Category Archives: Previews

Previews of big races with Ontario content

“You’re Saying We Have To Run Up That?!” – Challenge Penticton/Canadian Duathlon Championships Course Preview

Challenge Penticton Hill

I think my face in this picture says it all. A course that looks innocuous on paper and when looked at with each leg in isolation looks a WHOLE lot different when you take into account that this sport is run THEN bike THEN run! Is the bike course relatively flat? Yes. Is that fact going to matter if there is a north wind and after running up and down that beast 4 times? Probably not.

RUN COURSE
Let’s start with this, because it seems to be what is on the forefront of everyone’s mind. The course is a super spectator friendly 2.5km loop that weaves in and out of some quaint downtown Penticton streets. Oh yes, then it goes up and down a big hill. The folks enjoying a coffee on the patio of The Bench are surely going to enjoy a bunch of duathletes slogging their way up and down that hill. Or be super perplexed…or both. Who knows? Check out the map below:

Challenge Penticton Run Course

As you can see not only does the course have a pretty significant hill at the east end, but is also quite technical with six 90 degree (or more) turns packed into the 2.5km loop. The hill itself is a tricky one as well, starting off quite steep (~7-8%) then levelling off in the middle (~2-3%) before kicking up again the last 150m (~9-10%). Running down it after the 180 degree turn is also no picnic, as the steep grades will do a number on your legs. Following 4 laps of that, you bear right at the lap turn and head into transition in Rotary Park.

BIKE COURSE
In isolation, the bike course looks nice and flat. However, some potential pitfalls lie with the wind, as well as with the unknown of what an athlete’s legs will feel like after 4 trips around that run course. It is a relatively simple two-lap bike course, out and back along Highway 97 to the north towards Summerland. Competitors will head west out of transition along Lakeshore Road, where the pavement is generally good with a few trouble patches and brick crosswalks, and following the road as it bends south. When the road bends south before the turn onto the highway the pavement does get pretty chippy, but once out on the highway it’s about what you can expect from a highway. From there it’s straight shot to the turnaround, as shown in the map below:

Challenge Penticton Bike Course

The wind is quite often from the north, coming off Lake Okanagan at a pretty steady rate. A north wind would put the out stretches of the bike from 0-10km and 20-30km into the wind, but with a tailwind coming on the slightly net downhill back portions of the bike. Any wind from the NW is going to be partially blocked bythe cliff face that runs along the length of the the course. We’re told the winds usually wait until later in the day to kick up, and indeed the forecast calls for just 4-5kph winds from 7-9am. The other unknown, the reaction to the run course of the knowledge of two more trips around that loop, are completely up to the athlete :).

SUMMARY
The course for the year’s Canadian Duathlon Championships presents some unique challenges. Compared to the last two editions in 2014 (Toronto) and 2015 (Montreal), the course is likely to be more challenging due to the Vancouver Ave hill on the run course. The bike course looks comparable, but as we’ve mentioned it’s pretty foolish to simply look at each aspect of the course in isolation and form a race plan. This year’s course will challenge athletes to have a plan and execute it effectively to have their best day. The course has the chance to blow athletes to smithereens if they don’t give this daunting distance the respect it truly deserves! Cheers athletes…enjoy your day! For Wednesday is the day when duathletes take centre stage of the entire event, having the whole course and all of the spotlight square on us!

Until next time…keep Du’ing it!

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We’re Back…And With a New Preview! Prognosticating Duathlon Verdun

WELCOME BACK! We tried to do this duathlon news thing through other means over the past year, but Duathlon Central was just too much fun and needed to be expanded to Canada. The site will be slightly scaled down until next year, though we have put up some select (mostly championship) results on the 2016 Results tab. If you want to see more you can check out our Twitter feed that is kept generally updated with results as they come in, as well as checking out Canadian Duathlon Enthusiasts on Facebook. Starting now contributions are always welcome and we will be more active in seeking them out/reblogging them on this site (with permission of course), and come 2017 the site will be back on full bore. We apologize profusely for the hiatus!

We are going to kick off this rebirth of this page with something we have never done before: previewing a non-Ontario race. The Quebec sprint distance provincials are this weekend in Verdun, and it looks like it will be a great race! The slow bike course consists of multiple laps and turns, and this race usually comes down to who runs the best. Let’s do it! Quick links for Women’s and Men’s here.

