Spotlight On…Iron Hawk, Essex County and Smith Falls

A lull in the Ontario duathlon scene can only mean one thing…time for a new feature! Periodically we will highlight something that has caught our attention in the Ontario Duathlon scene. We’ll take a look at a community, an off the beaten track race, an athlete, or some wild card that doesn’t fit into a category but deserves mention. Since we are approaching the 2 month mark of the 2014 duathlon season, it seems like an appropriate time to kick this off. This weekend did see 34 duathletes in action at Smith Falls in the Somersault series, which will be recapped following the feature. We hope you will enjoy it! Let’s get to it…

Iron Hawk Duathlon (Harrow, Ontario)

Despite many new and exciting entries to the Ontario duathlon calendar, it was the third running of this small duathlon in Harrow, Ontario that burst onto the scene as a great season opener for Ontario duathletes who make the trek. The experience was so good that it stuck in our minds for 2 months while countless other races came and went. The cancellation of the popular Victoria’s Duathlon created a vacancy for the traditional season opener, and the Iron Hawk used its designation as the Ontario Sprint Duathlon Championships to show Ontario what it could do. The Iron Hawk did not disappoint, as the overall race saw 5 competitors break the 1:00 barrier, with a further six under 1:01. The race was well-run for a great cause, and attracted names over from the triathlon such as Lionel Sanders, Connor Darlington, Sean Bechtel, and Austen and Taylor Forbes. Harrow District High School students and administration did a fantastic job of running the event despite the influx of interest for this year’s edition, and put on a top notch event. Essex County’s temperate climate and flat profile make the Iron Hawk an excellent choice for a duathlon season opener, one that we hope will continue to draw competitors from all over Ontario. Side note, good guy of the month award goes to 3rd place finisher Sjaan Gerth, who beat some strong competition in his first duathlon back, before donating his prize winnings back to the cause!

Windsor & Essex County Multisport Community, Ontario

Just as the Iron Hawk continued to impress us after almost 2 months of races, so too does the Windsor/Essex county multisport community. Originally coming from the area, I have always been impressed with how the community supports its multisport athletes, and seeing it out in full force at Iron Hawk was a sight to see. The roads coming out of transition heading out in both directions were crowded with knowledgeable spectators, cheering many athletes on by name despite having no names printed on the bibs. Many spectators stayed right until the very end, cheering on every last competitor. It was awesome to feel the support, especially as a long-time Windsor resident.

Windsor has a very diverse triathlon community that seems to all come together to support local events. Iron Hawk is joined on the local calendar by the Tomatoman Triathlon/Duathlon in June (Leamington), the Belle River Triathlon/Duathlon now hosted in July, and the Windsor/Tecumseh Triathlon/Duathlon to close out the season in August. The races are run with extreme competence by passionate locals like John McKibbon (Belle River and Tecumseh) and regularly well-attended by the Windsor Triathlon Club, a fantastically supportive club, especially for beginners. Regular training sessions are held by the club, as well as by the Malden Park Runners and Blue Heron Blazers (directed by duathlete Ryan Allison). The Essex County triathlon community receives fantastic support from the Running Factory, Cycle Culture, and Ambassador Bicycles as they chase after podium finishes all over Canada and the United States.

Notable duathletes from Windsor and Essex County include Daryl Flacks (defending Tomatoman Sprint Du champion), occasional DC feature writer Brad Reiter (2013 Provincial Sprint Du champion), Ryan Allison, and sometimes duathlete Kirstie Kniaziew, who despite spending time in the water is the two-time defending provincial sprint duathlon champion.

Thank you to Essex County for hosting the first of 4 championship races to be held in Ontario this year, Essex County, and we look forward to doing it all again for Sprint Duathlon Nationals in Belle River this weekend!

Smith Falls Results
The only race on the weekend was in the Somersault Series, in Smith Falls. 34 athletes competed in the 2k run/20k bike/5k run sprint duathlon, where Gino Bonneville came away the convincing winner with a time of 1:03:33. Gino never looked back after a race-fastest 8:37 2k run, recording the fastest splits in all three legs en route to the win. Lisa Balerna was both the overall women’s winner and the 2nd overall finisher, cruising into T1 in second place and never relinquishing that spot. Ottawa athletes looked strong on Canada Day Weekend! Results can be found in our Schedule & Results page.

