Duathletes competing in the 2009 USAT Duathlon National Championships in Richmond, VA on April 25-26 can qualify for one of 12 age group slots available for the ITU Duathlon Short Course World Championships in Concord, NC.
?The USAT Duathlon National Championships in Richmond will offer age group duathletes a great opportunity to qualify for the national team,? says Jeff Dyrek, national events director of USA Triathlon. ?The Sports Backers organize a top-notch event on a technical course that has won praise from the sport’s top athletes, and we feel this will be a strong selection process for our national team.?
Other qualifying events include the Desert Classic in Phoenix, AZ on February 24th, which will have 3 spots per age group rolling down to 6th place, and the Apple Duathlon in Sartell, MN on May 24th, also with 3 spots per age group rolling down to 6th place. The USAT Duathlon National Championships will have 12 slots rolling down to 16th place.
Last year, 450 duathletes from around the country competed in the USAT Duathlon National Championships as pros, age group athletes, sport racers, juniors and youth racers. The on-road events were part of the two-day National Duathlon Festival which featured the Off-road Championships events contested by 175 participants. The National Duathlon Festival marks the first time off-road national championship events have been combined with on-road national championship events at the same site. The National Duathlon Festival, which is organized by the Sports Backers, will be in held in Richmond through 2010.
One noteworthy change for the USAT Duathlon Nationals will be the elimination of $10,000 of prize money for the elite national championships. The aim is to simplify the qualification process and focus entirely on the age group athletes preparing for the world championship. In addition, the Sports Backers will work with area community organizations, sponsors and vendors to create a festival environment.
The same start, finish and transition area as the 2008 national championships will be used and a closed bike course very similar to that course will prove challenging and technical but easy enough for the citizens races. The location is also easy walking distance from downtown hotels, restaurants and parking.