Photo credit Triathlon Drummondville
Photo credit Triathlon Drummondville

THE WOMEN
The women’s races on the 2016 Coupe du Quebec circuit have been dominated by one name, back to duathlon in 2016: Peggy Labonte. She’s won pretty much everything and (just to show how good she is) was the only woman who was able to finish the bike course before a thunderstorm pulled everyone off the course at the Gatineau stop of the series. But what happens when Peggy isn’t in the race, which is the case as of this writing? This isn’t final by any means, and if she shows she wins. End of story. But if she doesn’t…cue the intrigue.

The Coupe du Quebec classification currently stands as follows (bold means they are racing Verdun):

  1. Peggy Labonte – 3000 points
  2. Josiane Daigneault – 2820 points
  3. Alana Bonner – 2662 points
  4. Sonia Ayotte – 2637 points
  5. Edith Bessette – 2600 points

Additionally, there are two athletes who have cracked the podium in CQ races so far in 2016, who by virtue of racing less than 3 races are just outside of the top few: Sandrine Veillette and Sonia Santerre.

THE FAVOURITE
Sandrine Veillette (2nd at Drummondville & Victoriaville)

Strong over the sprint distances, Sandrine Veillette is probably the best positioned to take a provincial women’s title this weekend. She has finished 2nd (to Peggy) in both Drummondville and Victoriaville, and she finished 2nd at Nationals last year as well over the sprint distance. Peggy is in a league of her own, but this young athlete is really starting to make a name for herself. The legend will only grow when she struts her stuff in Edmonton at draft legal Nationals. Yes, Josiane Daigneault secured the provincial title over the standard distance two weeks ago in Magog…but this is the sprint distance, a different animal.

Photo credit Grand Defi de Victoriaville
Photo credit Grand Defi de Victoriaville

THE CONTENDERS
Josiane Daigneault (3rd DRUM & VICT, 1st Magog)
Sabrina St-Gelais (1st Verdun/Valleyfield 2015, 4th Esprit 2015)

As I was browsing the registration list, I noticed a name that looked vaguely familiar that wasn’t listed anywhere on the CQ classification. It turns out Sabrina St-Gelais run 17:47 (5k road), 38:05 (10k road) and won Verdun, Valleyfield and placed 4th at Nationals last year. Josiane Daigneault is on better form this year and should place 2nd (having actually posted duathlon results and winning standard distance provincials), the presence of Sabrina St-Gelais in an always unpredictable sprint race is the kind of intriguing wild card that keeps me writing these.

POTENTIAL UPSETS
Sonia Santerre (4th DRUM, 2nd Gatineau)
Sonia Ayotte (8th DRUM, 7th VICT, 2nd Magog)
Karyne Bouchard (9th DRUM, 7th Magog)
Bernadette Loontjens (7th DRUM)
Alana Bonner(11th DRUM, 3rd Gatineau, 3rd Magog)

All of these ladies have recorded top 10’s at CQ races this year and are well-placed in the overall classification for the year. On their day, all 5 are good bets for the top 5 and could even challenge for a podium spot…like, I said, sprint duathlons are unpredictable! Alana Bonner has secured some solid results in Gatineau and Magog, but at the better attended events in Drummondville and Victoriaville she was a little too far off the pace. Sonia Santerre and Sonia Ayotte are likely the best bets to round out the top 5.

1. Veillette 2. Daigneault 3. St-Gelais 4. Santerre 5. Ayotte

THE MEN
While the women’s race has the intrigue of the perennial favourite not racing (probably), the men’s race features a different kind of intrigue. Like the women, the men’s CQ circuit has been dominated by one name so far in 2016: Alexandre Lavigne. Unlike with the women, Lavigne WILL be racing in Verdun this weekend. So where is the intrigue, you ask? In another name on the start list, one that has long been a fixture in Canadian duathlon lore as he flits in an out of race shape and start lists: Francois Marceau.

