Greenville native takes part in duathlon

Published 4:37 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Despite some awful weather that discouraged many participants, a visiting Greenville native recently represented the Camellia City in grand fashion at Montgomery’s third annual New Park Family Duathlon.

Nathaniel Faulkenberry, now a resident of Houston, Texas, was home visiting the family and thought it would be a great opportunity.

“I try to get back and visit as often as I can,” Faulkenberry said. “It was cool to be able to do a race while home this time.”

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A duathlon, not to be confused with a biathlon, consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling leg and then another running leg. The race is very similar to a triathlon, with main difference being the substitution of the swimming portion of the race with a second running leg. Faulkenberry finished second overall and first in the 30-39 year-old age group.

Although he wasn’t sure how the event would unfold, he remained confident in his abilities.

“I had researched typical local competition and thought I had a pretty good shot at winning,” Faulkenberry said. “The guy that won, Jeffery Shelley, was from Birmingham and didn’t hit my ‘local talent’ search,” he joked.

A two-mile run, a 10-mile bike followed by a two-mile run (all in succession) comprised the duathlon, which required a great deal of preparation from Faulkenberry.

“I typically ride around 130 miles per week and run about 20 miles per week,” he said. “I used to train 15-20 hours per week, but now I focus a lot more on spending time with my family.”

And family was one of the central themes of the New Park event. Events had adults going first, followed by children’s races afterward. There was even a family duathlon, in which some of the parents competed in the event with their children.

“Parents being involved with their kids—getting out and walking, kicking the ball around or playing catch—are easy ways for both parties to get exercise,” Faulkenberry said. “You don’t have to go out and run five miles to stay healthy.  When my wife and I go for a run, we push our daughter in a jogging stroller.  We want her to grow up knowing that being active is something we do as a family.”