By Kimberly Pistone
For the Sidney Daily News
SIDNEY – Not many people can run a 5K, bike 56 miles and then run a half marathon in under six hours, but that is what Allan Egbert did this past December. His time earned him a spot on the U.S. Team at the 2024 World Duathlon Championship, which will be held in Zofingen, Switzerland, on Sept. 8.
Egbert loves to compete and is a lifelong athlete. Years ago, he was a triathlete, which involved swimming, biking and running, as well as a toughman fighter.
“My injuries caught up with me, and I had to quit fighting. I asked what I can do, and my doctor said nothing. So I asked if I could run.”
In 2015 his doctor cleared him for running, biking and swimming, but he was not cleared for anything more aggressive. In 2018 Egbert joined the Infinit Nutrition Team, which is a group for endurance athletes and he began training for triathlons again.
After a while, Egbert felt he wasn’t getting any faster. He decided that trying to focus on all three sports – swimming, biking and running – was not the way he wanted to train. He was doing a lot of running races, and he picked the bike up again. He believed that this really helped him become more efficient at his training and he began participating in duathlons. A duathlon is a three part race consisting of run, bike, run.
In 2023 Egbert participated in three duathlons: a sprint (5K run, 13 mile bike, 5K run), an intermediate distance (5K run, 40 miles bike, 10K run) and long distance (5K run, 56 mile bike, half marathon). He ran and biked personal records during the first two competitions; but at the third one he wasn’t happy with his race so he skipped the award banquet thinking he didn’t do well. About a week after the race, he received an email saying he qualified to represent the U.S. as part of the U.S. Team at the World Duathlon Championship.
The World Championship is going to be the longest race for him. It begins with a 10K run, followed by a 96 mile bike course that goes over two mountains with an elevation of 6,500 feet, and it ends with an 18 mile run.
For the next seven months, Egbert is training every day. He will be participating in a race at least once a month to help prepare. He will spend some time training on a hill in Bellefontaine that was used for elevation practice, but he will likely have to go out of state to do any practice at elevations close to what he will experience in Switzerland.
Egbert is fundraising to help with this trip. He has to pay for all his travel expenses – including getting his bike to Switzerland. His sister, Miriam Owens, set up a donation page.
Owens said, “We could not be more tickled for him. It is exciting to watch him pursue athletics. I want to let everyone know that someone local, someone who has really touched the local youth, has done something really big.”
When Egbert is not training, he is a track coach at Sidney, he helps with track at Botkins, and he teaches cardio and kickboxing at the Sidney-Shelby County YMCA.
Egbert’s fundraising page can be found at https://givebutter.com/allanegbertworlds. His goal is $7,900, and any net proceeds after his expenses will be donated to high school athletics.