COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The USA Duathlon Virtual Run-Bike-Run presented by TOWER 26 came to a close Sunday, raising more than $110,000 for the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund and drawing more than 6,100 participants. The five-week virtual event, which ran from April 10-May 17, was designed to provide a digital running and cycling challenge for beginner and experienced multisport athletes alike, while raising funds to support members of the multisport community adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“USA Triathlon and the USA Triathlon Foundation are incredibly proud of our multisport family for coming together during this difficult time. It has been inspiring to see so many people staying active and connected through this online challenge — all with the goal of supporting race directors, coaches, club leaders and others in our multisport community whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the pandemic,” said Rocky Harris, USA Triathlon CEO. “We look forward to providing additional virtual events throughout the year, as well as celebrating together again as racing resumes.”
Participants in the Virtual Run-Bike-Run hailed from all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Two distances were offered: a sprint (5-kilometer run, 20-kilometer bike, 2.5-kilometer run) and a standard-distance (10k run, 40k bike, 5k run). Collectively, participants covered a total of more than 110,000 miles on roads, trails, trainers and treadmills — including 80,000-plus cycling miles and 30,000-plus running miles.
The event was free to participate, with an option to donate $35 to the COVID-19 Relief Fund and receive a finisher’s medal. The first $20,000 in donations to the COVID-19 Relief Fund were matched dollar-for-dollar by USA Triathlon CEO Rocky Harris and his wife, Elizabeth Harris ($10,000), and a combination of the USA Triathlon Foundation Board of Trustees and the USA Triathlon Board of Directors ($10,000).
Individuals may still donate to the COVID-19 Relief Fund by visiting usatriathlonfoundation.org or by purchasing a UNITY T-shirt through the USA Triathlon Store. The USA Triathlon Foundation is accepting applications for grant funding through May 31. The Foundation welcomes applications from USA Triathlon-certified race directors and race management organizations; USA Triathlon-certified coaches and clubs; and other individuals and organizations who have been impacted by the pandemic.
Additional COVID-19 resources and updates from USA Triathlon are available at usatriathlon.org/covid-19. USA Triathlon continues to monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19, while following the guidance of local authorities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), when making decisions regarding the status of USA Triathlon events and programs.
The USA Duathlon Virtual Run-Bike-Run marked USA Triathlon’s third virtual race, after the organization successfully hosted the world’s first entirely online swim, bike and run event — the Time to Tri Virtual Triathlon — last November, and the #DreamingSeason Time to Tri Virtual Triathlon in February. USA Triathlon plans to offer several more virtual racing opportunities throughout 2020, including a #TriWeek Virtual Challenge at the end of June in conjunction with National Triathlon Week.
About TOWER 26
TOWER 26 provides customized triathlon coaching to enthusiasts of all levels. With over 35 years of professional coaching experience, Gerry Rodrigues founded the entity based in Los Angeles, California. USA Triathlon-certified coach and professional triathlete Jim Lubinski leads the triathlon coaching division. Consistently and with purpose, TOWER 26 successfully trains and prepares athletes across the globe, from beginner to professional, to “Be Race Ready”.
About the USA Triathlon Foundation
The USA Triathlon Foundation was created in 2014 by the USA Triathlon Board of Directors as an independent tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. Under the leadership of its Trustees and Committee members, the Foundation serves as a means to create a healthier America through triathlon and seeks to transform lives by opening up new pathways to the sport for all, especially those who are otherwise underserved. The USA Triathlon Foundation operates with the belief that every child should have the chance to participate, every paratriathlete should have the opportunity to compete, and every aspiring elite athlete should be able to chase his or her Olympic dream. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than $3 million has been provided to worthy causes and organizations that support its mission. Donations to the USA Triathlon Foundation ensure America's youth are introduced to the benefits and fun of a multisport lifestyle, athletes with disabilities receive the training, support and gear to be able to participate and excel, and the best aspiring young athletes have a chance to pursue their Olympic Dreams. Visit usatriathlonfoundation.org to learn more and donate today.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).