Men’s Overall/40+ Winner – Gino Bonneville
Women’s Overall/40+ Winner – Lisa Balerna

Next up is a big weekend in Ontario, headlined by the Canadian Sprint Duathlon Championships in Belle River (International Distance also available), but also featuring the Multisport Canada Huronia Sprint Duathlon, the Subaru Peterborough Half and Sprint races, Joe’s Team Duathlon in Muskoka, and a unique off-road duathlon held during the Mine Over Matter XTERRA race at Kelso Conservation Area in Milton, Ontario. Course previews will be up Wednesday or Thursday, and a race preview for Nationals to follow on Friday or Saturday morning. If you haven’t registered for your races, do so ASAP by clicking the link earlier in this paragraph! As of this writing, there are only 24 athletes registered in the Sprint Duathlon Nationals in Belle River. Continued support from Triathlon Ontario and Canada relies on these registration numbers.

National Championship Madness is here, happy training!


June 21/22 Weekend Duathlon Recap

It was a relatively tame weekend on the Ontario Duathlon schedule with only one race, the Guelph Lake I weekend. However, it was a big turnout at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area, just outside of the Royal City, as 180 participants toed the line for both the Sprint and Olympic distances. Despite perfect conditions, the meat grinder of a run course took its toll on the field, as only three athletes posted sub-40:00 10km runs on Saturday, with only and further one sub-20:00 5k recorded during the Sunday sprint race.

Full results can be found on our Schedule & Results page.

In the Olympic distance race, Richard Eyram posted a strong 39:42 10k run to go with his race best 6:54 opening 2k run, but it was not quite enough to overcome Grahame Rivers’ race fastest (by a long shot) 57:59 40k bike on the county roads of Wellington County. That bike split was enough to give Rivers a 1:14 cushion at the line for his second duathlon win of the 2014 season, followed by Eyram and Windsor’s Daryl Flacks. The women’s race was won by Mississauga’s Tammy Purdy, her third duathlon win of the 2014 season (Milton and Welland Bike/Run), on the strength of a race fastest 35:07 10k run that gave her a comfortable 8:09 win on the line.

Men’s Overall Winner: Grahame Rivers
Men’s 40+ Category Winner: Richard Eyram
Women’s Overall/40+ Winner: Tammy Purdy

The sprint distance race featured a thrilling battle to the line, as Kingston’s Trevor King made the trip and used a race fastest 18:57 5k run to overcome leader off the bike Spencer Summerfield, passing him late in the race to secure a 6 second win. King and Summerfield led a pack of 5 that also included Daniel Finnegan, Dan Birch and Thomas Elliot into the first transition, before Summerfield took control of the race with a race-best 30:50 bike split. That gave him a 60 second lead on Elliot, and 90 seconds on King, which he immediately started working on. Summerfield would go on to hold on for 2nd in his return to racing after Worlds, with Scott Breen rounding out the podium with a strong all-around race. The women’s race was led wire-to-wire by winner Bethany Timmerman, as she took a 2:06 victory on the line thanks to a race fastest 34:50 20k ride.

Men’s Overall Winner: Trevor King
Men’s 40+ Category Winner: Scott Breen
Women’s Overall/40+ Winner: Bethany Timmerman

Congratulations to all of our competitors at Guelph Lake!


Though not results related, a sour note dampened an otherwise successful weekend. As of this writing, we are 13 days away from Belle River and 20 days away from the Toronto Triathlon Festival, yet there are only 16 confirmed entries for Belle River. We have not been able to confirm registration numbers for TTF, organizers have expressed concern over the lack of interest in the International Distance duathlon. For those who have already registered for either one (or both)…thank you! For those who have not but are planning on racing, we want to take this opportunity to remind you to register for these events.

Click here for the Toronto Triathlon Festival registration link.
Click here
for the Belle River registration link. 

The survival of events is often at least partially based on pre-registration numbers, and strong numbers are going to be required if we want these National championships to continue. The bid process and logistics planning for these events is monumentally expensive, and historically low numbers make potential hosts reluctant to put in a bid, which can be a contributing factor to these announcements coming as late as they do. Often, the easiest way to deal with low numbers is just to eliminate races…so this is in our hands Ontario!

Another low-key weekend on tap this weekend, with Smith Falls and Barry’s Bay being the only races on the schedule. The July 6 weekend starts the madness, with all race series’ in action as well as the Mine Over Matter off-road duathlon, and of course…the Sprint Duathlon National Championships in Belle River! Great racing at Guelph Lake this weekend!

