Mangled Off-Road Duathlon FAQ's

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What the heck is an off-road duathlon?

 An off-road duathlon is a competition that is composed of trail running and mountain biking. The usual format for a duathlon is run-bike-run, meaning you start with a run, then transition to the bike, then transition back to running again. Your time starts when you start the race and finishes when you cross the finish line. This means that the time it takes you to switch from running to cycling and back again is part of your race time.

 

What type of equipment do I need?

A mountain bike and helmet to start. The bike doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be able to handle the rough desert terrain without falling apart and get your from point A to B. A helmet is required to race. If you do not have a helmet on race morning, then we will not allow you to participate. Save the melon! Next you will need some sort of running shoes. Again, race in what you are comfortable with.

 

What are the rules?

There are some but only to keep things safe and fair for everyone.

  1. Start in the wave you are assigned to. This will help with keeping the course uncrowded and have a better experience.

  2. Know the course – doing a pre-ride/run is a recommended so you get familiar with the flow and where are good places to pass. This will also help you get used to how you will approach the transition area and which direction you will leave after each leg of the race.

  3. There is no riding within the transition area. You will have a mount and dismount line once you approach the transition area.

  4. Make sure your helmet is on your head and buckled before mounting your bike

  5. Make passes that are safe and courteous to your fellow competitors. Any reports of foul or rude language towards another rider are grounds for a DQ from the event. Don’t block others from passing either. In other words, don’t be a jerk out there. There will be all levels of riders and runners on the course at all times so be patient and keep a positive environment for everyone.

  6. No earbuds allowed during the race

  7. No pets in transition or on the course

  8. No outside assistance is allowed – you must fix your own bike/tire to continue on

  9. Wear your race numbers and timing chip at all times. One number will be given for the front of your bike, another bib number will need to be affixed to the front of your shirt/jersey or on a race belt and be visible at all times from the front. No timing chip or race numbers = no time.

  10. Only registered athletes are allowed in the transition area.

  11. Bottle hand offs are only allowed in the designated feed zone areas. Your friends and family will not be permitted to be hiding behind a cactus out on course to throw you a bottle. Be prepared and know where those feed zones are.
     

What do I wear?

Whatever makes you comfortable. Keep in mind that you are running, cycling and then running again so to keep transition times to a minimum then it is recommended to wear items of clothing that work for both sports. A pair of cycling shorts are just as easy to ride in and also run in. There are also shorts made for triathlon and duathlon that have a slightly smaller pad so they are a little bit more comfortable to run in. A typical cycling jersey can work for a top as well as a short-sleeved shirt. Whatever you choose, make sure you have a test run before race day. Make sure you are comfortable, and things don’t fall off or ride up or down where you don’t want them to.

 

Do I need a support person?

Not really. Having friends and family cheer you on and provide moral support is a wonderful thing. Having them help you with your bike or fix a flat tire is a violation of the rules of multisport racing. They may hand you water in the designated feed zone areas, however. Duathlon is an individual sport, and each athlete must be responsible for him/herself for the duration of the event. The only assistance a racer may receive is from designated race aid stations or support. Therefore, it is a good idea for a future duathlete to learn how to repair a flat tire.

How early should I show up for my first race?

This depends on how much time you will need to warm up but usually 60-90 minutes is enough time. Keep in mind that you have to pick up your race number, go to the bathroom, warm-up and stretch, and unlike a single sport event, multisport racing requires you to stage your gear (in transition). Also, since it is your first time out, there are bound to be questions you will have and things you will forget to do. After a race or two, you will have the drill down and can modify that time.

 

What do I do with my bike while running?

The center of activity for any multisport race is the transition area. This is an area, usually surrounded by a fence of some kind, that contains enough bike racks for all of the competitors in the race. Sometimes, spots on the bike rack are claimed in a first come first-served fashion. In some races, however, spots on the bike racks are assigned. Whichever method is used, will be made clear before you enter transition.

Once you select a spot on the bike racks, this will be "your" transition spot. When you finish the first run, you will come to this spot and retrieve your bike. When you finish the bike ride, you will return it to the exact same spot on the bike racks and begin your run.

After the race is finished, you can return to your transition spot and reclaim your bike.

 

How does a transition area work?

Once you have picked out a spot for your bike, lay out a towel on the ground beside your bike, being careful not to invade the space of your neighbor. It is rude to set up a huge campsite in transition. It is obnoxious to bring coolers, foot baths, and other large gear into transition.

Now that you have your spot, lay out your bike shoes (if you use them), bike helmet, sunglasses, gloves, or whatever else you may need during the race onto your towel. The rules, however, state that no glass, pets, friends, or family are allowed into the transition area. For the safety and security of your gear, the transition area is reserved for athletes only.

Next, take a walk through the transition area. Find the entrance where you will come in after the first run, and make sure you can quickly locate your bike. At every race, there are a handful of racers who frantically search for their bikes following the first run. A practice walk from the transition entrance to your bike will help you to avoid this problem. Likewise, you will want to find the exit you will use to start the bike, the entrance you will use when you finish the bike, and the exit you will use when you start the final run.

The race will have a mount line just outside the transition area, and you must run or walk your bike out of the transition zone and past that line before beginning to ride. When you finish the bike ride, you will dismount at the line and run or walk your bike into transition.

You will rack your bike in exactly the same spot where you racked it before the race. If you use a brightly or uniquely colored towel to mark your spot, it will make it easier to find after cycling.

After the race, you can return to the transition area to reclaim your gear.

 

How is the race timed?

Mangled Momentum events are timed using the Jaguar Timing System. Each participant will receive a small transponder (chip) attached to a soft, comfortable neoprene strap. You must fasten the strap to your ankle prior to the start of the event.

The chip will automatically register your time as you finish each leg of the race, and when you cross the finish line. No chip means no times will be recorded.

After crossing the finish line, you must return your timing chip, or you will be charged the replacement cost. If you drop out of the event, you must be sure to stop by the timing tent at the line and return your chip and tell them you are a DNF (Did not finish). It is good practice to notify the timing team any time you are a DNF at any race as then they know not to be looking for you out on the course.

Participants will also receive a paper bib number that must be worn on the front of the shirt, or on a race belt, with the number visible on the front when entering/exiting transition. Participants will also receive a number plate that is to be affixed to the front of their bike. 

 

How do relay teams work?

Duathlon relay teams consist of 2 or 3 team members. One person is the runner, the other is the biker. The runner will begin in a starting wave with the other relay teams and complete the entire run course. The runner then runs through the transition area and transfers the timing chip and ankle strap to the ankle of his biker teammate. The transfer is done in a designated relay exchange area within the transition area. The cyclist will be waiting in a designated tag zone. If you have three people on your team you will switch the timing chip back to your teammate for the final run.