As of this writing, the Coupe du Quebec standings are as follows (10 deep, bold means they are racing Verdun):

  1. Alexandre Lavigne – 3000 points
  2. Alexandre Badeau – 2820 points
  3. Mathieu Paquet – 2740 points
  4. Jean-Sebastien Maheu – 2690 points
  5. Donald LeBeau – 2570 points
  6. Alexandre Nadeau – 2514 points
  7. Michel Miron – 2513 Points
  8. Sebastien LeBlanc – 2512 points
  9. Francois Belanger – 2510 points
  10. Michel Fillion – 2509 points

Additionally, National championship runner-up Robin Tetreault and 2015 CQ duathlon champion Pierre Heynemand are just off the list by virtue of racing only 2 events, and last year’s CQ runner-up Serge LaForge will also be present.

THE FAVOURITES
Alexandre Lavigne (1st VICT, DRUM & Magog)
Francois Marceau (2015 Canadian Sprint Duathlon Champion)

This is going to be fun…I got goosebumps just reading the start list! Lavigne has been unstoppable this year, as he should be. The guy has run 15:24/31:20 and he can ride a bike pretty well too. His performance on his way to stomping the field at Magog is the stuff of legends. But Marceau is the defending Canadian champ over the sprint distance coming off an injury, finished 9TH in Ottawa at Worlds (overall, not in his AG), and 10th overall at 2012 Worlds in Nancy. I’ve learned the hard way not to bet against legends until someone proves me wrong in a head-to-head.

Photo credit Grand Defi de Victoriaville
Photo credit Grand Defi de Victoriaville

THE CHALLENGERS
Robin Tetreault (2nd DRUM & VICT)
Alexandre Badeau (3rd DRUM & VICT, 1st Gatineau)
Mathieu Paquet (5th VICT, 4th Gatineau, 2nd Magog)
Pierre Heynemand (7th VICT, 6th DRUM)
Matt Despatie (3rd Gatineau)

Some interesting names who will seemingly be fighting it out for 3rd. I just can’t see anyone here running with Lavigne and an on-form Marceau, despite the heavy hitters listed here. Tetreault has been the closest to Lavigne thanks to his killer bike splits, and was 2nd to Marceau at Esprit last year. Heynemand won the CQ overall last year but looks a little off the pace this year. Badeau and Paquet are really good but likely a quarter step behind some of the others, and Despatie runs well but has not raced much in 2016.

POTENTIAL UPSETS
Serge LaForge (2015 CQ runner-up, 4th at Esprit 2015)
Donald LeBeau (10th VICT, 11th DRUM, 8th Gatineau, 5th Magog)

Here we have two athletes who are probably better when the distance gets longer. LaForge showed this last year with stellar performances in standard distance races, and LeBeau has shown that this year with his best result being the standard distance Magog race. Still, with a bike course as slow as Verdun’s all it takes is solid running to sneak into the top 5.

Verdun’s bike course is very slow, so the winner is going to be the one who can get a gap on the runs. Lavigne and Marceau are just the types. I see this going with Lavigne getting a lead with a blazing first run, with Marceau keeping just close enough to close the gap on the bike. From there, he uses that savvy you only get from lots of racing to pull out the win. Lavigne could very well run away with it and use the multi-lap bike course to stay away, but I don’t see Marceau letting that happen. One thing’s for sure, the top 2 will likely be clearly away from the rest, where I see Tetreault riding his way back into the picture after a slower run and taking 3rd ahead of Badeau and Paquet.

1. Marceau 2. Lavigne 3. Tetreault 4. Badeau 5. Paquet

One more note: the provinces should take note of how Quebec does things. This kind of collection of talent is almost unheard of anywhere else in Canada, and it is because of the Coupe du Quebec format that it happens. A friend told me that racing in this field almost makes up for not racing any sort of Nationals this year. Kudos, Triathlon Quebec!

Until next time…keep Du’ing it!

2014 Season Finale – Tillsonburg Charity Duathlon Course Preview

The end is upon us. This weekend the Ontario duathlon season wraps up with a grassroots favourite in Southern Ontario, the Tillsonburg Charity Duathlon. RD George Papadakos has put a considerable amount of time and effort into creating a novice friendly, super sprint (3k run/15k bike/3k run) format that is an excellent way for duathletes of all experience levels to finish their season with a flourish. All proceeds go to benefit the Alzheimer’s Society of Oxford.

