By ITU Admin on 22/05/06 at 12:00 am
Sports Backers lead bid that lands ‘07 Long Course World Championships
BY TIMOTHY GORMAN, TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 18, 2006 Richmond will host the Long Course Duathlon World Championships on Oct. 21, 2007, Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers executive director Jon Lugbill said yesterday.
The 102.5-kilometer run-bike-run course will span a 7-mile radius downtown surrounding the James River area and Brown’s Island.
“The event will be user-friendly for our community,” Lugbill said. “If we didn’t have a course we wanted to have a world championships on while wowing people, we didn’t want to have it.”
Richmond was one of many sites worldwide to bid on the international competition. USA Triathlon organized the American bidders and chose Richmond to submit a bid to the International Triathlon Union, a Canadian organization that organizes the world championships.
Lugbill said Richmond was attractive because an American city has not hosted a long or short course world championship since 2002 and because of America’s 400th anni- versary celebration in 2007. In addition, Richmond has experience hosting running and biking events such as the CapTech Classic and Richmond Marathon.
Lugbill said Sports Backers and the city of Richmond developed a course that passed few churches because the race will be on a Sunday morning. At the same time, Lugbill said it captures the inner-city terrain familiar to European competitors.
“We didn’t want to have the world championships and not have it show off Richmond,” he said. “It’s our country’s 400th anniversary and that might not seem that long to Europeans, but it’s big for us.”
The first part of the race is two 7.5-kilometer running loops. The race will start on Brown’s Island near Tredegar Ironworks and cross the James River on S 9th St. It will incorporate the Canal Walk along the restored Kanawa and Haxall Canals and a section of the soon-to-be completed Virginia Capital Trail. The competitors will return on Dock St. in front of the Tobacco Row residential section.
Next is a 20-kilometer bike course the racers will navigate four times. The athletes will cross the Manchester and Lee Bridges and through James River and Byrd Parks. They will travel by Hollywood Cemetery, along Riverside Drive and back downtown. The race will finish with another 7.5-kilometer running loop.
Competitors from 39 countries competed in last year’s World Championships in Italy. This year’s event will be in Denmark on May 28.
Tom Jeffrey, a top American duathlete and Richmond native, is excited for the chance to compete at home.
“My focus for the next two years is on that race,” he said. “It’ll be neat for me to have it in Richmond. I hope people will realize the competition internationally.”
Jeffrey finished 29th in 2005, fourth among Americans; no U.S. competitors finished in the top 10 in Italy.
He and David Anderson, another area pro, will travel to Denmark next week for this year’s event. “Duathlon has a much-higher profile in some other countries,” he said. “It’ll be a good event for people to come see it in Richmond. It’ll show them it is a really impressive sport.”
Contact staff writer Timothy Gorman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find more details about this event - 2007 Richmond ITU Long Distance Duathlon World Championships