Dover Duathlon a chance to kick off bike, running season

 

Competitors get running at last year’s Dover Duathlon. This year’s third annual event will take place at Dover Park on Saturday morning at 8. (Delaware State News/Dover Parks and Recreation photo)

DOVER — Judging from the ever-increasing bike lanes put on roads and the construction of pedestrian paths, it is obvious that the city of Dover is serious about offering the community a chance at a healthier lifestyle.

The city’s Parks and Recreation Department, in cooperation with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Subcommittee, will be taking that active lifestyle to another level on Saturday as it hosts the third annual Dover Duathlon that will take place at 8 in the morning at Dover Park, t 1210 White Oak Road.

The weather forecast is perfect for anybody who wants to get out and see where they stack up in the Duathlon.

The National Weather Service is calling for mostly sunny skies with a high of 77 degrees.

“To date the interest has been pretty good, but we’d certainly like more,” said Carolyn Courtney, from Dover’s Parks and Recreation Department. “We are hoping with the great weather forecast that participation continues to grow.

“We have participants from Delaware, Maryland, Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Pennsylvania registered so far, and people can register the morning of the event.”

The Dover Duathlon consists of a run of just more than one mile on a cross-country course, before competitors get on their bicycles for an 8.5-mile loop and then repeat the running course to the finish line. It is for athletes of all skill levels.

Ms. Courtney said it is the perfect time for athletes to get those competitive juices flowing again.

“We have participants from eight-years-old to 71 years,” she said. “The distances for the event are meant to encourage anyone who is wondering what a multi-sport event feels like to sign up, or for those who regularly compete and just need a kickstart to their season, this offers them a great warm up.

“The Dover Duathlon offers most every level competitor an affordable opportunity to just do it!”

Interested participants can register for the Dover Duathlon until 7:30 on Saturday morning. The cost is $68 per participant and everyone receives an event t-shirt and is eligible for a special drawing to win a special edition Antique Archeology bicycle compliments of Dave’s Road Bikes.

Awards will be given to the top-three finishers, male and female, in 10-year age group increments (which may be changed to five-year increments). There will also be awards for overall winners.

Participants will also be provided with a light post-race breakfast at the end of the competition.

Ms. Courtney said she has noticed that local athletes have been itching to do outside after all the cool weather this spring.

“Multi-sport (swim, bike, run) season typically starts in April with Duathlons like this kicking it off while it’s still too cold to swim outside,” she said. “Triathlons usually start in late May.”

Jim Hutchison, chairman of the bicycle and pedestrian subcommittee said the Dover Duathlon is a great way to put some focus on the city’s recent “stay active” initiatives. He said the competition is a natural fit.

“Yes, very much so,” Mr. Hutchison said. “We are trying to raise awareness, promote healthy lifestyles and attract funding to the city for cycling and walking. Events like this will hopefully do that.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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