Duathlons are a great way for anyone to experience a multisport event without agonizing over having to complete an open water swim. The Gear West Duathlon is a great season opener with a cross-country run and a surprisingly challenging bike course on rolling hills. Both running portions of the race are through the Orono High School's ball fields and an orchard, in true cross-country style. The 30k bike portion of the race features some of the most scenic rural roads west of Minneapolis. Geared as one of the most affordable duathlons in the Midwest, this race is a spring classic Run-Bike-Run event for every level of multisport athlete. Since 1993, this race has been a managed by the Gear West team and we are proud to be the producers behind this great event this year!
Awards will be given to the the top three male and female runners in each age category: 19 & Under, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 & Up. There will also be awards for the top 3 overall male and female athetes, top 3 relay teams, top 3 clydesdales, and top 3 athenas. The award ceremony will begin after the race concludes. Must be present to win.
Gear West Giveaway:
Stick around after you finish your race because Gear West Bike and Triathlon will be giving away a multisport gear bag stuffed with goodies, valued over $625!
There is parking available in the lots around Orono High School.
A Duathlete's Perspective:
"This race has been held annually since 1993 on the Orono School property. The most unique aspect of the race is that the majority of the run course is held off road. Although the route has changed slightly over the years the thing that has been quite consistent is the mud. Although the route is not intended to be muddy and at no time is there bare dirt that you are running through the grass, gravel, and wood chip route is more likely to be wet than dry.
The run starts out with a ½ mile stretch on pavement before it transfers onto a gravel road on the backside of Orono Schools. From there the route winds in every directions and reaches each corner of the property. The route takes you through long stretches across grass fields, winds you through the cherry tree orchard, cuts through on short stretches of woodchip trails in the woods, and of course up the ‘wall’; a short but very steep grass hill which brings you onto the old gravel track.
The bike course is one of the nicest you will ever get to race on. The asphalt is in near perfect shape on 99% of the course which will let you focus on the one thing you need to focus on. The hills. Not to make is sound intimidating because the hills are that tough. For greater Minnesota standard the bike course would be considered rolling hills. But not to be left out there is a ‘wall’ on the bike course as well. About 3 miles into the bike you after the false flat you get to tackle the short and steep hill that will leave you at a 5mph pace when you reach the top. Of course with each hill you ride up you get to ride down the back side.
The second run is the same as the first run. Same grass, same mud, same fun. With the field spread out you will see people zig-zagging in every direction as they navigate the course. You get to tackle the ‘wall’ one more time so if you didn’t master it the first time you can the second time.
Before and after race you can head inside the Orono High School to stretch, change clothes, or wash up. Of course don’t forget to stop by the grill and get hot dogs for you and your friends."
- Kevin O'Connor
"Gear West Duathlon is an excellent venue to test your legs for the season ahead. From the rolling hills on the bike course to the cross country trails on the run, you’re no doubt to enjoy your experience all the way over the last hill just prior to crossing under the finisher banner. The feeling in your legs will give you a sense of accomplishment to kickstart the Summer that lies ahead. Some years are more muddy than others, but this just adds to the post-race stories enjoyed with your fellow participants and post-race snacks!"
- Dr. Michael Williams