UPDATE 6/24 9:09am: The Barry’s Bay Duathlon will not be contested this year. Sorry for any inconvenience!

Previewing the Guelph Lake I Weekend…

Race preview by Jesse Bauer
Course preview by Larry Bradley

The Guelph Lake I weekend is comprised of a 2k run/40k bike/10k run “Olympic distance” race on Saturday, and a 2k run/20k bike/5k run sprint distance event on Sunday, all held at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area just east of Guelph.

The men’s Olympic distance race on Saturday boasts a strong field in this last big tune-up race prior to National Championship madness in early July, with Milton champ/Welland bronze medallist/TT extraordinaire Grahame Rivers racing his 4th duathlon of the season on the weekend. He will be given stiff tests by the recent Tomatoman sprint duathlon champ Daryl Flacks and Richard Eyram (making his season debut), who will look to combat Rivers’ strong bike with equally strong runs on the longest test yet for Ontario duathletes this season. These three will be joined in the field by last weekend’s Welland bike/run winner/Binbrook 4th placer Parichit Bagga, Cambridge overall winner Jeremy Carter and bronze medallist Mark Koenig, and Welland 4th placer Kevin Gallagher. In the sprint race, Scott Breen will look to take the next step onto the top of the podium against a field of athletes fresh off racing at Worlds in Pontevedra, while Milton champ Tammy Purdy looks to make it two in a row in the women’s race after a win at the Welland bike/run last weekend.

The course and distances have been changed several times during the past few years, so be sure to keep an eye on for the latest updates before your race this weekend.The first 2km run is shared by both the sprint and Olympic distances. It is a short out and back warm up on the park’s access roads, which are slightly rolling and on a worn, tar and chip surface through the campgrounds of the conservation area. The hills are generally concentrated in the early part of each run, flattening out the farther away from transition you go.

Click here for the sprint duathlon course maps.
Click here for the Olympic duathlon course maps.

The bike takes place on the quiet, rolling country roads of Wellington County. Both races share the same course for the first half of the race. This includes travelling a few hundred metres on the park driveway, which is littered with speed bumps and traffic around the Gate House. Once you pass this area, you have a quick right turn onto Watson Road where the course starts to lengthen out, creating long stretches between turns. The bike course statistically is pretty fast but does throw in a few sharp challenging climbs mostly found in the opening/closing 10k of the 40k route (which is the whole course for sprint distance racers). As for road surfaces, you may find the first 5k outside the park a little bumpy and rough, getting progressively better as you roll out towards the smooth asphalt on Wellington Road.

Both distances follow the same U-shaped course until Sideroad 20, where sprint distance racers will head straight on past to the turnaround at Mill Rd. Olympic distance racers will make a left onto Sideroad 20, before another quick left onto Wellington Rd, where the bulk of the remaining 20km of the bike course will be spent. This part is lined with farms and open fields, which can be susceptible to nasty crosswinds. If you can get a reading on the wind during the pre-race, it will help you make the trip a lot quicker and more efficient. On your way back, make sure you keep the inclines from the beginning of the bike in mind, as you will be tackling them from the other side in the last 10k.

The transition area is on grass, but has a few tricky ditches to negotiate as you head in and out on the bike. The second runs of each race once again share the same course, and are on the same path as the first run but continuing deeper into the park. Sprint distance racers will hit a turnaround at the 2.5km mark, while Olympic distance racers head out to a double turnaround before heading back to the finish. As you get further from transition, you will notice two things: the roads begin to flatten out as you go, but the footing also becomes trickier in some areas and care must be taken to pick a good line.

Olympic distance racers, make sure you stay to the left side of the road while running. As you pass by the sprint distance turnaround, you will make a left hand turn to the first turnaround and continue past the path you came in on to the second turnaround, before heading back the way you came. You will follow the same access roads through the campground you came in on towards transitions, branching off to the finish when you get there. The final 100-200 metres are a fast, downhill charge to the tape.

With the confirmed entries that we have been able to unearth, it looks to be a fun and exciting battle in the Royal City this weekend. We will get results to you as soon as we get them, whether that is here or via Twitter (@du_enthusiasts).

