Sunny skies and spectator cheers for Frisco Duathlon
Results of Frisco Duathlon
Individual Men Long Course
Jack Swift, 1:54:52
Individual Men Short Course
David Burns, 1:35:00
Individual Women Long Course
Hannah Williams, 2:08:32
Individual Women Short Course
Anna Hill, 1:51:23
Male Team Long Course
Thomas Messerschmitt/Mark Williams, 1:51:38
Female Team Long Course
Jennifer Hurley/Cat Bywaters, 2:15:49
Coed Team Long Course
Malia Brown/Todd Ferullo, 2:15:17
Coed Team Short Course
JoAnn True/Elijah True, 2:15:22
After a week of rain showers and overcast skies, the weather cleared up Saturday to shine down upon the town of Frisco’s second annual duathlon. The event combines running and biking, providing both a long and a short course for racers to choose from. Racers can also enter individually or in teams, splitting the running and the biking portions of the event.
“It’s a good intro to a multi-sport race,” said Linsey Kach, recreation manager for the town of Frisco.
By holding an event mixing only two sports — as opposed to a triathlon, which traditionally includes a swimming component that many non-swimmers find intimidating — Kach hopes to introduce more Summit County athletes to the experience of multi-sport events.
“(We wanted) to try something new, to offer something that’s not often up here,” she said.
Around 50 competitors turned up Saturday morning to try their hand at the duathlon, either on their own or with a teammate. They took off at the starting line in front of the Frisco Adventure Park Day Lodge to shouts of encouragement from nearby family members, including one particularly enthusiastic youngster shouting, “Go, Papa, go!”
The competitors ran under a cloudless sky toward the Peninsula before looping back to come down the switchbacks of the Adventure Park hill to complete the first third of the course, an 8K trail run.
Family members lounged on the Day Lodge lawn, frisking with their dogs and playing horseshoes. At the bottom of the hill, racks of bicycles waited in the sun.
The crowd gathered as the first figures appeared on the switchbacks, cheering as the runners came closer. Some stopped at the bikes to strap on their helmets, exchanging running shoes for pedaling shoes before riding down the starting chute. Others dashed up to waiting teammates, slapping hands and passing on the relay. Then they stepped off to the side for a short break, but not a cool down. Once their teammates came back around, they would be off again, running either the long-course 7K or the short-course 5K to finish up the race.
“It’s fun to be on a team,” said racer Jen Hurley. She participated in the duathlon last year with another teammate. “I run a lot more than I bike,” she said, although admitted that she might be convinced to do both running and biking in the event next year.
It was the first year for husband-wife duo Dillon and Jen Benbow of Frisco. Jen took on the running while Dillon chose to bike.
“It’s great to have some more events,” Jen said, particularly close by in Frisco.
Kach and her team have been working to provide more events every year. This summer they have already organized five different town-generated races. Two more are coming up — the Tiaras and Tutus 1 mile/5K fun run, proceeds of which will go to benefit the Girls on the Run program, and the Mount Royal Hillclimb in early September.
“We’re trying to grow the events and programs we offer every year,” Kach said.
At the duathlon, cheering continued as the bikes began to return and passed the end of the race on to the runners. Jen Benbow smiled as Dillon pulled up to a stop, high-fived him and ran down the starting chute. From the sidelines, a little girl called, “Yay, Daddy!” and dashed into Dillon’s arms. As he picked her up, she turned and waved her fist in the air, and started up a second cry, “Go, Mommy, go! Go, Mommy, go!”
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