Event History. Celebrating Over 30 years of Duathlon.
Since 1983, this Duathlon series has taken many names, formats and organizers. Though one thing has remained the same, and that is the fun and memorable atmosphere for all our athletes.
David Markham, Ralph Markham, and Dave Robinson started the duathlon series at Birds Hill Park (Chickadee) in autumn 1983. They initially called them biathlons (bike / runs), but they received a threatening ultimatum from Biathlon Manitoba. After that they called it the “Call it what you will but don’t call them Biathlon series. P.S. Leave all skis and rifles at home”.
After a few years, David took over the series exclusively. They were moved to East Beach in 1987 when the numbers became too large for Chickadee.
The name was changed to Prestige Duathlon Series in 1990 when David and Andrew Klatt started Prairie Events Group.
After Andrew left Prairie Events Group, David’s next partner was Theresa Hyrich, and after her it was Felicia Kriegl. In addition to three short and long duathlons, events included the Couples Duathlon and the Bike Tie & Run.
David Markham said that the 1991 Prestige Duathlon Series was “a total failure and will not be held again due to very low entry levels.”
1998 – 1999
In spring 1998 the Birds Hill Park road and the East Beach parking lot were repaved for the 1998 Canadian Triathlon Championships and 1999 Pan Am Games, so the series was cancelled. Race Wizard software and Time Tech Sprint 8 watches were used.
1991 – 2001
From 1999 to 2001 Anita Miller and Brent Miller assisted David with
organizing the series.
2002 – 2004
Kevin, Anita, Brent, and Amber Miller organized the series from 2002 to 2004. The new run course was measured by Laurent Lacroix, with most of it out-and-back on the hilly limestone path between the lakes. There were three duathlons, one run-bike-skate, and one Bike Tie & Run.
2005 – 2007
David Markham, Ralph Markham, and Dave & Sara Desharnais organized it between 2005 and 2007. They moved the transition zone to the east half of the East Beach parking lot (to avoid contention with the public’s parked cars in the west half closer to the beach), and they also changed the run course. There were four duathlons in the series.
2008 – 2009
In 2008, the 26th year, the Tri-Force Triathlon Team, led my Mark & Maureen Van Schepdael, took over the race. The course and races remained the same. The Kids of Steel became a true duathlon in 2009, with short initial runs added. Chip Timing by Results Canada was adding in 2009.
2010 – 2013
Gord’s Ski and Bike along with Gord’s Triathlon Club took over the series with much help from Mark Van Schepdael. A 5th race was added to the format along with online registration and payment, helping ease the lineup/rush.
2014 – Now
With the closing of Gord’s Ski and Bike, the triathlon club adopted the new name “Winnipeg Triathlon Club”. And under the new name and board, the club continues to host the loveable series.