June 14 & 15 Weekend Recap

June 14 and 15 was an incredibly busy weekend of duathlon in Ontario, and the results did not disappoint. A new duathlon in Cambridge produced a footrace to the line for the podium places, the Welland Du delivered as promised with a race where the top 3 reversed itself twice during the race, and Leamington gave us a dominant show of force from the top duathlete. The women’s side was similarly impressive. All of the results can be found and browsed on our Schedule & Results page, or by clicking the race name.

Subaru Cambridge Du 
Men’s Overall Winner – Jeremy Carter
Men’s 40+ Winner – Scott Breen
Women’s Overall Winner – Laura Beasley
Women’s 40+ Winner – Maria Duric

The new race in Cambridge produced one of the closest races of the season in Ontario this year. 1st through 4th were separated by less than 1 minute on the men’s side, with 2nd and 3rd essentially a dead heat. Jeremy Carter produced a race fastest 24:04 6k run that sealed a 12 second winning margin over Scott Breen, who outleaned Mark Koenig for 2nd place. On the women’s side, Laura Beasley cruised in with a comfortable 5:18 gap over the next female, while Maria Duric took women’s 40+ honours as the 3rd overall female.

MSC Welland Du
Men’s/Overall Winner – Jesse Bauer
Men’s 40+ Winner – Larry Bradley
Women’s Overall/40+ Winner – Jade Carrington

Welland Podium
Overall MSC Rose City/Welland Duathlon podium

Saturday’s Rose City Duathlon delivered on all of the hype in a race that resulted in several lead changes and even featured a relay team figuring in to the mix. Jesse Bauer and duathlon rookie Mike Park led the way into T1, but Grahame Rivers stormed to the front on the bike with a race-fastest 42:04 30k bike. Jesse’s legs were not to be denied on this day, as his 19:31 5.3k second run was enough to seal the win, with Larry Bradley catching Rivers inside the last mile to grab 2nd. The women’s race played out similarly, with Marie Reimer and Jade Carrington pacing the way into T1 before eventual 2nd placer Katya Masun stormed to the front on the bike. Carrington took the lead right back after T2 and held on for the win.

Click here for overall winner Jesse Bauer’s race report
Click here for an introspective account from Grahame Rivers

MSC Welland Half Iron Bike/Run
Men’s Overall Winner- Parichit Bagga
Men’s 40+ Winner – Geoffrey Mitchell
Women’s Overall/40+ Winner- Tammy Purdy

As if a standard duathlon isn’t painful enough, 20 brave souls set off from the Welland canal on Sunday for the half iron Bike/Run (90k bike/21.1k run). Parichit Bagga was able to come away with the win, defending his title from 2013 by following up a strong 2:32 ride with a 1:32 half marathon run. Parichit started the run in 3rd, but unleashed a race 2nd-best run to take a comfortable 8:12 victory. Tammy Purdy dominated the women’s race by over 58 minutes, on the strength of a race-fastest overall 1:30:26 half marathon run for her first Multisport Canada win of the season.

Click here to see the post-race interview with Parichit Bagga.

Leamington Tomatoman Duathlon
Men’s Overall/40+ Winner – Daryl-Dianne Flacks
Women’s Overall Winner – Kelly Grossi
Women’s 40+ Winner – Rachelle Leonard

Essex County’s duathlon extraordinaire Daryl Flacks took a dominating win at the flat and fast Tomatoman Duathlon in Leamington on the strength of a race fastest 32:15 20k bike. Flacks came into transition with a 16 second deficit to Bert Mucci, but took control on the bike before holding on with a 19:24 final 5k for the win. Kelly Grossi nearly cracked the overall podium with her 4th place finish, taking the women’s race with a 6:29 gap back to Stephanie Moracci, and 6:53 to women’s 40+ winner Rachelle Leonard.

Ottawa River Sprint Duathlon
Men’s Overall Winner – Derek Smith
Men’s 40+ Winner – Gilles Malboeuf
Women’s Overall Winner – Stephanie St John
Women’s 40+ Winner – Tanja Olmstead

Ottawa River Long Course Duathlon
Men’s Overall/40+ Winner – Eric Arsenault
Women’s Overall Winner – Christina Vietinghoff
Women’s 40+ Winner – Carol O’Malley

16 year old Derek Smith won the Ottawa River Sprint Duathlon by a comfortable 3:20 margin thanks to a race second best 35:23 bike split (23.7km). Smith complemented that with a 10:49 opening 3k run and a 19:58 final 5k run to take the win. Stephanie St. John continued a strong season with a 5th place overall finish, giving her a healthy 1:33 gap back to the next woman in the race. In the long course duathlon, Eric Arsenault took a close 3-way battle with Serge Vienneau and Sandy Dale in 2:35:58 for the 5k/44k/10k course, while Christina Vietinghoff became the second woman of the weekend to nearly crack the overall podium, finishing with a 4th place finish en route to winning the women’s race by 1:39 over 40+ winner Carol O’Malley.