Both run courses are identical, flat 3km loops, cutting through Memorial Park and circling the lake. There is an aid station at the 1km mark. The surface is mostly paved with a little bit of gravel and stone at the beginning. Any elevation changes are very slight. The bike course is similarly flat, following an lollipop format to the west of transition. There is a small valley on Concession St before you hit the long drag on Hawkins Rd, climbing for less than 300m at a <5% grade. The rest of the course is flat, continuing on Hawkins Rd to a left hand turn at Dereham Line, the looping back to the Concession St valley on Pressey Line and Newell Rd.

Course maps can be found here.

Winning this race requires an all out mindset, as each leg is too short to have much effect on the subsequent ones. Scott Finch used this strategy to perfection last year, winning in a tad over 45 minutes, and will be back this year to defend his title. Scott Breen (7th at international distance Provincials) will give him a stiff test, as will triathletes Rob Whitmill (1:18 half marathon/2:02 800m) and Alex Warren. Registration information can be found here, and here is a look at the confirmation list. For those heading to Tillsonburg, enjoy the last race on the Ontario duathlon calendar for 2014!

UPDATE 9/27 11:44am – Scott Finch is 50/50 on whether he will race due to a cold. Spencer Summerfield is indeed on the start list and will look to join the other contenders with  a strong performance. 

POWERMAN USA UPDATE
Last time we checked in on the Powerman USA series, they were busy announcing new events around the US. At this point, 6 events have been finalized, including two within a relatively tame distance for a weekend trip (Powerman Michigan in Frankenmuth and Powerman Wisconsin in Kenosha). Michigan’s location (~2 hours from most areas in the GTA and south) and timing (late season – September 27) in particular make it an attractive fall A race option for Ontario duathletes.

Rumours on the Powerman USA Facebook page also paint an attractive picture to Ontario duathletes. There seem to be plans for a Canadian Powerman or two for 2015, including possibly one in the Windsor area (and another in the West, BC or Edmonton being rumoured cadidates). Hopefully Powerman USA is able to strike the delicate balance between location and timing, so that Ontario long course duathletes can benefit from a perfect storm of not one, but TWO Powerman races in close proximity for the 2015 season. News will be communicated to you as it comes out.

We have some interesting features planned for the offseason, so stay tuned. We are looking for guest writers to write about their diverse experiences during what was an action-packed and interesting 2014 duathlon season during the offseason. If you have any content to add, PLEASE submit it via either email (duathloncentral@gmail.com) or our Contact Us tab above. And of course, keep Tweeting! Our Twitter is @du_enthusiasts, and our hashtag is #OntarioDu.

Good luck to all of our Barrelman Bike/Runners!

This weekend a few brave souls will be heading to Niagara Falls for the Bike/Run event at the inaugural Barrelman Triathlon. The weather looks fantastic for fast times, as the point to point course has a very good chance of have a predominant tailwind. Cody Beals took a look at it With Best Bike Split, with some tantalizing results (remember…this is HIS pacing plan. We only drew attention to it to highlight the good conditions that may be on hand!)

Good luck and enjoy the new course! Make sure you send us the race reports afterwards!

Catching up with the Subaru Series, and great events in Chatham and Goderich.

This upcoming weekend is a traditional weekend on the Ontario duathlon calendar, with long-standing events like the Orillia duathlon, the Chatham-Kent YMCA duathlon, and the popular Goderich race, which features a duathlon for the first time in its history. We also recap the races of the past weekend, which featured some excellent results! As always you can use the quick links to navigate right to your race.

AUGUST 9/10 WEEKEND RECAP

It was a big weekend of racing in Ontario this past weekend. Seems like everyone and their dog (or cat) was out tuning up for a fall A race (Lakeside anyone?). Congratulations to all of our winners!

TECUMSEH DUATHLON
Men’s Overall – Ryan R Allison
Men’s Masters – Daryl-Dianne Flacks
Women’s Overall/Masters – Anna Fiorito

BRACEBRIDGE SPRINT
Men’s Overall – Brian Moore
Men’s Masters – Kevin Knight
Women’s Overall – Isabelle Sauve
Women’s Masters – Kimberley Arsenault

BRACEBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL
Men’s Overall/Masters – Andrew McLeod
Women’s Overall/Masters – Barbara Smiley-Goldman

BARRIE DUATHLON
Men’s Overall – Darryl Weston
Men’s Masters – James Delodder
Women’s Overall – Ashleigh Goodbody
Women’s Masters – Kristin Dibble

CHEMONG LAKE DUATHLON
Men’s Overall/Masters – Tim Doris
Women’s Overall – Kristin Toomsalu
Women’s Masters – Emily Downie

Send your race reports our way so we can include links!

