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Duathlon Championship may bring 1,200 runners, bikers to St. Paul

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It's like a triathlon, but without the swimming. And next summer the Duathlon National Championships will come to Minnesota.

MPR reports organizers picked St. Paul to host the running-and-biking event, which officials estimate could bring as many as 1.200 athletes to the city. Competitors in the elite level will run five kilometers, bike 35, and then run another five.

MPR says the course will take those athletes through Harriet Island, part of downtown, and onto Lilydale Road. Tim Young, the chief operating officer of USA Triathlon, which organizes the event, praised the uniqueness of the St. Paul course.

In the announcement of the selection, an official with Visit St. Paul said the event will let the city showcase a park system that was recently named the country's best.

There are actually several championships, with athletes competing in different age groups and various distances. The 2014 championships are scheduled for July 19. But this year's event was held just last week near Tuscon, Arizona.

The men's winner in the elite level was Patrick Parish of Bloomington, who eked out the win in a neck-and-neck finish. A news release from USA Triathlon quotes Parish recounting his battle with second-place finisher Matthew Sheeks: “We were just dueling it out on the run. Shoulder to shoulder, bumping elbows. It was going to come down to who had it on that final uphill at the end.”

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