By Mary Gorham-Rowan

On Sunday, August 14th, 72 people gathered at the starting line for the first running of the Beat the Heat and Run for the Hills Duathlon. The race started only about 15 minutes late. Not bad for a first time race. After a somber moment in honor of Kathleen, the racers were off. The morning was warm, but no more than usual. I’m sure the athletes felt the heat more than we did. Kiko Cintron dominated the day, taking first place overall with a time of 1:29:43. He was followed closely by the relay team of Tony Guillen and Chris Marino, who grabbed second spot overall with a time of 1:30:25. Prichard Keely of Pensacola (1:33:21) and John Lowery of Panama City (1:34:44) rounded out the top 3 men. On the women’s side, Allison Eagen was the first woman finisher and 14th overall with a time of 1:48:26. She was followed by Loranne Ausley (1:49:24) and Judie Kean (1:59:41), who came in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Team Mojo (Mike and Kay Jaynes) grabbed 1st place among the mixed relay category and 11th overall with a time of 1:43:27. The sole female relay team, Team Bran (Sherrie Peavy and Kim Rakestraw) cruised to the finish line in 2:00:26.

The race would not have gone as smoothly as it did without the help of many people. Thanks to Kathy McDaris for all her advice in getting the race organized and to Carroll Hageseth for her help in the organization process. The volunteers on the course were wonderful and greatly appreciated: Debbie LeMarche, Brook Francis, Felton and Jamie Wright, Susan Stetson, Rob Roller, Sara Fulghum, Amy Stenberg, Mary Jane Tappen, Lynn Powell, DeAnn Scarborough, Erica Lee, Richard Morris and his daughters Ashira and Bayla, Carl and Mackey Hempel, Bruce Lynn, Anne, Lauren Jones, Tonya, Seely Lovett, and Bill Lott. Special thanks to Karen and Phillip Munoz for not only participating and volunteering for the race, but also for helping to obtain additional sponsorship prior to the race. Finally, but certainly not least, some very special people were involved in pre-race set-up and should be recognized: my husband Ril, who built additional bike racks and the outdoor shower; my good friend Julia Larkin, who came from Clermont to assist with the race; my mom, who was at the race site early with donuts and coffee in hand; Dana Stetson, who spent numerous hours marking the course; Ed Holt, who helped set up the bike racks and acted as SAG wagon on the bike course; and our friends, Lisa Vince and George Fasthoff, who got early to help with set-up. Thank you!

We managed to raise $2500.00 for lung cancer research, have some fun, and introduce several people to the multi-sport world. It was a long day but a very good day. Don’t forget to check out the pictures.