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HES Faculty Compete at ITU Multisport World Championships

Health and Exercise Studies (HES) faculty members, Sally Almekinders, Randy Bechtolt, and Renee Harrington, are participating in the 2019 Pontevedra ITU Multisport World Championships.

The HES members will compete in the duathlon competition April 26, 2019 – May 4, 2019. Consisting of running and cycling, duathlons are conducted in Draft Legal Sprint, Standard Distance, and Long course Duathlons. The sprint is a 5k run, 20k bike, and 2.5k run, while the standard is a 10k run, 40k bike, and a 5k run. Bechtolt and Akemkinders will compete in the sprint distance and Harrington will compete in the standard distance. During the second week of the ITU Multisport World Championships, Almekinders will race in the World Championship Aquathlon.

The HES members qualified for the ITU World Duathlon by competing in National Championship events and finishing top 10 in their age groups. To qualify for Worlds, athletes must finish top 10 for draft legal, top 8 for non-draft sprint, or top 18 for standard distance. The trio qualified for this year’s nationals in Greenville, South Carolina in 2018.

Renee Harrington running across the finish line of a race.
Renee Harrington qualifying for Worlds
Sally Almekinders running across the finish line of a race.
Sally Almekinders qualifying for Worlds

The World competition is not new to Almekinders and Harrington. Almekinders has been to 15 World Championship events, competing in Duathlon, Aquathlon and the most prestigious and hardest to qualify for, Triathlon. This is Harrington’s fourth time competing, placing 12th her first year, 6th her second year, and 8th her third year. Harrington is hoping to make the podium this year by finishing top five in her age group. Bechtolt is looking forward to competing in his first world competition and plans to train for upcoming years.

To prepare for the Duathlon, the three must run and bike year-round. Training will begin approximately 12-weeks leading up to the competition. In addition to running and biking weekly, workouts can include; high intensity, long distance, brick workouts, core workouts, and some swimming. It is important to properly train and prepare for the race to reduce the risk of injury.

In addition to the competition, the experience of the ITU Multisport World Championships is truly memorable. Athletes will walk in the parade of nations, similar to the opening ceremony of the Olympics. During the competition, participants interact with teammates and make life-long friends, located all over the world.

Almekinders enjoys traveling with family and Team USA. She has met many friends over the past decade and says, “These people are inspirational to me and it has enriched my life to be around them. We have invited each other to races across the country and hosted each other at our homes.”  

North Carolina State University students are encouraged to participate in these types of competitions!

Almekinders has had two students attend the World Championship for long course triathlon in 2007. She traveled to France to support and coach the students in the race.

There are several different races and opportunities to get involved in as a student. HESF 106 Triathlon or the Triathlon club is a great way to get started. In addition, practice duathlons, aquathlons, and triathlons take place in HES each semester.

Stay tuned to find out how the HES Faculty did at the 2019 Pontevedra ITU Multisport World Championships! Check in with the HES Facebook page for their results.

For more information about the ITU Multisport World Championships: