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Duathlon Nationals Festival Set for this Weekend

April 23, 2008, 12 a.m. (ET)

RICHMOND, Va. (April 23 2008) More than 700 duathletes from all over the country will be visiting Richmond, Va., this weekend for the inaugural 2008 Duathlon National Championship Festival on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27.

The weekend schedule includes the Off-Road Duathlon Championships and Duathlon Off-Road Citizens Race on Saturday, followed by the USAT Short Course Duathlon National Championship, USAT Duathlon Youth/Junior National Championships, and a Duathlon Citizens Race on Sunday.

Hosted by the Richmond Sports Backers, the event will build on the legacy of the 2007 McDonald's ITU Duathlon Long Course World Championship and the annual XTERRA East Championship off-road event.

This is primed to be a premier competitive event experience for elite duathlon competitors as well as youth/junior and age group participants. The National Duathlon Festival marks the first time that the USAT Short Course Duathlon National Championships and the Off-Road Duathlon Championships will be combined on the same weekend.

“Richmond has a great history of hosting these types of events, from XTERRA events to running. Duathlon was the perfect fit, especially after last year’s successful world championships,” said USAT National Events Director Jeff Dyrek. “With this festival-type atmosphere, we’re trying to get the community involved as much as possible.”

The Short Course National Championship will serve as a World Championship qualifier for both elites and age groupers. Seven slots per age group and five slots for both elite men and women will be awarded to athletes interested in joining Team USA at the ITU Short Course Duathlon World Championship in Rimini, Italy, September 27-28.

The sport of duathlon has a chance to come of age in Richmond as a result of the National Duathlon Festival, an event partnership between the Sports Backers and USA Triathlon. Competitors that prefer to race on-road will be introduced to those that race off-road and vice versa. Besides great competition, the festival will be full of exhibitors from the running and biking industry.

The Sports Backers and USA Triathlon are working hard to make this event the best showcase for the sport of duathlon. An extensive effort has been made to have an on-road bike course that is smooth but at the same time still has a mixture of hills and challenges on the course. The off-road events include a variety of difficulties that feature everything from hard, technical single track for the championship event to gravel roads for the kids. The downtown venue allows for improved spectator attendance and media coverage for all of the events. The multi-lap format for the on-road events will make this a great event for spectators and provides the best of the urban setting combined with a park feel by the James River and its canals.

Go to the event website for more details, including a complete schedule, participant list and course maps.