(as featured in the summer (2013) issue of California Track & Running News)
“THE NEXT DIMENSION IN RACING”
The Double Road Race® debuts as a new sport and a new challenge for runners.
By David Prokop, Best Road Races Editor
As a group, distance runners are a brainy lot with above average intelligence – that’s not just one man’s opinion, surveys have proved it!
Now comes a new sport and a new competition for runners that’s as cerebral as it is physical.
Masters runner Bill Dunn from San Jose, Calif., says, “I like the fact it’s a cerebral event, not just a physical event.”
Marathon great Bill Rodgers has said, “Folks will enjoy this race more when they consider it a strategy event – with different options available to all runners.”
They’re talking about the Double Road Race® (Double for short). Contrary to first impression, the Double does not involve running two races in one day. Rather, it is a distance race run in two segments, with a recovery break in between.
Or as Bob Anderson, creator of the Double and the sport of Double Road Racing, puts it, “It’s the only race with a halftime.”
By the rules and regulations of the Double Road Race Federation, which Anderson, founder and former publisher of Runner’s World magazine, set up to oversee the new sport and event, the Double is a race consisting of two legs – a 10K on the road, followed by a recovery break, then a 5K which starts 105 minutes after the start of the 10K. The competitor’s race finish is determined by his or her combined time.
So rather than being two races run within a short time span, the essence of the Double and its inherent challenge can best be summed up this way: How do I pace myself through a 10K, then a 5K which starts 105 minutes after the start of the 10K to register my best combined time? Because combined time is what counts and the only thing that counts, not who won either leg, because it is possible to win the Double without winning either the 10- or 5K.
An integral part of the Double Road Race® is the Halftime featuring the Recovery Zone. While competitors can do whatever they want during the time between the finish of the 10K and the start of the 5K, a formal Recovery Zone is provided where competitors can get everything from nutrition and hydration to massage, exercise equipment (to help you stay loose) and various other forms of physical therapy. The Recovery Zone also serves as a social environment for competitors to meet and greet fellow runners and compare race strategies and experiences.
The first official Double Road Race® was held in Pleasanton, Calif. on Dec. 23, 2012. Seven trial Doubles were previously held in Mexico, where Bob Anderson’s swimwear company Ujena does many promotional events.
Fernando Cabada, living in Boulder, Colo., won the Pleasanton Double in a world record time of 45:33, running 30:31 for the 10K and 15:02 for the 5K. Cabada is the American record holder for the 25K on the road.
Tina Kefalas of Hillsborough, Calif., who represented Greece in the women’s marathon at the 2012 Olympics in London, won the women’s section at Pleasanton in a world record time of 54:02 (35:55/18:07).
Christine Kennedy of Los Gatos, Calif., won the Double Victory Cup and $500 for the best age-graded performance. The 57-year-old running shoe store owner registered a combined time of 58:33 (39:14/19:19).
A total of $4,800 in prize money was awarded in the Pleasanton Double plus $1000 ($500 each) of Bonus Money for the world records. Bob Anderson has made it no secret that the Double was conceived as a professional event right from the beginning – with overall and the top three age-group winners receiving cash awards. At least 50 percent of the money awarded will go to Masters runners, which is unique in big-time road racing.
The Double Road Race® is being advertised in Runner’s World as “The next dimension in racing.” It has been described as “A runner’s chess match on the roads in shoes, shorts and a singlet.”
Ready for something new and uniquely challenging? Try running a Double in your area. Who knows, you might be very good at it. But be careful…
“The Double is addictive,” says runner and Ujena swimwear model Jodi LaBoissiere, who competed in the Pleasanton Double -- and prior to that ran in six of the seven trial Doubles held in Mexico. In other words, once you’ve run a Double, you can’t wait to compete in another one to see if you can get the combination just right to achieve your best aggregate time.
Creator Bob Anderson has run each trial Double in Mexico and is planning on running all ten Doubles in 2013. "I love running the Double Road Race," says Bob. "I am still trying to figure out what is the best thing to do during half time in the recovery zone."