Point Duathlon combines camaraderie with fund-raising
Whether it is exercise motivation or just being part of a team, participating in the YMCA Compete for the Cause Point Duathlon has a reason for almost anyone to get out there and run.
The second annual event (formerly the “Run/Bike/Unite” event founded by the United Way of Portage County) will begin with a Kids’ Duathlon at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at the Allen Center at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP). The full duathlon for ages 13 and up will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Allen Center.
Registration is $15 for kids ages 7 to 12 (two age groups), $35 for adult individuals and $25 for adult relay teams of two or three people. Those costs will increase by $5 after Monday, Aug. 8.
“It’s a great way for community members to get together and be active with other people who share a passion for fitness,” said Emily Starke, director of Wellness and Chronic Disease Prevention at the YMCA. “I think it’s just a really good way for people to challenge themselves.”
Registration is available online until Aug. 17 at www.spymca.org under “events,” “Point Duathlon” or at the YMCA until Aug. 18. Onsite registration and packet pick-up is from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, and from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Allen Center.
Proceeds go toward the YMCA Chronic Disease program which includes the Live Strong cancer survivor program and the diabetes prevention program. Medals and prizes will be awarded overall and in individual age groups.
For children, the event consists of a one-quarter-mile run, a mile-and-a-half bike and another one-quarter-mile run for the 7 to 9-year olds and a one-half-mile run, a three-mile bike and one-half-mile run for ages 10 to 12. One lane of traffic will be closed during the kids’ run for safety purposes.
For adults, the distance is a two-mile run, 16.5-mile bike and another two-mile run. All routes go through the UWSP campus and some also wind through Schmeeckle Reserve and along county roads north of Stevens Point.
While it is a competitive situation, participants say the course provides some relaxation and time to bond with teammates as well.
“I was very nervous about letting my team down with a slow time on my running portion, Roz Clark said, “however, because of some advance training, event adrenalin and determination, I did ok. The cheers from friends and coworkers as I sped past to the finish line, made me feel good.
“It was fun to be part of a team, especially since we approached it as a wellness event rather than competitive,” Clark said. “After all, we were Team AARP. We laughed a lot.”
Another TEAM AARP member echoed Clark’s sentiments.
“We didn’t win, but we still felt successful and happy to be out on the course, working together and striving with other participants who had similar goals and wanted to test themselves,” Kathy Hermann said. “Having a goal motivates me to schedule time exercising in order to prepare … the camaraderie made the entire experience fun.”