DU283 is the short form for a Duathlon which is held annually to raise awareness and funds to support youth struggling with mental illness. All funds raised are donated to Algoma Family Services Foundation (AFS Foundation) and remain in the community.
Sonny Spina one of the local organizers of the event began the inaugural Duathlon in 2019. Since his running and cycling are a part of his lifestyle he attributes his ease of training to nothing more than adding some intensity.
In a normal year, there would be a preliminary duathlon event held at each high school locally, as well as at CASS, all within a single month. These preliminary events are not fundraisers but serve to allow his team, community partners and himself the ability to make early connections, build trust and confidence and promote healthy lifestyles, both mentally and physically among the youth of the community.
The events of the month generally culminate with the DU283 sanctioned duathlon. His team of eight would participate in each event accumulating distance. At the end of all the month's events, his team will have run or cycled 283 km.
This year things have been a little different. Events did not take place at the high schools in favour of allowing the focus to remain on planning and safe return for students during the pandemic.
DU283 was one of only two duathlons sanctioned by Triathalon Ontario this year for the province of Ontario because they were able to effectively meet guidelines for COVID safety.
The day began with a staggered start. Those with the fastest 5 km run time started first in a single file start so as to avoid as much close proximity activity as possible. Participants started with a 5 km run which evolved into a 28 km bicycle race and a second 5 km run. Those choosing to could also do a sprint duathlon which consisted of a 5 km run, 20 km bicycle race and a second run of 2.5 km instead.
A children's event happened early afternoon.
Results are available here