Running, biking, it’s the wheel deal
Dean Magnavite email@example.com | (708) 633-5937 June 6, 2011 8:50AM
SouthtownStar columnist Dean Magnavite
SouthtownStar Night Production Editor Dean Magnavite will turn 50 on Friday.
Help an old guy
You can reach Dean or post messages — and click “like” — at tinyurl.com/HalfCenturyMan or pass along words of advice for this future 50-year-old at firstname.lastname@example.org/fifty/
Updated: January 23, 2012 2:34AM
Today’s riddle: What has more than 1,300 legs, 1,300 wheels and can be found on the streets of Tinley Park one day every summer?
Answer: It’s the “Race Around The World Duathlon,” which this year is back for its 11th edition.
The event — a 2-mile run, an 11-mile bike ride and a second 2-mile run through Tinley Park and the surrounding forest preserve — is scheduled for 8 a.m. June 26. The starting point is South Street and Oak Park Avenue.
According to the event’s official website, “The Race Around The World Duathlon was started in 2001 with the goal of becoming the largest multisport event in the south suburbs. With the help of numerous volunteers, the race committee has accomplished this goal and continues to produce a great race for the community.”
“The event really has taken off,” said Gil Hannon, the race founder and director. “Entries for this year are excellent. We’re well over 550 (the race expects to sell out its goal of 650 entries).”
The event has grown since its inaugural in 2001, Hannon said.
“We get entries from more than 100 communities, as well as six surrounding states. In 2010 we had more than 100 from Tinley Park,” said Hannon, who has participated in the event since its inception. “It’s huge. Multisport athletes really enjoy taking part in this event.”
This test of athleticism and stamina is open to individuals or teams of two.
For those entering as a team, one person is responsible for the bike portion and the other is responsible for both running portions. Team members would pass a timing chip from one phase of the event to the other in relay fashion. A helmet is required during the biking portion. Road, mountain and hybrid bikes can be used on the course, which is described as “flat, with a few gentle slopes.”
Individual awards are given in five-year age brackets for men and women. Awards also are given out to the top female, male and mixed teams. Additionally, a traveling trophy is given out to the top-finishing female/male Tinley Park resident.
Even more important, a portion of the proceeds again will benefit the local charity Together We Cope.
Hannon credits his family members for being hands-on with the planning and operations for the event, which allows him to put his mettle to the pedals on the streets of Tinley Park.
“I love to bike,” he said. “I have five bikes in the garage.”
Hannon, another soon-to-be 50-year-old, first brought the event to my attention earlier this year after reading about my getting “Fit at Fitty” campaign. He extended an offer to me to participate in the event in order to get more people around our age interested in physical fitness.
Although I will not be an active participant in this year’s event — while I do work out, I’m not a runner, and the last time I was on a bike was 1990-something — the idea does sound intriguing.
Next year, though, I plan to be ready to run, if not ride. That means I will need a cyclist teammate for 2012.
Though I’m neither running nor riding on June 26, I have signed up to be a volunteer on race day. Adult and student volunteers still are needed to help distribute water and refreshments and/or guide racers in the transition area.
For information or to sign up for the Around The World Duathlon, visit http://duathlon.us.to or contact race administrator Patrick Hannon at (708) 323-2698. If you’re interested in being a race day volunteer, you can do that through the website.