The "Duel at Darby" is on and is set for April 10 at Hilliard Darby High School.

The "Duel at Darby" is on and is set for April 10 at Hilliard Darby High School.

This duel is a duathlon, an event that combines running and bicycling. Entrants can compete in a sprint duathlon, which is a 5k run, a 15.4 mile bike ride, followed by another 5k run; an Olympic duathlon, which is a 5k run, 30.8 mile bike ride, 10k run. Those who prefer to run can do a 5k (3.1 mile) or 10k (6.2 mile) run.

"We don't have water that's readily available this early in the year," said Carla Sokol, race organizer and the owner of Events Plus Racing. "For those of us that are triathletes, let's do an early season duathlon because we're chomping at the bit to get out and do something, so this is your first early season race."

Sokol, a triathlete, said she frequently bikes in Hilliard along the Heritage Rail Trail, and thought it would work for hosting a duathlon.

"It seems that a lot of events that take place are not near home; you have to drive an hour," Sokol said. "If we can do it someplace nearby, and showcase a nice area, that would be great."

The race starts and finishes in the Darby parking lot, with the run along the Rail Trail to the turnaround point at Hayden Run Rd., with the transition to the bike from Darby onto Leppert Rd. and looping around Scioto Darby Rd. with turns on Amity, Roberts and Walker roads.

The race starts at 7:30 a.m. and the course will close at noon.

Steve Mazer, director of recreation and parks, said Sokol contacted him a month ago and asked if Hilliard would be interested in setting up the duathlon.

"I said absolutely, and with Police Chief Doug Francis, Fire Chief David Long and the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, we were all able to sit down at the table and work out all the details," Mazer said. "Hopefully this will be a great annual event."

Mayor Don Schonhardt said there used to be a corporate-sponsored spring run in Hilliard, and hopes the duathlon will replace it.

Mazer said his department has sponsored 5ks in the past, but never has worked anything as large as a duathlon that may draw 500 entrants.

"Our portion is to help them get the course set up, getting volunteers for whatever the event coordinator needs, and then making sure the police and fire fighters will be there to help out as well," Mazer said.

"Oftentimes, they're looking for new and different activities to put on their calendar, and if I can help them with that, terrific," Sokol said. "I think that Steve and everybody in Hilliard has been absolutely wonderful, and they're so excited about it, which makes it that much easier for me to do."

Sokol said she'll need 120 volunteers to help out, including registration, aid stations, course marshals, transition and finish line assistance. Volunteers will receive a t-shirt. For more information, call Sokol at 614-488-8001 or visit www.eventsplusracing.com.