, someone we love could disappear. I’m reminded that my next ride could be my last. Do I give it up? Do I keep my road bike in the closet and ride indoors? No. I choose not to let fear dictate my life. But I’m reminded to stay hyper-aware, ride predictably and assertively, and of course wear the helmet.

I’m fairly certain Bridget was also a smart, safe rider. But how do you respond when you don’t know a big steel box is closing in on you?

On a website he launched, Bridget’s husband, Scott, writes that Bridget was an All American in cross country at Iowa State University. She got interested in triathlon after college, and in the span of about five years, worked her way up from being a newbie on the bike and swim to a professional triathlete.

As a duathlete, Bridget won her age group every year at the national championships from 2013 to 2016. One week before she died, she won her age group at the Vineman 70.3 in Windsor, California. She had a goal to race Kona when she turned 60.

Bridget’s family set up the Bridget Inspires Scholarship Fund to support women in triathlon and other sports. Find out more here.

Our duathlon community is less one great athlete. Run, ride, and run your absolute best in her honor.

Boost your duathlon training with this running event

As most of you know, it ain’t easy to find local duathlons to use as either tune-up races or as an “A” race itself. Bob Anderson, a mainstay on the San Francisco Bay Area running scene for many years (and the founder of Runner’s World), directs a series of races that could very well fill the void in your 2016 (and beyond) duathlon calendar.

Enter, the Double Road Race, a challenging running event that gives multisport athletes a new way to build fitness and enhance duathlon training in a fun, competitive environment.

SF Double
You can find a triathlon any weekend you like in some parts of the U.S. Duathlon? Not so much. The Double Road Race can help fill the void.

Basically, you run twice. The standard event features a 10K run, a break, and a 5K run. Sounds like standard duathlon run distances to me! During the break, hop on your bike or use the race-supplied spin bikes. Voila! A challenging run-bike-run event.

For more information on the Double Road Race, check out this article in Triathlete magazine (written by yours truly).

And to find a Double Road Race in your neck to the woods, visit its website at doubleroadrace.com.

Hint: The Double is coming to San Francisco August 7; San Jose, CA August 20; Kansas City, MO October 9; and Pleasanton, CA December 18. They also host races in Mexico and Kenya!

If you are a runner that’s looking for a new challenge or a duathlete looking for new ways to get in a good hard workout, consider a double day.

Happy running-riding-running,

Heather J

Du’ing Great: A chat with Suzanne Cordes

Suzanne Cordes has a lifetime of racing experience and a mountain of running, triathlon, and duathlon awards. This June, however, the 57-year-old athlete added some meaningful hardware to her trophy case—she took home the bronze in both the ITU Duathlon World Championship in Aviles, Spain, and the USAT Duathlon National Championship in Bend, Oregon. Her performance in Bend also earned her a third place Standard Grandmasters (50-59) Female award.

The trip to Central Oregon came just a few weeks after an impromptu trip to Aviles, where Suzanne competed on a whim, a prayer, and a lot of determination. A serious hamstring tear sidelined her for about four months earlier this year, but as typical of us stubborn athletes, she kept her sights on June.

When the doctor said “maybe” she would be healed enough to race, she took that to mean, “I’m going to try.” Makes perfect sense to me! She didn’t just try. She did, and later, stood on the podium with a big shiny medal.

A runner since age 10, Cordes competed in track and cross country in high school, college, and, later, as a high-ranking masters athlete. She has earned collegiate and Masters All-American status and is ranked internationally in World Masters Athletics, the governing body for international track and field and cross country events for ages 35-plus. She started competing in triathlon in 1989 and duathlon in 2014.

A certified USA Track and Field Level 2 Endurance Coach, a USA Triathlon Level 1 Coach, and a coach with lots of other credentials, Suzanne trains runners, cyclists, and multisport athletes from her facility, In Training, in San Ramon, California.

I caught up with Suzanne during a well-deserved, post-Bend vacation in North Lake Tahoe, where she, her husband Rick (also a high-ranking duathlete), and their three large cats relaxed among the pine trees and magically blue water.

RBR: Tell me about the course in Aviles. All I’ve heard is that it was hot and humid and the transition area was very long!

SC: The bike had some hills. And we repeated loops—we went down a lower loop and made a hairpin turn, then to a far right loop and made a hairpin turn, then up and around another loop. And we repeated those loops three times. The run went along the River Aviles. It was basically flat, with some hard right turns and some little bumps. A lot of people didn’t run two loops and mistakenly got a DNF.

RBR: You had a phenomenal race! How did you overcome a nagging injury to finish on the podium?

SC: I had strong desire to perform well at the world level. Spain was purely mental. I wanted it. I had to mentally block out aches and pains and direct my focus on my mantra “keep the push!” to stay strong.

ITUbike
Suzanne Cordes keeps pushing through a technical 40K bike in Aviles.

RBR: Our mental attitude can really make or break a race.

SC: The mental aspect is huge. Many people don’t realize the power of the mind. They train the physical body, and focus on training, which is important, but the mind rules. You can be in the best shape of your life, but if your head doesn’t believe it, all that fitness is not going to rise you to the top. For me, Spain was a total mental race with so much want.

RBR: You coach groups in running and cycling at your studio in San Ramon. What training strategies do you use for new duathletes?

SC: My athletes have their workouts when they show up to practice. Most of them train in a group. I try to individualize within the group. Most of the training, though, is to build confidence. It’s not so much about whether they can run fast or bike well. That’s a given. They’re going to do the best they can. It’s about building confidence. I show them they can do it.

RBR: Does the confidence building come out in the words or the workouts?

SC: Everyone is different. I have to show them. We perform initial assessments as baseline data, develop goals with dates and distances to aim toward, then periodically compare times/watts. No mystery. They have proof of their improvements.

RBR: Is there a key workout that you do leading up to a national or international race?

SC: I’m always changing it up. I do a lot of my bike training on the trainer. A key workout for me though is to take my bike out to a place with no stop signs or signals where I can get in the aero position and simulate a race. On the trainer, I may divide up a workout into two times 10 miles and try to hit the watts that I want to hit in the race. Also, at my training facility, we’ve got courses that we’ll put up on a big screen and we race to them. That’s the secret sauce. That keeps Rick in the game. It gives you a total edge. When I look at the workouts that I do at the [training] center, it’s way harder than a race. All the stats are on the screen, and these guys are trying to beat me, and I’m not going to let them. It’s a game!

Follow Suzanne at @coachcordes.

My Annual Canadian Duathlon Primer

Here is a primer on duathlon in Canada, courtesy of athlete Jesse Bauer. Great things happening up north for our sport! My first duathlon Worlds was in Ottawa, 2013. Now we get to return—this time to Penticton, in British Columbia, in 2017. Here’s to forward momentum for Duathlon, for the Canadian team, Team USA, and the rest of our global community.

Jesse Bauer - Duathlete

It seems like every year I am saying that (whatever year it happens to be) is set to be a HUGE year for duathlon in Canada. So I love my sport…sue me. However, I do think we have some pretty wicked momentum going for duathlon in this country over the past several years. I started racing duathlons at what was apparently a low point for the sport in Canada. Elite nationals was a thing of the past, several high profile duathlon-only events were on their way out, and the Ironman bug had everyone convinced that the only real multisport was that one where you have to splash around in a lake or a pool before you get to do the fun part.

However, I am pretty excited about this little bit of an upward trend we have going on right now. We have a pretty vibrant community linked by social…

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