Mansfield resident competes in national duathlon meet

Posted Monday, Oct. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Mansfield resident Joe Silva was off and running – then biking – and running again after qualifying for the USA Duathlon National Championships last weekend in Tucson, Ariz.

Silva qualified for the national duathlon after winning his age group at the Fast and Furious event in Grand Prairie. He competed in the 44-49 age group.

Duathlon is much like a triathlon, but with just the running and biking components.

In the “sprint” division in which Silva competes, athletes will run 2.5 kilometers, then bike 17 km and then run another 2.5K.

“I prefer the biking,” Silva said, explaining that he does not want to put in time in the water for a triathlon competition. “Biking is my strongest event,” he continued, “and it becomes quite challenging to run after biking about 11 miles.”

Silva said putting the events back to back is “altogether the hardest race for me.”

The national event at Oro Valley near Tucson is a governed race under the board of USA Triathlon. There were over 800 competitors from across the country.

Silva placed 21st in his age group at the national competition and found the hills and terrain very challenging.

“It was a great experience and I had a great time competing,” Silva said. “I hope to qualify again next year.”

The top 15 placers will qualify for the international meet in Spain.

“That’s something I’d definitely want to do,” Silva said. “The big question is, ‘How do you get the bike there?’ Just to ship to Arizona is a little pricey.”

Racing in the amateur division, Silva said there aren’t too many duathlon events. “If you go to the North Texas Triathlon website, you’ll see about 50 triathlon events but just a few duathlons.”

Silva has competed in about a half dozen events, as best he can recall by counting event T-shirts in his closet.

“I started in about 2005 when I got pushed into trying it,” Silva said. “I’m not interested in swimming, so this was a natural event for me.”

Not a marathoner, either, Silva said he had been running in college and did mostly 5K events and a half marathon relay. His degree in exercise science from Baylor and a certification in nutrition added to his professional chiropractic practice, have helped him stay focused on fitness.

“My wife and I have both been chiropractors for 15 years,” Silva said. “She treats me and the nutritional component is the difference.”

Silva hasn’t set any definitive goals for his races, but said he just wants to do his best.

“I’ll see what other people do and strive for that. My best time is about an hour and 4-5 minutes,” Silva said. “I enjoy doing it and training for it. “It’s takes a commitment to do it mostly because of the time factor to train.

“I do it to stay in shape and for wellness,” Silva said. “It’s an added benefit if I’m good at it.”

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