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Saturday, July 28, 2001 -- Hopedale, OH
Mickeys Mountain Duathlon 2 (iPO Event Id#: 3293)
Story by Don Parks with photos by Don Parks and Heather Bury

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]

Race Start
Off and running for the first leg of Mickeys Duathlon
It was a cloudy summer evening with weather just right for an assault on Mickey's Mountain with both running shoes and mountain bikes ready to go. It was the second of three races in the Mickey's 2001 summer Duathlon series and while iPlayOutside missed the first, we made it this time ready to race... and report.

I usually go to races every weekend, but I'm almost always on the sidelines taking photos and getting notes for articles like this one. However, on this evening I was actually going to race, but I still wanted to get photos. All I needed was a racing partner who could take pictures while I was on the course, and vice versa.

It just so happens that one Heather Bury was available and up to the task. I also didn't mind that she was the New Jersey State Crosscountry Champion in her high school days, a veteran of three National Championships in the steeple chase, and currently a sponsored runner for Saucony and PowerBar. While I enjoyed the thought of having a ringer doing the run for my team, I knew it meant that there'd be some presure on me to finish out the race with a strong bike leg.

Stoneman
Stoneman does his best to keep up with Heather
The running began with a mad dash from the start and quickly into a downhill section before entering the woods and some nice grassy trails. This is about the point that my partner took the lead and began to push the pace off the front. They kept up a good chase through the first mile, but at a 5:30 pace she was soon alone at the front.

Heather was first to the bike transition at 19:18, "Those last two miles where hilly, it was starting to hurt," she commented. The rest of the runners where hurting as well after the very fast start.

She gave me over a minute head start on the rest of the bikes and I handed off the camera and jumped in the saddle. I didn't know how much of a lead I had so I just hammered to try and hold off whoever was back there as long as I could. The course, the same loop as the run, was all rideable with nothing too technical. But a few of the short, steep runups made the legs scream.

Bike Pic
Having fun on the tight singletrack
I felt good as I raced through the evening and happily no one ever closed the gap and I was able to get our team to the finish line first. As it turns out I actually increased our lead. It was my good fortune that those who turned in the fastest laps for the June race hadn't made it to this one.

We took home the prize for the fastest mixed team with a time of 1:07:34. Other winners included Rich Dotts and Kevin Owens (1:14:01) for the Men's Team, Keith Stoneman (1:12:35) for the Solo Men, and Natalie Freund (1:28:46) for the Solo Women.

After racing it was free pizza and tales of the trail. Many awards were handed out to the overall and class winners while the prizes given out at the random drawing were up for all. They'll be doing it all again at 6:00 PM on August 25th, and you never know... maybe I'll get to come back and give it another try. Mickey's is even more fun when you get off the sidelines and into the action.