The seventh annual Mohawk Towpath Byway Duathlon went off without a hitch. The weather was cold and cloudy with temperatures below 40 degrees for most of the morning. There were 85 participants that participated in the Duathlon, a 2.2 mile run; 16 mile bike; and 2.2mile run to the finish. Five youth did a much shorter fun kids race. The kids race before the event seems to be the way to do it. Parents were supportive and our older athletes seemed to enjoy the enthusiasm before their race.
There are two basic reasons that we host the Duathlon: to raise some money for the not-for-profit Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc. We use these funds as a local match to grants from the Federal Highway Administration. The grants multiply this local match four times to apply toward Byway implementation. The second reason is to introduce the Byway to a group (or demographic) who would not otherwise appreciate one of America’s Byways.
I found it curious that no one dropped out of the race! Every other year in more pleasant weather we have had one or two drop out of the competition. Apparently those that started were prepared for cold and miserable and stuck to it. Personally my hat is off to everyone who finished. Frankly, I didn’t get out for a bike ride until Tuesday when the temperatures were 20 degrees warmer.
We also had a record number of volunteers assisting with the event. This included 11 volunteers from the ham radio operators group and 16 Byway volunteers and 3 chefs/cooks from Krause’s crew. This type of personal commitment results in a multitude of positive feedback from our participants who appreciate our attention to details and our hospitality. So far 12 participants have responded to an on-line survey in a very positive way. The best way to summarize the survey results is that of the 12 responses, 11 said they would be back next year and only 1 said maybe. That’s an excellent thank you to all of our volunteers.