Human Race: ASO and the future
220: You already organise some Tour de France-themed single day bike races, but what impact will the buyout have on your multisport events? Can we expect to see Human Race expand into long-distance triathlon and duathlon events?
Nick Rusling: Good question. Although ASO don’t organise triathlons currently, with Human Race in the ASO family they’ve just acquired 26 years of triathlon experience. We still have people working on those events who started in 1990. ASO love triathlon and our calendar of events was a key part of why they wanted to buy Human Race. We added a middle-distance race at the Woburn Abbey Triathlon this year also (the WoBurner). We’ve begun long-term planning conversations already about what the future can hold for us together and it’s a case of watch this space in terms of triathlon and duathlon.
The popularity of duathlon in France eclipses the UK’s love for the sport. Does this represent a major opportunity for the growth of run/bike/run events in the UK?
I’m not so sure. I was part of launching the London Duathlon in 2007 and had high hopes for the sport as a great way to bridge the gap – especially as so many people don’t fancy the swim. Quite simply, duathlon isn’t as sexy or as well known as triathlon. It still needs defining to the audience, which is a tough place to start in promoting an event. This is a shame as our Ballbuster event has stood the test of time after 26 years and it’s a fantastic sport.
It’s definitely an area to explore. We started working with Bike Channel across all our sportives this year. They followed the events, getting under the skin of the participants and personalities, despite the fact it isn’t a race. They want to explore something similar with triathlon also. This is also an area of expertise where we aren’t specialists, so we very much hope to be able to learn. If we can bring some of that magic to multisport then we’d love to.