SUBARU ORILLIA DUATHLON
Thanks to Larry Bradley for the preview.
Click here for course maps and here for a course description.

The Subaru Series moves up north to Orillia this weekend for their latest Sprint Duathlon offering. It is a 2k run/33k bike/7k run route that starts out nice and easy on the run before punishing your legs on the country roads just outside of “Sunshine City”.

The first 2k run is a relatively flat and fast out and back on Bay Street from your starting point beside Couchiching Park. This little warm up is just the start you need to prep your legs for a more challenging bike ride than most people expect. With only 2k of running some folks will be flying, so you cannot take it too easy, but save some energy for the next 33k of your journey.

Out to the bike course, you will be twisting away on some short town streets before you arrive outside the city limits. You need to be alert during this stretch as some turns come quick and need some technical skill to negotiate. The first portion of the bike ride is also uphill so use some of your power to get a good head start on your average speed.

Once you hit the main rectangle outside of town, you will encounter a number of rolling hills that you can blast through if you use your momentum wisely. If you get stuck recovering too much during this portion, you will suffer on the bike split compared to those ahead of you so don’t hold much back on the bike on this course.

As all things that go up, must come down, you do get some free speed coming back into town on this side of the bike route. This is a great feeling before a run but just remember the finishing kilometres in the residential area are a bit tricky so study the roads so you can safely maximize the return to transition.

After another smooth transition in the park, you will be back on to Bay Street for a 7k run along the lake side neighbourhood of the north end of town. Knowing these roads are fairly flat and quick you can burn a little more energy on the bike. The second run hammers straight for much of the 7k before it curves out to the right side of the bay around the two and half kilometre mark from the park. The roads are well marked and marshelled so you can really zone out as you fly along to the 3.5k turnaround at the far end of Lake Couchiching.

Now you just have to re-trace those steps along the tree lined streets to find your way to Terry Fox Circle located in the home park. With the usually strong community support of this race, you will enjoy nice crowds of fans lining the final stretches of your race in scenic Orillia.

Who to watch: Shayne Dumouchelle of Amherstburg heads to Orillia in search of that elusive first career win. Shayne is a strong cyclist with a tough mentality who finished 2nd at Tecumseh last weekend.

CHATHAM-KENT YMCA DUATHLON
Thanks to Brad Reiter for the preview.
Click here for course maps.

If you are looking for a fast sprint duathlon, the Chatham-Kent YMCA Duathlon could be just that!  Formerly known as the Bulldog, the CK DU takes place at Rondeau Park on the shores of Lake Erie.  The course is pancake flat, sheltered and FAST.  The Lake also does a nice job of moderating the temperature, making for ideal fast race conditions.

The first run is only 2k long and has a cross country feel to it.  The start line leads you onto a gravel trail with a quick left-hander into a densely wooded area.  The course then runs straight out to the 1k turnaround and then back into transition.

The bike course is a clockwise 2 loop, 4 corner circuit.  The natural canopy of the park protects you from the elements.  This allows you to push a good gear, especially along the 2 longer straightaways that run parallel to the Lake Erie and Rondeau Bay. Looped courses are great for a fast bike split, as the lack of 180 degree turns allows you to keep more of your speed around turns.

Returning to transition, you retrace your steps along the run course through the forest again, this time with the turnaround at the 2.5k mark.  The surface is soft and there are plenty of aid stations set out on the run. Notwithstanding the fact that the run component is .5k shorter than most sprint duathlons, this course presents a great opportunity to throw caution to the wind and go for a fast time.

Who to watch: Bike ace Spencer Summerfield is registered, also looking for his first win. However, he may be in tough if a rejuvenated Ryan Allison makes an appearance, fresh off a win at the Tecumseh Du and a 1:15:44 half marathon training run. We may have a great battle shaping up!

