Double Road Race holding U.S. debut in Pleasanton
Dec. 23 event to include Kids Christmas One-Mile Race
A new race is coming to America on Sunday, Dec. 23, and organizers have picked Pleasanton for the debut. The running competition is the Double Road Race, called the Double for short.
The race has two legs, an opening 10K leg, followed by a 5K leg, with a short break in between. Winners are decided on their best aggregate time.
The Double is the brainchild of Bob Anderson, founder and former publisher of Runner's World magazine, and an avid runner for 50 years.
"It's not two races in one day," said Anderson. "It's one race with two legs. This is the only running event with a halftime."
Seven Doubles have been held thus far, all in Mexico, where Anderson's company, Ujena Swimwear, does promotional events.
Asked why Pleasanton was selected for the inaugural Double in the U.S., Anderson said, "Pleasanton is a community that is very partial to sporting events, and it was very supportive of us holding the event there. Besides, the roads are wide, smooth and flat, and we wanted a fast course. The courses for both the 10K and 5K are fast and flat."
The Pleasanton Double will start and finish at Hart Middle School, 4433 Willow Road. The morning of competitions will include the Christmas 5K Run/Walk -- to be held in conjunction with the 5K leg of the Double -- and the Kids Christmas One-Mile Run.
After completing the 10K leg, Double runners will go to an area tagged the Recovery Zone for hydration, nutrition and physical support, such as massage, to help them recover and prepare for the second leg. The Recovery Zone will be set up indoors in case of bad weather.
By regulation, the 5K of the Double starts 105 minutes after the start of the 10K.
The Double is being billed as a Christmas family event and world-class athletic competition rolled into one. As of Tuesday, 906 had registered, ranging from parents and their children, for the Kids Christmas One-Mile Run, to elite runners. The race is limited to 1,200 runners. The Doubles in Mexico were smaller events with fewer participants.
Special two sided medals will be given to the top five in each age group; $4,200 in prize money will be awarded plus the Double Road Race Federation is offering an additional $1,000 for world record performances.
The men's world record at this time is 49:15 (33:41 for the 10K and 15:34 for the 5K), and the women's world record is 55:02 (36:45 10K and 18:17 5K). Both were set June 16 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in hot and humid weather so organizers say they expect "a wholesale revision of the existing records."
Sign up at www.doubleroadrace.com. Entry fee by Dec. 22 is $30 for Christmas 5K; $15 for Kids One Mile; and $45 for the Double. Same day entry is $40, $20 and $60.
The Pleasanton Double will also serve as the conclusion of a movie, "A Long Run," documenting Bob Anderson's year-long campaign to complete 50 races in one year in celebration of his 50 years of running. Anderson, 64, is covering a total of 350 miles, at an average speed of seven minutes per mile.
The 10K and 5K legs of the Double will count as his 49th and 50th races of the year. The question is: Will the man who founded Runner's World at age 17 because of his love of running ultimately achieve his goal of averaging under seven minutes a mile when his 50-race series comes to an end at Pleasanton?
"We will be filming in Pleasanton -- and the Double and many of its participants will be part of our film," said Director Michael Anderson. The film is scheduled for release in 2013.
Double Road Race schedule of events
* 7:45 a.m. Dec. 23 Start of the Double 10K
* 9:30 a.m. Start of the Double 5K and the Christmas 5K, which will be run together
* 11 a.m. Start of the Kids Christmas One-Mile Race (10 and under)
* 11:30 a.m. Awards Ceremony