The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge — home to migrating ducks and geese along with the bald eagle and Delmarva fox squirrel — will be taken over by a bunch of sweaty bicyclists when the USA Triathlon National Long Course Duathlon Championship comes to the 27,000-acre preserve in Cambridge next June.
"It's a great place to hold an event," said TriColumbia president Robert Vigorito, whose organization also hosts the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon as well as the the Ironman 70.3 EagleMan, a qualifying event for the world's most famous Ironman event in Hawaii
This marks the second time that Vigorito's organization has held a duathlon in the refuge. A shorter duathlon was held there 10 years ago, he said.
Vigorito said Friday that he put in a bid to host the Long Course Duathlon because "I felt like the Mid-Atlantic region was a strong location for duathletes." The event had been held in Alabama the past three years.
The Long Course Duathlon Championships consists of a pair of 10K (6.2-mile) runs sandwiched around a 70K (43.4-mile) bicycle race. While the running events will start at Cambridge South Dorchester High and continue along the periphery of the refuge, most of the bicycle event will be held inside the refuge.
"People who hate to swim, this is their forte," Vigorito said. "They will be able to see plenty of bald eagle nests and snowy egrets. You may not see a car for 50 miles."
Registration for the June 3 event opened last week. Individual entries cost $125, or it's $200 for a two-person team. The event is open to the first 750 participants. There will be $4,999 in prizes for individual competitors. Vigorito said next year's Ironman 70.3 EagleMan event will be held at the same location a week later.
The Blackwater Long Course Duathlon Championship will also be held in Dorchester County in 2013.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times