Full results for all races on this fantastic weekend of duathlon in Ontario can be found on our Schedule & Results page. The next two weeks are relatively tame for Ontario duathletes, with Subaru’s Guelph Lake Sprint and Olympic distance races dominating the schedule next weekend, and some great Eastern Ontario action in Smith Falls and Barry’s Bay the next weekend. These two weekends set up the intense action of July, in which both major race series’ will host 3 races, and national champions will be crowned in the sprint distance (July 6 in Belle River), the international distance (July 13 in Toronto), and over both distances in the US (July 19 in St. Paul, MN). As always, all the action will be here at Duathlon Central, so stay tuned!

As always, send us your race reports and pictures, and we will use as many as we can! Congratulations to all of our duathlon competitors this weekend!

Weekend Race Previews – Rose City, Cambridge, Ottawa River, Leamington

We have a big weekend on tap in Ontario duathlon this weekend! All three major race series’ are in action, as well as a great Sun Parlour sprint du in Leamington. The weather looks great for racing, so we look forward to seeing all of the results! Though the following previews are as short as we could make them while still providing all the information, this does get quite long. However, you can use these quick links to go directly to your race:

MSC Rose City Duathlon (Welland)
Subaru Cambridge Duathlon
Ottawa River Duathlon (Somersault Series)
Leamington Tomatoman Duathlon

–Preview by Jesse Bauer

The Multisport Canada Welland Duathlon is flat and blazing fast, and is typically a favourite on the circuit among Ontario duathletes. This year’s edition will be a barn-burner featuring the overall male winners from both MSC races and the Milton Duathlon this season, as well as the women’s Woodstock winner, Jade Carrington.

As stated, the course is flat and FAST. The first run starts on the arena side of the canal before looping across to the recreation paths on the other side. The 5km run is a double out and back with plenty of opportunity to see your competition, and is almost completely visible to spectators on the other side of the canal. The second run is similar to the first, though is ~250m longer, as the start line is further along the canal so as not to interfere with the swim exit. Be careful as you come back in after the first run, as you will taking a left before the finish arch and be running in with the swimmers exiting the canal.

The bike heads out on quiet residential roads before a right hand turn across the canal onto Forks Rd. A gentle left takes competitors out onto Feeder Rd to the turnaround. There are few turns and no hills to speak of, though the residential streets at the beginning are mildly technical (but nothing absurd). The course profile generally leads to incredibly fast bike splits, but make sure you save legs for the run!

You can read more about the course here. Competitors in the 90k bike/21k run on Sunday can learn about their course here. Defending champion Parichit Bagga looks to be back to defend his title there!

–Thanks to Larry Bradley for the preview

This Sunday, the Subaru Triathlon Series welcomes a brand new event: the Cambridge Sprint Duathlon, a 2k/30k/6k adventure through Shade’s Mills Conservation Area on the east end of the city. The opening 2k run takes you on a horseshoe shaped out and back course on a mix of grass/gravel vehicle paths and tar & chip park roads. The biggest concern, as with the rest of the course, is to watch your footing on the surface changes.

Onto the bike, you will wind your way through the Conservation Area for a few hundred metres before hooking up with Avenue Road. Our helpful sources (Chris Day & Cambridge Multisport Club) gave us a little preview and mentioned that these first few kilometres on Avenue Rd are in good shape with only a few potholes to negotiate. It is also a bit tight along this stretch so be careful and mind your fellow riders as they adjust to miss one of these blemishes. A left turn to the north on Townline followed by a right turn takes you to the long straight away on Concession Road 1. For most athletes, this will be a fast course due to the relatively flat roads (only a few minor climbs in the first part of the ride), low number of turns and wide, tapered intersections.

The first 600 metres of the second run will be familiar, but from there you will need to pay attention to the markers and volunteers. The course makes a lot of twists and turns just past the 1km mark as you cross the river and run through the east end of the park. This 3.5k segment takes place in some shaded, forested areas and on gravel/mulch trails so watch your step, and make sure you study that course map! You will then head back across the bridge for home. Racers will head back to transition along the tar and chip road north of the water station, past the first run turnaround to the finish.

