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First Duathlon and Fun Run help kick off Earth Week Sunday, April 18
Friday, April 16, 2010

After two successful years of organizing events to observe Earth Week, the Sustainability Committee at SUNY Fredonia is expanding its program this year by hosting the first “Connections” Duathlon and Fun Run to take place on Sunday, April 18.

In an effort to “connect people to their environment,” the Connections Duathlon will feature a 14-mile bike ride through the streets of Dunkirk and Fredonia, following a 5K run along the shores of Lake Erie. There will also be the option of a one-mile “fun run” for those seeking to participate at a less strenuous level. The race will start at the SUNY Fredonia Business Technology Incubator, 218 Central Ave in Dunkirk, and end at Memorial Park, on Lakeshore Drive in Dunkirk.

The fun run is open to all ages.The duathlon will be judged on the following individual age brackets: 19 & under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60 & over. Teams are also accepted, and can be registered in all-male, all-female, or co-ed categories.

The duathlon will start at 9:30 a.m., with the fun run following at 9:40 a.m.

"While our first two annual Earth Week series of events have been very successful, I really wanted to take our community engagement and educational outreach activities to a whole new level with Earth Week 2010,” said Chemistry Professor Sherri Mason, chair of this year's Earth Week. “This duathlon came out of that desire.”

An awards ceremony will take place at noon in the Clarion Hotel Ballroom during the post-race lunch. All duathlon participants (note: fun run participants excluded) will receive lunch for free, but additional lunches may be purchased by non-participants for $10. Awards for the duathlon will be given to the top overall male and female, the top three male and female finishers in each age group, and the top overall male team, female team, and co-ed teams. The fun run will also award its top three finishers, and medals will be given to all participants.

Participants can register online at through Friday, April 16. Late registration will take place from 8 to 9 a.m. on race day at the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator. Entry fees are $35 for a single participant or $50 for teams of two, and include a T-shirt and lunch. The fun run costs $10 and includes a youth T-shirt.

“Some of the most effective environmental activists in the world are athletes,” Dr. Mason added. “When people are connected to the environment in physical, tangible ways, it impacts how they think and, more importantly, how they act. One of the purposes of the duathlon is to instill and enhance environmental stewardship through the act of physically connecting to the local area.”

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