“What. A. Race.” – Canadian Duathlon Championships Race Recap

Canadian National Championships…blazing fast athletes, the Iron Nun, an 82-year-old champ = success on all accounts!

CANADIAN DUATHLON CENTRAL

Dislaimer: I (Jesse) raced in this race, finishing 4th overall. It’s a tribute to the race quality that this will be one of the most impartial race reports I’ve ever written, despite being in the race and experiencing it firsthand.

Nationals Start Line A stellar field setting off on a long, hard day of racing (Photo: Jesse Bauer)

This sport has come so far since we started doing this, and today was another step in that direction as one of the most competitive fields in a duathlon in the last 5 years (at least) toed the lined and 100% delivered on the hype. Let’s talk quickly about the course first, just to frame this fantastic race.

We posted a preview leading up to this race based on some Mapmyrun simulations and a brief run-(walk) through a couple of days before the race. The course was going to be a difficult one for…

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New Duathlon Training Camp…in the Pyrenees!

When I heard that Embrace Sports was hosting a duathlon training camp, I got very excited. I haven’t heard of any duathlon-specific training camps anywhere, ever, so this seems like a rare opportunity. When I found out where Embrace Sports was hosting the camp, my daydreams distracted me from other work for a while. A long while.

Ride up and up and down epic Tour de France climbs. Sail through a scenic valley as you work on your aero position. Run through forests and along scenic trails…all in the Pyrenees. In between, the Embrace coaches give training advice and feed you very well. Bliss!

The duathlon “holiday” takes place May 20-27, 2017. Visit the Embrace Sports website to find out more.

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What’s the World’s Largest Duathlon?

On September 18, thousands of athletes will gather at Richmond Park for the London Duathlon, dubbed the “world’s largest duathlon.”

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By my count, last year’s event drew nearly 2,000 athletes, most of which competed in the standard-distance du (10k-44k-5k). The event also includes a half duathlon (5k-22k-5k), an ultra duathlon (20k-77k-10k), a standard distance relay, and a 10k run (I didn’t count the run in my participant tally). For duathlon, that’s a large field!

For comparison, the USAT Duathlon National Championships in Bend, Oregon, saw nearly 600 finishers. The Apple Duathlon, one of the more popular events in the U.S., saw about 270 athletes this year. Compare that to major marathons that draw up to 20,000 people, or the popular Wildflower Triathlon, which has attracted up to 7,500 participants, and it’s clear that duathlon has some work to do in the numbers department.

It always has. For a glimpse into the UK’s state of duathlon, which provides a bit of history of the sport both in the UK and U.S., check out this article on 220 Triathlon.

Back to the London Duathlon. I’m sorry to say, it’s pretty much sold out. With a commitment to raise £400 for one of the event’s charity partners, you can run as a charity entrant. You can also compete as a member of a club or as part of a corporate team. Already running? Set a goal and race for free in 2017. The London Du has a PB Race Free promotion where if you beat your time from a previous year in 2016, they’ll give you a free pass into 2017.

Congrats to the race organizers for putting on what looks like a fantastic event! If I lived closer (much closer), I would be there!

ITU Combats Mechanical Doping

Triathletes and Duathletes can only rely on their body’s motor, not a motor hidden inside their bike, now that the International Triathlon Union (ITU) has licensed technological fraud software from Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to combat mechanical doping in all events on the international triathlon calendar.

Last week ITU technical officials received training on UCI’s software, which uses magnetic resistance technology to detect fraud. Officials use an iPad mini to scan bikes for disruptions. Read all about the new announcement here.

UCI tested 600 bikes before the opening prologue of  Giro d’Italia. The organization said it planned to test 10,000 bikes this season.

Is mechanical doping a thing? It could be, but not yet. So far, only one cyclist has been caught with a hidden motor: Femke Van den Driessche at the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships.

Is it a thing with amateur athletes? It could be. Vivax, the company that manufactures the Vivax-Assist conversion kits, which can go unnoticed on a road bike, told Cyclist magazine that its customers were primarily people over 60 who were trying to keep up with riding partners.

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100 to 200 watts for $2,000-$3,000? Not worth it.

I won’t go into a diatribe about cheating. There are plenty of essays and comments out there already that talk about all the reasons why cheaters embody the antithesis of what sport is about. Officials and the public have caught amateur athletes cutting marathon and Ironman courses and taking performance enhancing drugs to win road races and crits. The cheaters deprive true champions of medals, prize money, and on a professional level, possible sponsorship deals and more prize money. Boggles the mind.

Speaking of doping, I’m fixin’ to read (as they say in the south!) a story from ProPublica and the BBC where the former chief investigator of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said WADA’s president thwarted his efforts to investigate state-sponsored doping in Russia. I’m sure it’s an interesting read. Let me know your thoughts.

And now, after all this doping talk, enjoy watching the Olympics! I caught much of the men’s road race today after a very long run in the Berkeley hills. I saw the race with more than 100K to go, took a nap, then saw the exciting, unexpected finish. (It was a long race!)

Whether you’re running, riding, or doing a bit of both, enjoy the rest of your weekend. And don’t feel bad if that guy or gal flies by you on a climb. He or she probably uses a hidden motor…right?