USA Triathlon announced Wednesday that the scenic city of Tucson, Ariz., will host the National Duathlon Festival in 2011 and 2012.
Exact race dates have not been set, but organizers expect an April event for both years. Duathlon races consist of a run-bike-run format.
"USA Triathlon is thrilled to be bringing our National Duathlon Festival to Tucson in 2011 and 2012," said USAT executive director Skip Gilbert. "Given the tremendous reception we received from Richmond, Va., for the past two years, we are confident that our nation's 32nd-largest city and its active community will roll out the red carpet to help support and showcase our sport."
"The selection of Tucson/Oro Valley to host the 2011 and 2012 USA Triathlon National Duathlon Festival provides the perfect opportunity to prove to world-class athletes and trainers how our community lives up to the title of 'America's Winter Training Capital,'" said Vince Trinidad, director of the Tucson Sports division for the Metropolitan Tucson Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"Additionally, the event will be an example of the seamless cooperation and collaboration between Tucson Sports, Oro Valley and Ventana Medical Systems, a private organization for which our destination is becoming well known."
The 2011 and 2012 USAT National Duathlon Festival will consist of three duathlons in the Oro Valley - the Age Group National Championship, a sprint-distance Citizen's Race and the Off-Road Championship. The 2010 event is slated for April 24-25 in Richmond, Va.
Tucson boasts an average of 350 days of sunshine annually, and event participants can expect average highs of 82 degrees and average lows of 50 degrees in April.
Set in the Sonoran Desert valley and surrounded by five mountain ranges, Tucson was ranked as the world's No. 1 location for triathlon training by Triathlete magazine in 2009. The area is known as a hub for outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, rock climbing, golf and horseback riding. Tucson also boasts outstanding dining, museums and galleries.
The second-largest city in Arizona, Tucson has a metro population of more than one million. It is the home of the University of Arizona and ranks as one of the oldest continually inhabited areas in North America.
The area is serviced by the Tucson International Airport.
Located in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the Hilton El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort, an AAA Four Diamond property, will serve as the host hotel for the event. Packet pick up will take place at the resort, as will the event's vendor expo.
2011-12 USAT National Duathlon Festival Race Distances (run, bike, run)*
Age Group National Championship - 5k, 40k, 5k
Citizen's Race (sprint distance) - 2.5k, 20k, 2.5k
Off-Road Championship - 3k, 15k, 3k
*All distances are subject to change.