Catching Up With 2017

So, some stuff happened in 2017…let’s recap! All results can be found on our 2017 Results tab above.

ITU WORLD DUATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS
The biggest news that swept across many duathletes’ minds in 2017 was the looming spectre of the 2017 ITU World Duathlon Champinoships, hosted right here at home in spectacular Penticton, British Columbia. Sprint distance athletes took on a difficult and technical bike course, consisting of two trips up the steep slope of Vancouver Avenue, while standard distance athletes contested a picturesque but wind-battered highway course along the shores of Lake Okanagan. Canadian athletes took home 27 medals in the duathlon competition, including 12 golds! Desirae Ridenour (2nd Overall, Junior Women), Melissa Paauwe (1st F30-34 in 2:04:47, 2nd Overall), Matt Straatman (1st M20-24 in 1:52:54, 3rd Overall) and Jeremy Hopwood (1st M35-39 in 1:53:48, 4th Overall) led the charge of for Canada (as follows):

Laurence St-Cyr (3rd F20-24 Sprint)

Jennifer Souter (3rd F30-34 Sprint)

Dennis Colburn (3rd M50-54 Sprint & 2nd M50-54)

Diane Eller (2nd F70-74 Sprint)

Maureen Teixeira (1st F75-79 Sprint)

Brian Parkinson (1st M75-79 Sprint)

Bob Wild (1st M85-89 Sprint & 1st M85-89)

Samuel Seshadri (3rd M18-19)

Jasmin Aggarwal (1st F20-24)

Morgan Cabot (3rd F25-29)

Lynda Gingras (3rd F35-39)

Andrew McLeod (3rd M40-44)

Kim McMullen (2nd F45-49)

Martin Vaillancourt (3rd M45-49)

Paul Huyer (1st M55-59)

Sean O’Mahony (2nd M55-59)

David Field (1st M60-64)

Allan Mccallister (1st M65-69)

Murray Macpherson (2nd M65-69)

Sharryn Oleskiw (1st F70-74)

Bruce Butcher (3rd M80-84)

CANADIAN DUATHLON CHAMPIONSHIP DRAMA IN MAGOG

This year’s Canadian Championships for the standard distance were hosted in Magog, QC on July 15. With no sprint distance championships on the schedule this year, this one took on special significance as it was the only chance to secure a Canadian championship. The men’s race came down to the wire, as Reinier Paauwe‘s storming bike on the difficult course (500m+ of climbing over 40k) came up 7.5 seconds short of overhauling Mathieu Paquet‘s strong running, as Paquet secured that elusive title.

That 7.5 seconds was the only thing stopping a power couple championship sweep, as Melissa Paauwe‘s stunning course record allowed her to run away with the women’s race. It would be a sign of things to come as Worlds approached (see above). Josiane Daigneault once again made her way into an article, crossing the line as the fastest 40+.

WIDE OPEN COUPE DU QUEBEC IMPRESSES ONCE AGAIN

We shouldn’t speak to soon, with one leg of the series still to come, but we’ve enjoyed following the Quebec Cup so far this year. Mathieu Paquet has been enjoying a stellar season, wrapping up maximum points at 3 other series races on top of his win in Magog. Adding a 2nd place at the season opener at Valcartier, and a 4th place at the uber-competitive Drummondville race has him sitting comfortably on top of the rankings. However, Serge LaForge is ready to pounce during the 1200 point season finale in Boucherville.

The women’s classification has been equally fun, with consistent performance from the top 2 currently outpacing defending champion Sandrine Veillette‘s top performances in Valcartier, Nicolet and Drummondville. Alana Bonner leads the classification narrowly over Sonia Larche, with the outcome likely to be decided by the extra points on offer in Boucherville.

TRIATHLON ONTARIO DU THE DOUBLE CHALLENGE

Triathlon Ontario’s Du the Double Challenge celebrated another year, this year held separately from the Provincial Championships (which will be held at the Overdrive Race in October). We love this move because it created not one but TWO weekends aimed at duathletes. We also love the selection of Bracebridge as the host, because although it created a conflict with Worlds, the alternative would have created a conflict with Nationals…an open race that does not require qualification. It also helped avoid conflicting qualifying events, which is a situation where nobody wins.