Click here for the course maps to familiarize yourself with this new course!

Cambridge Bike Course
Cambridge Duathlon Bike Course
Cambridge 2
More Cambridge Duathlon Bike Course

–Thanks to Matt Despatie for the preview

The run is a 2.5km out and back (1.25km out and 1.25km back, a relatively new change, as it used to be a 5km out and back) on a recreation/ bike path. Really is flat throughout, not much too it. It will likely be quite crowded, as it used to get like that on the old, longer course where there is more opportunity to spread out. The first and last runs are both on the same course, with the only difference being the number of laps completed. Sprint duathletes will start with one extended lap (3km) and finish with two (5km), while standard distance duathletes start with two laps (5km) and finish with four (10km)

The bike course starts off tricky, as the transition zone is not near the actual bike course. To get to the bike course, you have to take another recreation/ bike path out to the course. This section is not timed, as you are required to follow the rules of the pathway (no aerobars, 20km/h max speed). This used to count towards your final time, but that resulted in people disregarding safety and racing this section. Once you get to where the actual bike course is, you go over a short grass section and onto the road. Most people actually dismount here, as you have to go over a curb. The course itself is on the same road as last year’s World Duathlon Championships, only farther down the street. It’s mainly a straight and flat looped course with a few false flats, and no real hills to speak of. Standard distance racers do 4 loops, versus 2 loops in the sprint. Based on past history and the current condition of other roads in Ottawa, competitors should probably be on the lookout for potholes and rough patches.

Click here for the Ottawa River bike course map.
Click here for the Ottawa River run course map.

–Thanks to Brad Reiter for the preview

The Tomatoman Sprint Duathlon starts with a straight-forward out-and-back 2.5km run that begins along a seaside recreation path, breaks briefly onto Robson Rd before heading to the turnaround on another recreation path. The second run is simply two laps of a similar course. The bike course is mostly flat, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! From transition, the route heads north on Erie street before a quick right turn to the east into tomato country. Leamington is known for having strong gusty winds that blow off Lake Erie’s north shore. As you head south on Mersea Rd 12 and then East again on Mersea Rd C, you soon realize that there is no shelter on the course, so there is nowhere to hide if the crosswinds start blowing. The 10k u-turn is at the end of road C. Based on the wind, it is here where you realize whether you have gauged your effort correctly or not. The journey home can be a long one if you have overcooked a tailwind!

Because this course has very few turns and no hills, the throttle is always open and there is no space for recovery. Wheel choice will be key as those with good bike handling skills in crosswinds will be able to take advantage of deeper aero wheels, while the less confident may be blown around a bit. The bike leg ends with a left hand turn down Erie St again into a stadium like finish. You might be tempted to coast down the slope but there is time to be gained in the last 500m heading into transition before the final run on those who choose to take it easy.

Race maps for the Tomatoman bike/run courses can be found here.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this preview! We are very excited to check out the results and hear about your experiences wherever you are in action this weekend! Make sure you send us all of your race reports, and if you are tweeting, tag us (@du_enthusiasts) and use the hashtag #OntarioDu! When we aren’t racing the Welland race, Larry and I will be patrolling Twitter and Facebook for results!

June 7/8 Weekend Recap

This past weekend was one of the more quiet ones on the calendar, a slight lull between the excitement that was World’s weekend and the Subaru Series opener, and next weekend’s action that includes races in all three major Ontario series’ (Somersault included) as well as a great independent event in Leamington. All of the results can be found on our Schedule & Results page. Let’s get to it!

Binbrook Podium
MSC Binbrook Overall Podium


The Multisport Canada/Recharge With Milk series continued with its second stop of the season, at the beautiful Binbrook Conservation Area just south of Hamilton. A beautiful day greeted all competitors, and led to excellent bike splits all around on the flat-to-rolling course. DC’s own Larry Bradley was able to knock the rust off in opening his season with a comfortable win, while the women’s race was won by Garima Takyar in a similarly comfortable fashion. In winning, Larry also took home the honours in the Men’s 40+ category, with Jillian McKay taking that title on the Women’s side. Excellent races by Mississauga’s Garvin Moses and Toronto’s Darren Cooney rounded out the overall podium on a great day of racing.

