South Park will be the start and finish of the Tough Cookie Women’s Duathlon once again this year with the race taking place March 3.
“This is an all-women’s event, and it is for women and their children,” said Betty Price, president of the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau.
The event is a training race for the Tough Cookie triathlon group, which holds races throughout the year in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, according to the organization’s website.
Their presence in Copperas Cove has provided women a chance to compete in running and cycling events, Price said. It also provides them a chance to train.
“It is an opportunity for training for local people, who are interested in cross training like this,” she said.
Since Copperas Cove doesn’t have an adequate body of water for the swimming portion of a triathlon, the Tough Cookie organization limits the race to running and cycling, Price said.
According to the organization’s website, this competition, which is a beginner-friendly course, takes racers on a 1.5-mile jaunt using the South Park walking trail. That is followed by a 10-mile cycling trek down Farm-to-Market 116 from the park to the Oakalla Road and back. After returning to the park, another 1.5-mile run will commence.
For those who normally participate in Copperas Cove cycling or running events, the Tough Cookie Duathlon offers something different, Price said. Part of the course is used for the Summer Run to Fun race, but this course as a whole is not used for any other competition.
Knowing the race is a tourism event, which had more than 150 women and children participants last year, Price said there are maps of the course that residents and visitors can pick up at the chamber’s offices.
Having marketed the city as a cycling- and runner-friendly community, the chamber wants everyone to have a chance to see the course Cove has to offer, Price said.
Price said she is glad the Tough Cookie group has put on the duathlon for more than seven years in the city and hopes participation increases this year.
“On a community aspect, I think that there is something in place for runners that are interested in taking that sport one step further,” Price said.
The race is sanctioned by USA Triathlon; participants must present proof of membership. Non-members, however, can purchase a one-day pass.
All proceeds will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Lone Star Chapter.