Craig hosts duathlon Sunday

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If you go

What: Craig Duathlon (5K run, 30K bike, 5K run)

When: 8 a.m. Sunday

Where: Loudy-Simpson Park

Registration: $45 for an individual and $60 for a two-person team*

Craig fitness enthusiasts who usually travel to Steamboat Springs for the city’s running series will be able to stay close to home this weekend.

The first Craig Duathlon, which is part of the Steamboat Springs Running Series, takes place at 8 a.m. Sunday at Loudy-Simpson Park, 500 S. Ranney St.

The event will consist of three stages — a 5K run, 30K bike ride and another 5K run.

Both running stages will be on the cross-country course at the park.

The bike stage will be on Water Plant Road, which will be especially challenging, Trapper Fitness Manager Jim Gregoire said.

“The bike course has two big hills in it,” Gregoire said. “The one by the ice arena is about half a mile long and changes elevation by about 600 feet.”

Gregoire, who has participated in many duathlons, said it is hard for the muscles to go from running to biking and back to running because the muscles are working at different angles for the different stages.

The payoff, he said, is that the event is great for people who don’t like swimming long distances, like him.

“Swimming was my least favorite part (of triathlons),” Gregoire said. “But, the duathlon provides something for people that still want to participate in an event with stages.”

Craig resident Cristy Simpson, 29, said the duathlon is something she has been training to do for a while.

“I felt I needed to accomplish something,” she said. “I have two kids and have never been in the greatest shape and I felt this was a great way to start.”

Simpson said she isn’t looking to finish first — she has more personal goals in sight.

“I want to be able to run the first three miles without stopping,” she said. “I’ve been training hard and it is taxing on the body to go from running

to biking.”

After the duathlon, Simpson said she would continue to train for a half marathon in August.

Gregoire said he has been trying for four years to get an event in Craig to be part of the running series.

When Craig was green lit for a race, Gregoire said he wanted to offer something that wasn’t already on the schedule.

“I figured that a lot of people from Craig do the runs in Steamboat,” he said. “We are all part of the Yampa Valley, and I felt that Craig should be part of the series and that the duathlon was something that people would be excited about.”

No matter how many people participate, he said he hopes to have a quality event and allow it to keep growing.

The top three places in the men’s, women’s and team divisions will win a hand-made, engraved mug.

Everyone who participates will automatically be entered in a raffle for prizes, provided by J & R Cyclery, 530 Russell St.

Registration costs $45 for an individual, and a team of two can register for $60, with one person doing the running stages while the other does the bike stage.

Participants can register at www.runningseries.com.

T-shirts will be given to all contestants. There will also be a barbecue starting at 11 a.m. at the park, provided by the Golden Cavvy Restaurant and Lounge.

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