Annual Duathlon brings runners, cyclists to Research Park

Apr 26, 2016 | Events, Greenways

Runners finishing their first lap race to grab bikes for the second phase of the Duathlon.

Runners finishing their first lap race to grab bikes for the second phase of the Duathlon.

One of the biggest athletic events in University City not involving Cougars, Mavericks or 49ers returns May 7 to University Research Park. Hundreds of athletes will run, then bike and then run again in the University City Duathlon. Organizers would love you to compete, volunteer or cheer each person across the finish line!

Shane Hockensmith of Bike Line and Chris Elkins of Run For Your Life University dreamed up the University City Duathlon several years ago as a way to promote their sports and retail stores while educating the public about the forested natural beauty in sprawling University Research Park.

The event has grown to offer a separate 5K run and children’s fun run, too.

Who takes part in the Duathlon?

The event draws serious athletes as well as everyday weekend competitors. You also can compete as a team, with one person running and one person biking. The events give awards for best overall finishers as well as top finishers in numerous age brackets for men and women.

As you can imagine, race times range from blazing fast to painfully slow. The 2015 Duathlon champion, Chris Lamperski, finished in 57:48! Several people took more than 2 hours. And some of the last to finish got the biggest cheers! (CLICK HERE to see all of the times for 2013-15)

Race Day

Participants sign in on race day.

Participants sign in on race day.

David Taylor Corporate Center – home to the Peak 10 Data Center – once again serves as the staging area and start-finish line for the event. The facility is at 10101 David Taylor Drive.
The Duathlon begins at 8 am with a 5K run on nearby streets and the Mallard Creek Greenway. The first stage ends back at the corporate center, where runners grab their waiting bikes and head off on a 19K ride that includes challenging hills and sharp turns. The stage ends back at the corporate center, where cyclists become runners once more and do a final 3K loop to the finish line.

Enjoy food, fellowship and fun before and after

Many University City businesses help stage the Duathlon through donations and through support with food and drink. Grab a massage, a beverage and a snack while you wait for the final results and the awards ceremony. Join in the cheers at the finish line as the last competitors complete the race.

Thinking of taking part? Visit URP for practice rides!

First-timers are strongly encouraged to visit University Research Park for trial runs and bike rides – especially bike rides. And come on Saturday or Sunday mornings when traffic is extra light.

The bike course is actually two laps of 5.8 miles each, including a long and steep ride up Research Drive and a scary-fast descent down Claude Freeman Drive, with a sharp left turn at the bottom on the first lap.

  • SEE MAPS  – Click here for  to download course maps.

Sign up now

Online registration is open for the Duathlon (Individual, $55, and team, $65), the 5K run ($25) and Kids Sprint (free but registration requested; $5 for T-shirt). Registration fees rise $5-$10 on May 6.

Volunteers and fans needed!

Volunteers hand out water on the greenway.

Volunteers hand out water on the greenway.

Of course events like this take many hands to bring about. Among the tasks – setup, takedown, course monitor, water-station helper and the all-important cheerleaders!

Proceeds benefit Carolinas Freedom Foundation

Each year, the Duathlon raises several thousand dollars to benefit area nonprofit organizations. This year’s proceeds will help the Carolinas Freedom Foundation.
The Carolinas Freedom Foundation is dedicated to honoring the 85,000-plus veterans in the Charlotte Area.

Sponsoring the annual Salute to Veterans Parade in uptown Charlotte is one of the highlights of this endeavor. Other projects include promoting leadership and character development within JROTC units, offering scholarships to the Shelton Leadership Initiative, inviting young artists to participate in the Patriotic Art Completion and Exhibition and ensuring that all classrooms have appropriate American Flags.

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