Coon Rapids Dam hosts fourth-annual duathlon Saturday

Endurance and recreational athletes alike plan on flocking to the north metro on Saturday for the fourth annual “Du @ the Dam,” a duathlon at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park.

While many are familiar with the concept of a triathlon, which combines running, biking and swimming, a duathlon eliminates the swimming portion, replacing it with another running session.

Participants will start with a three-mile run, continue on with a 14-mile bike ride and finish with another three-mile run with two water stops along the way. The leaders usually finish after about 80 minutes, while people trickle in for the next hour and a half. For many the reward is finishing.

“This is more for the average athlete,” Race Director Randy Fulton said. “Most of our customers are the entry-level people out there looking for fun. They’re great for people who don’t know how to swim.”

The main attraction is the venue. The 446-acre Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park has some of the more attractive running and biking trails in the county.

“It’s a beautiful park to run. It’s gorgeous,” Fulton said. “The scenery on the run along the Mississippi River is just fantastic.”

The race begins at Shelter 3 on the Coon Rapids side of the dam. The transition area opens up at 7:15 a.m. to allow people to set up their bikes and gear. Packet pickup begins at 7:30 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m. There are age groups from 19-and-under to every decade up to 70-and-older, plus there are categories for men and women from beginners up to elites.

The fee is $65 for individuals and $90 for teams. It comes with a T-shirt and free entry into the park.

More information and to register visit

For those wishing to watch, all you need to do is pay the park fee. The race won’t take over the entire park either.

“The park is huge, so it’s pretty easy to stay out of the way if you want to,” Fulton said.

Andy Rogers is at [email protected]