GODERICH DUATHLON

A favourite of multisport athletes around the province, the 2014 version of the Goderich Triathlon will include a sprint duathlon for the first year. Since this race was a late edition and only came to our attention very recently, the course new course. Slated to be cancelled this year after years of declining registrations, a new management group stepped in to save the event this year, adding a sprint duathlon in the process. New management or not, the Goderich Triathlon has LONG been a favourite on the Ontario circuit.

You can check out the course maps here. The hills of Goderich annually take their toll on the racers, and the duathlon will be no different. The runs and the bike go gradually uphill for the first half of the leg, before turning around and heading back down hill. The bike uses a lollipop format, heading northeast out of town, looping to the south and back into town. It is generally rising for the first half, before descending back home with a few sharper inclines to navigate. The course starts with a tough 1.5km climb, with grades that reach 12%. The rest of the bike follows that same template. The runs start right on the beautiful shoreline of Lake Huron, loop around the inlet and out into the countryside. The course is a scenic one, and if you are planning to attend, make sure you enjoy this spectacular event. We look forward to hearing your race reports!

THOUSAND ISLANDS DUATHLON
Click here for a course description.
Click here for bike course maps.
Click here for run course maps.

The Somersault Series continues its 2014 schedule at the Brockville Rowing Club, in the Thousand Islands region. The sprint duathlon consists of a 2.3km mixed surface run, a 20.7km out-and-back cycling leg, and a 5km mixed surface run. All three legs are simple one lap, out and back segments, ranging from generally flat to gently rolling.

Both runs start on the same stretch of road, leaving transition and heading west on Water St. This is a closed roadway and continues 700m to St. Paul St. A quick left followed by a quick right takes you to a paved path, which you will follow to either the first turnaround (at 1.15km) or the second (at 2.5km). The run course is mostly flat and tree-lined the whole way, providing some shelter from the elements on your runs.

The cycle leg heads east out of transition on Water St., heading up a short steep hill on Ford St, then right onto King St. The remainder of the cycle leg continues east on King St to the turnaround, before heading back the way you came to transition. Just like on the run, Water St is closed to local traffic, though the rest of the course is not. The whole cycle leg is gently rolling, except for the steep hill on Ford St. Due to the unpredictability of local traffic, you are not allowed to use your aerobars until you are through the first major intersection at N Augusta St. after you have made the right onto King St. Use of aerobars will result in disqualification.

ST. JOSEPH’S ISLAND DUATHLON (SPRINT AND INTERNATIONAL)

Also this weekend, the St. Jospeh’s Island Triathlon and Duathlon hosts another edition of this northern favourite. The race features a sprint race (5km run/20km bike/2.5km run) and an international distance race (10km run/40km bike/5km run). The course runs from the transition zone at Richard’s Landing and navigates the whole island in the North Channel, just outside of Sault Ste. Marie. A more scenic course you’ll likely never get than this small independent race. For more information head over to the race website, where you can find course maps and any other information you need!

Cheers and enjoy the weekend! Send your race reports as they come in, and if you are tweeting, don’t forget to use the hashtag #OntarioDu.

Previewing Tecumseh, Bracebridge and Barrie

This upcoming weekend (August 9/10) presents us with some intriguing action on the Ontario Duathlon circuit. A crowd favourite in Bracebridge, a barn-burner in Tecumseh, and an interesting independent duathlon in Barrie that generally draws some good competition. Bracebridge results links have now been added to the Schedule & Results page, check back there as the rest of the races are posted for those results. As always, you can use the quick links below to jump straight to your event!

TECUMSEH DUATHLON (Click here for course maps)

An ODC favourite adds another edition to the palmares, as the Tecumseh (formerly Windsor) Duathlon returns for another season in 2014. The Tecumseh Du (3k run/32k bike/6k run) features a mixed-surface run on a 3km loop, and a 2 lap, 16km out-and-back bike along Lake St. Clair. The course can be subject to winds (as can all races in Essex County), but the houses along much of the bike route do provide a bit of respite.

Both runs consist of a 3km loop, run once on the first run and twice on the second run. The first kilometer or so is on a paved fitness path along Riverside Dr, before it ducks south onto Arlington Blvd. A short loop around the residential area takes you to Hayes Ave, which leads into the golf course for a weaving technical kilometer that alternates an asphalt cart path with short stretches of grass. The first 2km are a great place to stretch the field before you lose them on the tight turns in the golf course. If it is wet, the last stretch (as well as transition) can get quite sloppy.

