SARTELL – A cool and windy May morning greeted the competitors of the 40th Apple Duathlon on Saturday.
Near the transition area stood Daryl Stevens, reflecting on the history of the race. Stevens co-founded the Apple Duathlon in 1983 with Rich Schwegel as health promotion for St. Cloud’s Hospital.
“We wanted the race to be promoted as healthy, so we decided to add the word ‘apple’ at the start of the race,” Stevens said. “It stuck after that.”
After a few years, Stevens and his wife, Pam Stevens, became race directors of the Apple Duathlon.
The couple started the race as a simple run. Then cycling got involved and racing became multi-sport.
They called the race a biathlon until the Olympics incorporated biathlon as a skiing and shooting event. Stevens decided to change the name of the race to a duathlon.
“This duathlon is nice because it allows people to run and ride their bikes before the hot weather kicks in and the triathlons start,” said current race co-director Heather Rothfork. “The Apple Duathlon is a great race to kick off the summer season and it’s great to celebrate the 40th anniversary.”
Stevens and his wife usually compete in the Apple Duathlon, but a recent surgery sidelined him for this year’s race. Pam competed and showed a good time to kick off her 2022 season.
Over the past 40 years, the Stevens have enjoyed many moments in racing history. One of the biggest highlights is the participation of the Sartell community.
They also enjoyed seeing people coming from all over the world to participate in the Apple Duathlon.
“We used to have athletes from Canada coming to compete,” said Daryl Stevens. “So we were playing the national anthem of Canada and it was cool to have both national anthems before the race.”
The Apple Duathlon was a qualifying race for the Duathlon World Championship in 2009 and 2013. In 2019 and 2020 the event was a USAT regional qualifier, bringing elite athletes to the race.
Over the past 40 years there has always been a mix of local and elite athletes to make this event competitive and enjoyable for attendees and fans alike.
Pam and Daryl Stevens were race directors for the Apple Duathlon for more than 20 years, but stepped down in 2008 to hand over the responsibilities to others. Daryl Stevens said there are great race directors, volunteers and others who have helped carry on the traditions of the event over these 40 years.
Rothfork and Heather Corcoran are the current race co-directors and they look forward to continuing to build the event. The hope is to host this event for another 40 years and beyond with the same level of competition and love for the sport of running and cycling.
“It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of people to make this event happen,” said Daryl Stevens. “But seeing this day come and being able to experience all these fun times every year makes all the hard work worth it. I always look forward to the next Apple Duathlon.”
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Apple Duathlon Results
The first five men (long course)
1. Andrew Zabel, 1:26:29 (Sartell, MN)
2. Brooks Grossinger, 1:27:37 (Mayer, Minnesota)
3. Stephen Eles, 1:30:26 (Boulder, Colo.)
4. Noah Billings, 1:32:03 (Rochester, Minn.)
5. Tom Woods, 1:32:19 (Lincoln, Nebraska)
The first five women (long course)
1. Andrea Myers, 1:50:52 (Medicine Lake, Minnesota)
2. Alyssa Knese, 1:55:03 (Sartell, Minnesota)
3. Amy Woolsey, 1:57:33 (Foley, MN)
4. Cheri Bates, 1:59:35 (Rice, MN)
5. Judy Januschka Murray, 2:03:31 (Sartell, Minn.)
The First Five Men (Short Course)
1. Nolan Snyder, 54:25 (Sartell, MN)
2. Scott Eide, 55:32 (Avon, Minn.)
3. Hudson Zabel, 57:30 (Sartell, Minn.)
4. Adam Marthaler, 1:00:12 (Albany, Minn.)
5. Mike Lawrence, 1:01:21 (Rice, MN)
Top 5 Women (Short Course)
1. Anne Hoeschen, 1:02:11 (Freeport, Minn.)
2. Reggie MacMaster, 1:03:33 (Fargo, ND)
3. Ashley Patterson, 1:06:09 (St. Joesph, Minn.)
4. Alison Manderscheid, 1:07:12 (Sartell, Minn.)
5. Mical Gillson, 1:07:18 (St. Cloud, Minn.)