SARTELL -- Hundreds of runners enjoyed perfect race conditions at the 2015 Apple Duathlon in Sartell on Saturday.

The duathlon combines two separate 5k runs with a 33k bike race to make for a unique challenge for central Minnesota racers.

Race Director Adam Konczewski says the number of new racers make this 33rd annual event special.

"We have 60+ new participants who've never raced [the duathlon] before," Konczewski says. "It makes it very special to see people engaging, [being] active, training and living a healthy lifestyle."

The Apple Duathlon raises money for various community activities and the winner of the event gets a $500 grand prize -- but Race Director Lisa Bollinger says the best part of the day for runners is seeing their months of training finally pay off.

"All that training gets you to that start line," Bollinger says. "And [when] there, it's fun to see everybody surprise themselves with what they can do."

Matthew Payne of Columbia Heights, MN ended up taking home the grand prize with a final time of 1 hour 20 minutes and 45 seconds.


Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON