Race Previews

May is "Waterless Triathlon" Month....

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In 1985 a race management company known as Klein & Clark produced a terrific "waterless triathlon" in Palm Springs, California. It was called "Desert Princess." As the well-promoted inaugural run-bike-run, it drew the top triathletes in the world at the time, guys like Mark Allen, the Scott's Tinley, Molina and Dave, and women like Erin Baker and Paula Newby Fraser, plus some new kids that would soon become the elite run-bike-runners. We are talking about Kenny Souza, George Pierce, Liz Downing and others....

In other words, duathlon as we know it today was officially born in the mid-80s, though it would be called "biathlon" early on.

There were a few other duathlons happening back then, but with different formats, typically  run-bike, though they were rather short-lived. Most of them were gone by the mid-90s, though one would endure until today, and it has plans to remain for years, if not decades, to come. That race is Minnesota's own Sartell Apple Duathlon, the historic 40th anniversary of which will take place on May 21. (Apple started as a running event and grew into a multi in 1985, thus the du will actually be 38-years-old next month.)

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Well, Apple is the oldest ongoing duathlon in the US, and many believe, and we agree, that it is also our  country's premier non-championship run-bike-run. (It did host the 2000 US National Du Champs, and produced a a truly world class event. It has also served as a Nationals qualifier on several occasions.)

In Minnesota, May is "Duathlon Month," and though it no longer features five--Cinco Du Mayo, Falls, Oakdale, Gear West, Apple--waterless triathlons, three of those races endure, one of which--Cinco--is making a comeback after a few years off.

The enduring races are, Apple, of course, and Oakdale Spring Classic, which will happen on the day after Apple on May 22.

The point of this post is to remind everyone that there is no better way to prepare for tri season, which gets underway on June 5 (Buffalo Triathlon), than to knock off some rust at one or more of May's "waterless triathlons."

Stay tuned for race previews of Cinco, Apple and Oakdale. 

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