Race Preview: Spring Classic Duathlon in Portland


My first ever competitive multi-sport event was the 2013 Spring Classic Duathlon which is put on by AA Sports Ltd, the same company as the directors of the Heartbreaker Half Marathon. This year’s event is held on Saturday, March 29 and follows the same course along Marine Drive in Portland. This specific event, is of the “Sprint” variety, so it is a 5k run, followed by a 15 mile bike ride, followed again by a 5k run.

For those of you who are new to the multi-sport arena, this is a FANTASTIC race to get your feet wet. And even if you are a veteran (the race is a TRI NorthWest Ranked Event), it is a good course to break the rust off and set the year off right. Here is a quote from my previous review:

I had no idea what to expect when I got there, but I know I texted my wife upon arrival and said “I am going to get crushed”. I was there and looked “like a runner” in my running shorts, tech tee, and borrowed (but still nice) bicycle. I looked around and saw many decked out in awesome tri-specific racing clothing and amazing thousand dollar bikes. However, even knowing I looked like a newbie, I never felt ostracized. This truly was an event for participants of all ages and skill levels and would be a great one to start in if you ever wanted to venture this way.

The start of the 2009 Spring Classic Duathlon. - Photo by AA Sports

The start of the 2009 Spring Classic Duathlon.
– Photo by AA Sports

Check out a zoomable map or PDF version of the course. In a nutshell, the route is set up like a giant “T”. Participants head West on the closed-to-traffic Marine Drive before turning around and heading back to the start and the bike transition area. This is followed by a few mile stretch East on Marine Drive, before turning around, passing the start area, and heading past PDX before returning to the start. The final 5k run is another short out-and-back, this time starting East on Marine Drive. It is extremely flat and the views, especially in the right weather, can be amazing.

The 2013 weather for this event was incredible. Like ridiculously amazing. Warm with blue skies and views of Mt. Hood and airplanes landing alongside the Columbia was pretty incredible. While this may have been an anomoly, there is always a chance. And even if rain makes its way into the forecast, the course is minimally technical and should lend itself well to finishing regardless of the weather. There are no railroad tracks to navigate and while traffic is on the road, I don’t ever recall feeling remotely unsafe on the route.

Spring Classic Duathlon (Portland)
Where: Qwest Training Facility located at the intersection of NE 122nd St and Airport Way
Register: Online here or mail-in;

Individual $65.00 (on or before 3/14)
Individual $70.00 (3/15-3/27)
Individual $75.00 (3/18- DOR)

Team (ppr) $30.00 (on or before 3/14)
Team (ppr) $35.00 (3/15-3/27)
Team (ppr) $40.00 (3/18- DOR)

Includes race shirt and post-race refreshments

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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