THE duathlon is the latest sport to hit the Malaysian sporting scene.
Based on two sporting disciplines, cycling and running, duathlons are set to make a big impact this year with the sport being promoted heavily in local universities.
With the recent launch of the Malaysian University Duathlon Series (MUDS), Malakoff Bhd sponsored RM30,000 worth of equipment for four local universities: Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaya, and the International Islamic University.
The first MUDS race will take place on March 8 at UiTM.
“From a training perspective, duathlons are easier on university students,” said Hamzah Ismail, who is head of sports at UPM. He said those who want to take part in a multi-disciplinary sport, like the triathlon, are put off either because they can't swim or find training for three disciplines too complicated or incompatible with university life.
“For this (duathlon), students need only concentrate on cycling and running,” he added.
Hamzah is confident that university students who do well in duathlons can compete locally and abroad. Malakoff Malaysian Duathlon Series race director Geoffrey Kronenberg said almost anyone of any age can take part in a duathlon. “We have people from ages 18 to 65 competing.”
In terms of expense, the outlay on racing a duathlon is minimal. The only major investment is in a good pair of running shoes and a well-maintained bicycle, he added. “Training is the most important thing and not the equipment.”
At the launch of MUDS, Malakoff managing director Ahmad Jauhari Yahya presented 16 bicycles to the four universities.
Kronenberg said those seeking to compete in duathlons need only train about 45 minutes a day. “It's all about time management.”
MUDS is not just for university students. Lecturers and members of the public will also be allowed to compete. The race includes a 5km run, a 20km bike ride and a 3km run.
“We want this race to be as basic as it can get and we won't allow professional athletes to take part,” Kronenberg said.
University students get to compete in MUDS for free while members of the public only need to pay RM10.
Did you find this article insightful?