Click here to see the interviews with the race winners!

The only other action in Ontario this weekend took place just northeast of Peterborough on the Stoney Lake, with a 3k run/20k bike/5k run pseudo-sprint distance. Only 13 competitors took part, but the race was won in a strong time of 1:07 by Lee Shooter. The women’s race was taken by Ashley Whyte. We hope to see these two battling it out a little further south in the near future!

Congratulations to all competitors! Next week is a big weekend in Ontario, as we have 7 events on the schedule. The Multisport Canada series continues with the Welland Duathlon and long distance Bike/Run, while the Subaru Series hosts its second event, a new race in Cambridge. The Somersault Series jumps right back into action with the Ottawa River Duathlon (with standard and sprint distances), and Leamington plays host the Tomatoman Sprint Duathlon and Do-A-Du. With all the action, we hope there is something for everyone next week! Keep an eye out for a weekend preview this upcoming Wednesday or Thursday. We also have an exciting new feature that we are hoping to launch this Friday! Thanks for reading!

MSC Binbrook Race/Course Preview

Preview by Larry Bradley (defending Binbrook Duathlon winner)

Sunny skies and warm temperatures are promised to greet us on the southeast Hamilton Mountain for the next event on the Multisport Canada – Recharge with Milk Triathlon Series, Saturday’s Binbrook Duathlon (and Triathlon).

The Sprint Duathlon consists of a 5k run / 30k bike / 5k run format that will challenge all duathletes. The first run begins on the grassy park lands near the Conservation Area’s beach located just outside the transition area. From the gun, you make your way along a mix of gravel and grass that leads you over to the Binbrook Dam for a quick 300 metres on top of the banks of Lake Niapenco. Around the middle of the dam (and 1k marker), you will turn right and follow an utility trail that leads out to the quiet, country roads where you will run a “L” shape on some slightly rolling tar and chip to the turnaround sign. The road seems to have been recently resurfaced. After a short climb to the turnaround and the halfway point of the run, you head back on the exact same route back into the park where you will link up with the triathletes exiting the water.

Now that you have made your quick transition, you will need to watch the first 500m of the ride as you negotiate the park driveway. You are not allowed to pass during this stretch so make sure you get to the mount line in good shape to avoid congestion, and stay on your brakes until you leave the park. When you leave the park you will make a right hand turn onto Harrison Road to start the real racing. There will be a lot of triathletes on the course at this point so pick your spots and set up ahead of time for the many turns you will encounter. The 30k bike course is relatively flat with most of the slopes being long and gradual in nature, so there’s a lot of opportunity to post a fast bike split if you can negotiate the turns and technical components of the course. The second half following the turnaround is where the race was won last year, as it is a SLIGHT downhill to help you lay down the watts and track your competition as you blast through wide open farmland. Once again, just be cautious as you re-enter the park as there are sometimes spectators, vehicles and traffic cones that you may need to react to before reaching the dismount line.

JB Course Note: After pre-riding the first two thirds, the course is not in the best of shape. Harrison Rd is a rough ride on the best of days, so hang on tight to the bars. After a right hander onto Hall Rd, you enter farmland on either side that leaves the road very susceptible to crosswinds. The surface is relatively smooth, but is regularly punctuated by small gouges and potholes. Most of the RH turns are quite loose and gravel-ly, as is the LH turn off of Hall Rd onto Trinity Church. Watch your speed on the right-handers, and take that left onto Trinity Church wide to avoid the loose patch. After a right off of Trinity Church, Haldibrook Rd is of similar openness and surface to Hall Rd. The rest of the course seems to be in good shape from the 8km mark to the turnaround. Some images follow this preview.

The final 5k run is technical and leg-sapping. At this time in the race, the course will be much more crowded through the first 1.5k of grass and crushed gravel so keep your head up as the triathlon or duathlon leaders return to the finish line. As you are on your way through the final leg of your race, just remember to make the turn at the same spot as your first run. If you zone out in a group of triathletes running 7.5km, you may find yourself passing this marker as they have a longer last run in their event. Other than that, you are ready to celebrate another great day of duathlon in Ontario!

Below are a few images of what was noted above:

Park Entrance
Park Entrance – Narrow and technical
Harrison Rd
Harrison Rd – Slight uphill grade
Hall Rd
Hall Rd – Road surface gouge
Hall Rd
Another surface gouge/pothole to watch out for!