By Scott Prater
The Schriever fitness center hosts a sporting event every month. Fitness center staff have also organized a duathlon in each of the past six years. This year’s version, however, proved special for a couple of reasons.
The running of the 6th Annual FitFamily Duathlon June 26 marked the first time a monthly sporting event has ever taken place on a weekend at Schriever, and it was the first time a four-year old actually competed in a Schriever monthly sporting event.
The fitness center activated its FitFamily program a couple of months ago, where families have the option to establish fitness goals and observe their progress online. This year, fitness center director Seth Cannello decided to incorporate the program into the annual base duathlon in support of the Year of the Air Force Family. In accordance, he moved the event from its customary weekday morning slot to a Saturday morning so both parents and their children could participate together.
Troy Mitchell brought his son Jacob along, and it wasn’t just for support.
In a duathlon, competitors complete two events, but they perform one event twice. In this case, participants started with a one-mile run from the fitness center to the Tierra Vista housing area.
Once there, they hopped on mountain bikes and rode an 11-mile course around the base perimeter. Once they arrived back at the housing area, they once again ran the one mile back to the fitness center.
Troy and four-year old Jacob Mitchell competed as a team. Troy began with the one-mile run up the hill to the housing area. Upon arriving there he found his tandem bicycle — and Jacob — waiting eagerly.
The pair rode the 11-mile course just like all of the other racers, and when they arrived back at the housing area, Troy jumped off and completed the race with his second one-mile run.
The Mitchell’s finished in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 31 seconds, not too far behind sixth-place finisher Robin Cannello, who crossed the line in 1:12.13.
It was Ms. Cannello’s first ever race as well. She was using the event as preparation for the half-Ironman Triathlon she plans to compete in this October.
Race winner David Anderson blazed a trail through the course in 52:23 while Ed Baron took runner-up honors in 1:01.22. Elizabeth Enyart snagged third place, finishing in 1:06.07.
“Considering this was our first year to host FitFamily and children, I was pleased with the way the event transpired,” Mr. Cannello said. “People appeared to have a lot of fun. I really would have liked to see more participation, but this was our first weekend event, so I was rather happy with our turnout.”