By Paul Groves on 09/04/17 at 1:07 pm
The summer has arrived for most of us in Europe and although the seas and lakes are still a little fresh, it is perfect Duathlon weather.
Many of you are heading to Soria in Spain for the Standard and Sprint Championships, where medals will be won by Elite, U23, Juniors, Para and of course the massive Age Group army that makes these events so exciting. Some of you are also already booked in for the greater test on May 21st over run / bike / run at the 2017 Sankt Wendel ETU Powerman Middle Distance Duathlon European Championships.
Sankt Wendel, a name that has its roots deep in the history of Duathlon in Europe. A town that delivers a real challenge and has drawn athletes from all over the world to compete. When we look back in time, some 20 years in fact, we see that our sport of triathlon and duathlon was still finding its way. We had only a few races but managed in those days to have a World and in fact European duathlon league with cup races and a final. Nowadays, there is so much choice that perhaps we need to step back and choose our races more carefully.
For the purists, the highlight of the duathlon year is the immensely challenging Zofingen ITU World Championships. Established as “the place to be” for duathletes in 1989, it celebrates its 29th birthday this year and we know that many of you will have been putting in the hours of running and biking that you need to be able to survive the 10k, 150k, 30k test. In the knowledge that Powerman delivers the right level of quality, organisation and toughness, ETU has a long-standing contract with IPA and at Zofingen last year, ITU made the announcement that they too had renewed their partnership and that the World Championships would be held in Zofingen certainly up to 2020.
ETU has seen the Middle and Long Distance Duathlon Championships move around a number of locations and thereby encouraged athletes to explore new courses but each time, to put themselves through a real test to get to the finish line. For many years, the championships were held in the Netherlands. Last year the move was to Denmark. This year we head to Germany.
So, where is Sankt Wendel? Well, it could not be easier to get to. Flights can take you to either Saarbrücken, Luxembourg, or Frankfurt-Hahn (Frankfurt) airports, or by car, it is not so far from anywhere in France, Belgium, the Netherlands of, if you like the drive, from further places in Europe.
The organisers are hoping to see many national federations represented on the start lines for the Elite, Para and Age Groupers and have arranged with the ITU Entries Team that Age Group athletes have until 7th May (two weeks before the race) and the Elite have until 14th May (one week before the race) to register.
So, hurry and see if you can grab a last-minute entry for this great and historic race.
If you are competing in Soria as an Age Group athlete – why not go for the double? It will impress your friends, family and sponsors if you can call yourself “The Best Duathletes in Europe” over Standard and Middle Distance. For Age Group and Elite entries, you must apply through your federation. National Federations, please note the deadlines.
Any further questions, please contact the Technical Delegate, Dave Rigby
Find more details about this event - 2017 Sankt Wendel ETU Powerman Middle Distance Duathlon European Championships