The bike can be an adventure, though a good run will very likely get you onto the first bike loop with lots of clean road ahead of you. The way east on Riverside Dr is smooth and wide, though is a residential street with the potential for vehicles to back out onto the course. The right hand turn onto Brighton is a bend in the road (as opposed to an intersection), with a median separating traffic going each direction. Brighton itself uses several traffic circles to calm traffic. Those who choose to ride the tangent across these roundabouts should keep an eye out for a change in surface as you cut close to the boulevard. The turn onto Old Tecumseh Road is tight, but the road opens up afterwards, though there is a section coming back over the creek where the organizers have coned off a narrow path to allow traffic to pass. There is no room to pass on this short 200-300m section before you get back to Brighton.

As the day goes on, the bike course gets more crowded. Duathletes will likely be more in the clear on the first lap, before heading out onto a crowded second loop. By this time, even the FOP’ers will be weaving through triathletes, try-a-tri’ers and do-a-du’ers. A direct line around the course is much more difficult on the second lap. Please be mindful of slower riders, and be very vocal when passing on the left. The second run is 2 laps of the first run, looping alongside transition in between laps. You will enter transition as if heading to your bike, but you will IMMEDIATELY turn right into a chute that takes you beside transition back out to the fitness path. The finish is also on grass…make sure you ham it up for Chyla’s Race Photos on your way in!

ODC Note: The men’s race is shaping up to be deep and fast, with as many as 5 top contender set to battle it out. Check out a preview of the race here.

MSC BRACEBRIDGE DUATHLON

The Multisport Canada series heads back to the heart of Muskoka, to Bracebridge for the second of 3 sprint/international duathlon weekends of the season. The third is of course Lakeside, coming up fast in September. As Bracebridge has a little bit of a convoluted course for someone who has not ever competed there, we will defer to the directions laid out by the great crew at Multisport Canada. 

You can read about the sprint duathlon course here.
And check out the international distance course, turn-by-turn, here.
Finally, the first 90 seconds of this video by Tommy Ferris of Ignition Fitness, gives you a brief rundown of what you will be facing!

Before we move on to Barrie, here is a brief description of the inner workings of this course. The run course starts on the north side of the Muskoka river, but quickly crosses over to the south side, to Beaumont Dr. From there, it is a straight out and back. It is mostly flat, though there is a small, gentle climb at around the 3km (and 6km) marks of the run, around Henry Road. Sprint distance athletes will turn around just before this mark on the first run. It is likely advisable to stay within yourself on that first run, as a tough bike course awaits.

A bike course that passes by Santa’s Village should be a happy time, right? Well, maybe you like hills. The bike course is an undulating and winding route on scenic Muskoka roads, with a few long climbs to watch out for. Two ~400m climbs hit you in the first 8km, the first at Santa’s Village about 4km in, and the second another 3.5km down the road. This sets you up for the bigger climb at 16km, which will keep you climbing for nearly a kilometer. The turnaround loop is undulating, including downhill around 2 corners. The way out includes a little loop to the east on Golden Beach Road towards Highway 118, which you will eliminate on the way back (still hitting the hills though!). The sprint course follows the longer course, but turns around just before the left onto 118, instead turning back and heading for home. Enjoy the scenic Muskoka roads, as they will surely make you earn your result!

ODC Note: Keep an eye out for Brian Moore in the Sprint Duathlon. After placing 2nd at Gravenhurst last year, he recorded a stellar 1:01 time on a tough course, and will be hungry to win his hometown race. This high school runner turned cyclist is one to watch for the future.

BARRIE DUATHLON (Click here for course maps)

Another looped course is on tap in Barrie this weekend, a race that is typically quite fast. The race (5k run/20k bike/5k run) is completely composed of a 5km out-and-back loop (2.5km each direction), along the shores of Kempenfeld Bay, a loop that is done once on each run and four times on the bike. The runs follow Lakeshore Rd the same direction as the  bike, but utilizes the fitness path along the beach rather than the road. Lots of opportunity to scope out your competition at one of the many turnarounds on what promises to be a fast day.

