By Rick Palsgrove
Exercise can be fun as well as challenging and a little competition enhances the experience.
The Groveport Recreation is blending all three of these elements with its Twilight Triathlon/Duathlon on Aug. 23 at the Groveport Aquatic Center, 7370 Groveport Road. The event features:
•Triathlon: 10-minute swim, 10-minute transition, 20 minute bike, 5-minute transition, and 15-minute run; or
•Duathlon: 15-minute run, 5-minute transition, 20-minute bike, 5-min. transition, and 15-minute run.
The first heat begins at 6:45 p.m. and the last heat starts at 8:25 p.m. The fee is $15 per person and includes a t-shirt. Register by Aug. 10. Call 614-836-1000 for information.
“There is no age limit for this event, it’s open for all,” said Amy Van Huffel, Groveport Recreation Center sports and fitness manager. “All abilities are welcome.”
Participants must complete each leg of either the triathlon or duathlon for a set amount of time and their distances will be recorded. Prizes will be awarded to the top three males and females in the triathlon and duathlon. The swimming will take place at the outdoor Groveport Aquatic Center pool, biking will take place on spin bikes at the outdoor pool, and the run will take place on path around the outdoor pool.
“This is a great event for beginners since you are completing each leg for a set amount of time,” said Van Huffel. “That means each participant can do as much as they are able in a set amount of time, instead of traditional triathlons where you would have to complete a certain distance. It’s also a great event for experienced athletes looking for an end of season event to stay in shape.”
Van Huffel said swimming, biking, and running are good athletic options for this triathlon/duathlon.
“You get the chance to work your whole body in an event like this,” said Van Huffel. “The time limits were set to encourage anyone who’s wanted to try a triathlon or duathlon, but has been intimidated. It’s long enough to get a good workout, but no so long that only elite athletes can compete.”
Van Huffel said the times for each leg also reflect how traditional triathlons are set-up – with swimming being the shortest distance and biking being the longest.
“So the swim is the shortest amount of time and biking is the longest,” said Van Huffel. “This event is a great test for athletes because they can all set their own pace or push themselves as hard as they want. If you’ve been thinking about doing a triathlon or duathlon, but have been too wary to register, this is the event for you. You don’t have to own a bike because spin bikes are used for the ride.”
When asked what she sees as the latest fitness trends – whether people are focusing more on diversifying their exercises or narrowing them and whether team sports or individual sports are on the rise, Van Huffel said, “For adults, team sports like softball have been on the decline. However, pickleball is a fast growing sport that many adults are playing both locally and nationally. Pickleball can be played as singles, but most often as doubles. You typically don’t have to bring a partner with you to play doubles for drop-in play or certain league formats.”