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NSR Fall Duathlon Series, Race 1
New Course Records in Run/Rollerski Duathlon

September 19, 2004 -
By Mike Muha

Steve Kuhl and Julie Houle set the men's and women's course records in the 1st race of the 2nd Annual Fall Duathlon Series. Steve passed Mike Muha halfway through the run and never looked back, finishing the Duathlon in 34:33, two and a half minutes ahead of second place finisher Tim Feldkamp. Coming in third was Aaron Tarnow. 

Julie Houle, the first women to compete in a Duathlon, finished in 45:30, setting the standard for any women entering future events.

The field was very competitive in the run. Except for Steve Kuhl, who put the rest of the field in it's place, most of other skiers finished within about a minute of one another. Mike Muha and Mike Heidinger came out of the woods in second and third place, only a second apart, with Will McLaughlin only a few steps behind.

Racers self-timed themselves in this low-key event. A few technical problems with watches ("My battery died!" "How do I recall the splits from memory?" "I just erased everything!") prevented a number of participants from recording their transition or rollerski splits.

The Duathlon is really a set of individual time trials rather than a race. Racers could choose to use either skating or classic rollerskis. Because everyone had different speed rollerskis, comparing rollerski splits is difficult. Even with different speed rollerskis, there was still the added incentive to catch the person in front of you or to prevent the person behind you from passing.

Race Director Dan Motowski used the same course from last year's series - a well marked course over the mountain bike trails and the paved bike path at Island Lake Recreation Area near Brighton, Michigan. The running trail was roughly 1/3 up, 1/3 down, 1/3 flat with relatively easy hills. The trail utilized both the Blue and Yellow mountain bike trails between the Riverbend Picnic Area and the mountain bike trailhead. The running portion of the race was roughly 5 km long.

The rollerski path went up the paved bike path hill from the Riverbend parking lot, then followed the mostly flat path for 3.1 miles. There was one road crossing, and the finish line was over the top and down to the bottom of the biggest hill on the bike path at Island Lake.

The weather was perfect: high 50's to low 60's, bright and sunny, and only a little wind in the final half kilometer to the finish.

The race series is a great opportunity to get the lead out. By having competitors out on the course, everyone was pushed to go that much harder. Participants get a chance to explore pacing and race strategy, in addition to getting a great VO2Max workout. A great way to train for the cross country ski racing season coming up!

The second, third, and fourth Duathlon races of this series will be held on Sunday, October 17, November 14 and December 12. Racers can compare their times between events to see how they've improved during the fall.

Rank Name FS / CL? Run Split

Trans-  ition

Ski Split Total Time Rollerski Type


1 Steve Kuhl FS 18:36 1:55 14:02 34:33 Eplex F1
2 Tim Feldkamp FS 22:20 ? ? 37:03 Rollerblades
3 Aaron Tarnow FS 20:18 - 16:48 37:06 V2 750
4 Mike Heidinger FS 20:06 1:38  ? 37:41 Pro-Ski S3
5 Jeff Potter FS 20:15  -  - 38:15 V2 Aero 125
6 Yvon Dufour CL 20:55 1:35 15:50 38:20 SwedeSki
7 Mike Muha CL 20:05 2:18 17:03 39:27 Pro-Ski C2
8 Dan Motowski FS ? ? ? 39:34 Pro-Ski S2
9 Will McLaughlin FS 20:10 ? ? 40:00 V2 Aero 150 (60 psi)
10 Julie Houle FS ? ? ? 45:30 Marwe

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