Duathlons; Multisport Event for Non-Swimmers

Many athletes are familiar with triathlons, but have never heard of a similar type of race, the duathlon. Triathlons consist of three racing segments; swimming followed by biking followed by running. Athletes interested in becoming involved in multi-sport endurance events, may find the idea of swimming in a crowd full of people a bit intimidating at first. Duathlons are a great way to ease into the multi-sport community. Instead of swim-bike-run, duathletes run-bike-run.

Many triathlon and duathlon races offer a clinic for anyone new to multi-sport racing. The clinic will go over the basics of triathlon and duathlon racing and will give the novice racer a chance to ask any questions they may have concerning the race.

Duathlon Race Distances

Duathlons can be raced at a variety of different lengths; sprint, Olympic and half Ironman, are the most common distances. The typical distance for each format is as follows:

Sprint Distance Duathlon

  • 1 mile run
  • 10 mile bike
  • 3.1 mile run

Olympic Distance Duathlon

  • 3.1 mile run
  • 25 mile bike
  • 6.2 mile run

Half Ironman Distance Duathlon

  • 2 mile run
  • 56 mile bike
  • 13.1 mile run

USAT Racing License

Triathlons, duathlons, and other multi-sport events, are governed by USA Triathlon. A one day racing license, which costs approximately $10, can be purchased at the time of registering for a specific race. The one day license can be credited towards the purchase of a one year license, which costs $39 for adults.

Duathlete to Triathlete

Many triathlon races, also offer a duathlon option. Check with local race directors and event websites to determine if they offer a duathlon option at local triathlon races. After starting out racing in duathlons, certain athletes may eventually want to add swimming into their workout routine, and give triathlon racing a try. But for anyone with a running and/or biking background, duathlons are a terrific way to get involved in the discipline of multi-sport racing.      

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