The proximity to Worlds did mean that attendance suffered, but the top end brought their A game anyways. Sean Delanghe took the double outright despite strong challenges from young gun Sam Bell, newcomer to duathlon Peter Schindler, and former Double winner Brian Moore, while Gillian Willard kept it in the H&P family by claiming the women’s prize. Keep it up, Triathlon Ontario! We hope to see Sean and Gillian out at Overdrive in October, to try to back up their Doubles with Provincial Championships.

PROVINCIAL CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP

The four provinces to host provincial championships this year all do so in unique and creative ways to drive participation:

  • British Columbia held their championship at the Bares Bones Duathlon this May. BC holds their championship over a single distance, an intermediate 5k-32k-5k distance that splits the sprint and standard. It’s also held in May (“shoulder” season), which leads to some pretty stellar fields of two- and three-sport stars. This year, local stud Dallas Cain took the race overall, holding off women’s champ Jen Annett.
  • Likewise, Alberta hosted their championship at a duathlon-only event, held over 2 distances at the Comfortec Red Deer Duathlon. Unlike the other three, this race is held in July and competes directly with mid-summer triathlons. Rio silver medalist Stefan Daniel made a surprise appearance to take the standard distance title, joining Kristen Spady on top of the podium. Ted Girouard and Alexandra McGowan took the honours in the sprint distance race.
  • Ontario took another step in really creating a great space for duathletes, by splitting their Du the Double Challenge (recap above) from the provincial championships. Triathlon Ontario has made a very real effort to create a great space for duathletes, and the move of the provincials to shoulder season is another great idea to draw more athletes. The choice of race (held on the Canadian Tire MoSports Track) is another great step!
  • Quebec also held separate provincial championships, and aligned them with their already separate Quebec Cup schedule. Triathlon Quebec has created a great atmosphere for triathletes to compete in both series and compete alongside duathletes. This year, provincials were held in conjunction with Nationals (standard distance, recap above) and the draft legal Worlds qualifier (also held in shoulder season, see below).

ESPRIT DUATHLON (MONTREAL)

The final qualifying event for the standard distance was also this past weekend at everyone’s favourite race, the Esprit Duathlon. Conditions looked great, and Dany Malley was able to turn that into Canada’s 10th sub-2:00 performance (after 6 in Penticton and 3 at the Red Deer Duathlon), recording a 1:58:57 clocking. Lynda Gingras was not to be outdone, slashing her way to a 2:06:23 and following up her fantastic Worlds performance with a qualifier for Fyn. Once again, the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve delivers on the hype!

SO WHAT’S NEXT?

With Esprit and the Ontario seasons (MSC and Subaru) wrapped up, the focus shifts to shoulder season and some draft legal action. An intriguing small-town duathlon takes place this weekend in Bragg Creek, AB, an event that features two separate trail runs (7k and 3k) sandwiched around a 20k road bike. The Blitz Duathlon sells out every year, and offers a unique challenge to athletes coming off a tough triathlon season.

After that, we flip over to October – draft legal qualifier month. Previews are to come for both races, but the Boucherville Duathlon starts the month off with a flat and fast course just outside of Montreal before the month wraps up with the Overdrive Duathlon. Boucherville is also the last leg of the Quebec Cup and the provincial championships, so should draw a strong field. Overdrive adds a duathlon day to its unique “multisport” day, with both a standard distance and sprint distance qualifier race on a completely closed course. Hosting the race on a motorsports track adds some ups and downs to the usual flat draft legal offerings, which creates an interesting wrinkle to the race dynamic.

Last season offered us an interesting look at what draft legal has to offer. With many more being exposed to draft legal racing through spectating and general registration at Worlds, we’re looking for another step forward for this exciting format. Keep an eye on this page for more about these two exciting offerings!

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