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About Duathlon

Duathlon is a run bike run combination. It is sometimes confused with biathlon, which is the official term for the Olympic sport of skiing and shooting.
 
Typically contested in run
bike run formats, duathlons vary in length and run bike run combinations. 

Common Race Distances

 

RUN

BIKE

RUN

Short

 

 

 

Kilometer

1.6-6.3

8 - 30

1.6-6.3

Mile

1-3.9

5-18.6

1-3.9

Intermediate

 

 

 

Kilometer

6.4-12.8

30.1 - 50

6.4-12.8

Mile

4.0-8

18.7-31

4.0-8

Long

 

 

 

Kilometer

12.9-29.9

50.1-99.9

12.9-29.9

Mile

8.1-18.5

31.1-62

8.1-18.5

Ultra

 

 

 

Kilometer

30+

100+

30+

Mile

18.6+

62+

18.6+

Duathlon - Distance is categorized by the bike and longest run. If distances are is separate categories, the distance is categorized by the bike

Youth 

Race Age

Run

BIKE

RUN

Best Practices

Youth 7-8

1 K

2-3 K

500 meters

Closed roads

Youth 9-10

1.5 K

3-5 K

750 meters

Closed roads

Youth 11-12

2 K

5 - 7 K

1 K

Closed roads

Youth 13 - 15

2 - 3 K

8 - 10 K

1 - 1.5 K

Closed roads

The worldwide Powerman Duathlon Series events are generally a distance equal to or similar in length to a 10k run/60k bike/10k run. In 2006 there were three sanctioned Powerman events which qualified athletes for Powerman Zofingen in Switzerland. This race, often compared to an Ironman triathlon due to its grueling nature, attracts hundreds of athletes and thousands of spectators.  The race consists of an 8.5k run, 150k bike and 30k run.
 
Duathlons in the United States are either stand alone events or combined with a triathlon.  Most duathlons range between 50-200 competitors.

USA Triathlon hosts a national short course and long course championship each year, which qualify athletes to attend the world championships.
 
Duathlons offer a great way to get involved in multisport if swimming is not your strong point.

Getting Started
In 2008, USA Triathlon sanctioned 400 duathlons in 48 states. Participants can find events ranging from local, low key races to big time production events. Participants wishing to compete on the national and world level can compete in the USAT national championships and world qualifiers for a chance to qualify for Team USA and represent their country at the world championships. 

History
The sport of duathlon in the United States hit an all-time high in the 1980s when big-time sponsors, such as Coors Light, produced series that had thousands participating in a single race. Though duathlon slipped in numbers when corporate sponsorship faded, the sport enjoyed resurgence in the late 90s and early 2000s with the Dannon Duathlon series and duathlon races growing across the country.
 
Unfortunately for athletes and race directors alike, the Dannon Duathlon series bowed out in 2004.  Even with the fall of the corporate sponsorships, the US has witnessed a recent growth in sanctioned duathlons. Duathlon is especially popular with athletes who do not come from a swimming background. Nearly everyone who can ride a bike and run can participate.
  
 
Future
Although the United States has seen an increase in duathlon events over the last few years, we have also experienced less athletes per event, on average. The decline in the number of athletes participating can be linked to increased events per weekend and hosting numerous events within a few weeks of each other.  
 
USA Triathlon is committed to increasing the number of participants in duathlon events and is working with race directors to ensure events are spread out throughout the season and dates for national and world championship events and qualifiers are announced at minimum 12 months prior.  However, it would be ideal to have the dates announced 18 months prior so race directors and athletes can plan accordingly.

Research
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