East Fork Triathlon and Duathlon tests locals’ endurance, fitness

East Fork State Park has been the home to the East Fork Triathlon and Duathlon for over 25 years. Participants can compete in one of four different race styles.
The East Fork Triathlon and Duathlon took place on Sunday, Aug. 5, pushing Clermont County endurance athletes to their maximum.

The Tri and Du is put on by HFP Racing, a leader in the industry of multisport management and marketing, hosting over 20 regionally owned and operated multisport events.

The HFO Racing team hosts a summer series that includes seven events throughout the summer and covers much of Ohio. The series kicked off with the Deer Creek Tri and Du on June 3 and will conclude with the Portage Lakes Tri and Du on Sept. 16 in Akron.

The East Fork event, which has been taking place in East Fork State Park for more than 25 years, features four different types of routes all wrapped into one well-oiled machine.

The tri- and duathletes will either compete in the sprint triathlon, sprint duathlon, Olympic triathlon or Olympic duathlon. The only differences between the races are the distances and the number of events that each competitor must complete.

Triathlons include a swim in William Harsha Lake, then a bike ride, and are completed by a marathon-style run, while the duathlon only incorporates the running and biking. Duathletes will open with a marathon-style run, then bike and then finish their race with another run.

To kick off the event, those competing in the sprint triathlon will begin with a 750-meter open water swim in Harsha Lake, followed by a 20-kilometer bike ride and cap off their raceday with a five-kilometer run.

In the sprint duathlon, competitors will run two five-kilometer runs sandwiched around a 20-kilometer bike ride.

In the Olympic tri and du, the difference from the sprint races is the distance that each covers. The Olympic triathlon begins with 1,500-meter swim, which is two laps around the course set up in Harsha Lake as opposed to one in the sprint, followed by a 40-kilometer bike ride and culminating with a 10-kilometer run.

The Olympic duathlon begins just like the sprint duathlon, with a five-kilometer run, then ramps up the bike ride from 20k to 40k, and finishes everything off with a 10k run.

More recently, the East Fork Tri and Du has included a Girls Tri Too course. Girls Tri Too is a more reasonable layout for women trying to complete their goal of finishing a triathlon. For the Girls Tri Too course, the women traversed a 250-meter swim, followed by a 7-mile bike ride and finished it off with a 2-mile run.

The organization of the event is top-notch and broken down by age and race type. Beginning at 7:30 a.m., the Girls Tri Too commence the racing. Shortly thereafter, at 8 a.m., all duathletes start, followed by the sprint triathlon and Olympic Triathlon.

Everybody is on the course by 8:35 a.m.

During the day of the race, participants receive their pre-race packet that includes a timing chip that the competitors use to keep their times, a official race t-shirt and post race food and beverages.

The top three Elite Open, Elite Masters and Elite Grand Masters male and female in the sprint and Olympic races receive medals as well as the top three in each age group.

The race divisions include 14 & under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and 75+. The Elite Open encompasses all amateurs from 15-39, the Elite Masters includes all amateur 40-49 year olds and the Elite Grand Master are amateurs 50 years and older.

For more information on the East Fork Tri and Du as well as other tri- and duathlons in the area, visit the HFP Racing website at HFPRacing.com.