The bike course is on CLOSED ROADS (hurrah!!!), leaving transition and heading south. The course follows Lakeshore Road as it bends along the shoreline towards the east, before the turnaround at Minet’s Point Road. Make the turn here and head back to transition to start your next lap. The bike loop is relatively flat, rising gently and steadily from transition to the turnaround before heading back down. The grade never exceeds 2%. Short loop courses like this tend to get crowded on later laps, and you can expect about 250 competitors between du and tri this weekend.

ODC Note: Justin Spalvieri (8th at Nationals this year) has been known to make his duathlon appearance at this race. He is a two-time past winner, so there is a chance he may appear to reclaim that title…just a hunch :).

Previewing the Weekend…K-Town and National Capital

Another month of duathlon in Ontario kicks off with some big races in the East this weekend! The headliner is the 31st edition of the historic K-Town Triathlon and Duathlon, now run by Multisport Canada. Also in Eastern Ontario, the Somersault Series is in action in Ottawa with the National Capital Triathlon and Duathlon. The Subaru Series is not in action until August 17, when the series heads to Orillia.

K-TOWN DUATHLON
Click here for course maps.

This year marks the first year of new management for the K-Town event in Kingston, as Multisport Canada has taken over the event for the 2014 edition. MSC has elected not to change much with the event, instead choosing to preserve a common favourite among multisport athletes in Ontario. The prize money also has not changed, with $1800 being distributed among the top 3 finishers of each of the three races ($150 for 1st, $100 for 2nd, $50 for 3rd).

K-Town is a gently rolling, 4km run/30km bike/7.2km run course along the shores of Lake Ontario. The common word about this race is the heat and humidity (August can get quite hot and there is little shade on the course) and the wind blowing off the lake. Keep this in mind when you plan your nutrition and equipment choices for the day. The run starts to the west, winding along Lake Ontario, hitting a turnaround at Kingston General Hospital before heading back east to transition. The second run follows the same route, just heading further west before turning back. The heat can be tough on the exposed course, but there will be aid stations every kilometer.

The bike course is similarly gently rolling, with a few “manageable rollers” that may slow the average pace down a tad. There are a few trouble spots on the course, namely the La Salle Causeway Bridge in the first and last kilometer of the course. The bridge will have a dedicated lane for cyclists, but is composed of a metal grate surface that can wreak havoc on a straight line through the bridge. In the case of rain, it will become mandatory to walk your bike across this bridge. Multisport Canada has released some safety guidelines for the bike course, which can be found in the pre-race report. Enjoy this historic race, and we look forward to seeing who brings home the big prize!

Hat tip to Kevin Gallagher and Tommy Ferris of Ignition Fitness for the tips.

NATIONAL CAPITAL DUATHLON
Click here to view the run course map.
Click here to view the bike course map.

The Somersault Series is in action as well this weekend, at Mooney’s Bay in the Old City. The race weekend features the Draft Legal Provincial Championships, as well as both sprint (2k run/20k bike/5k run) and Olympic (5k run/40k bike/10k run) distance duathlons. Both races share a 5k run loop, with Olympic athletes completing 1 loop on the first run and 2 on the second run, while sprint athletes complete shortened loop to start (turning around after 1km) and 1 full loop to finish off their race. The course is a relatively quiet and straight-forward (with a small rolling hill at the 1km point) out and back, through Mooney’s Bay to the west, onto Riverside Dr and onto Revelstoke Dr along the river.

The cycle course is also looped, heading to the east along the river for a 10km out-and-back loop that will be completed 4 times by Olympic athletes, and twice by sprint athletes. The course starts with a quick jaunt west on Hog’s Back Rd before a right hand turn onto Colonel By Dr, which athletes will follow along the river to the turnaround on each lap. The first 2km is a bit technical with some some sharp ups and downs, before flattening out for the middle 6km of each lap. On short-loop courses such as this, sometimes a good strategy is to push the long straight section at above goal effort, and to use the twisty parts for a bit of recovery in between efforts. It makes for a more uneven pace, but gives the running legs a bit of time to recover at the beginning and end of the race. Due to the number of races being contested, and the multi-loop nature of the course, there is potential for quite a bit of crowding. Ride safe and fair, and have fun!

As always, be sure to keep us updated on your progress of the weekend on Twitter, and use the hashtag #OntarioDu. And send us your race reports for the recap coming next week. Happy racing!