Local athletes take top honors in area duathlon

Sandwich a 19.2-mile bicycle ride in between two 3.2-mile runs and what do you get’ The Ironhead Striders duathlon held last weekend in San Angelo. Two local athletes Bill Derrick and Cathy Ewert competed in the grueling event and each came home with first place trophies. With an overall time of 1:48:29.0, Cathy finished first in the women’s 40-44 age division. Her time placed her seventh in all of the women’s groups and 36th overall in both the men’s and women’s classes. The overall winning woman runner was 31-year-old Sabine Bildstein of Austin who finished with an elapsed time of 1:30:50.0. Split times on the race for Ewert were 24:11.8 at a 7:45 mile per hour pace on the first 5K, 55:33.5 at a 20.1 mile per hour pace for the 30K ride and 27:01.7 with an 8:40 pace for the second 5K run. Competing in the Clydesdale division comprised of runners 200 pounds and heavier, Derrick finished with an overall time of 1:41:53.0. His time was 18 minutes off the pace of the overall winner, 35-year-old Richard Bailey of San Antonio who finished in 1:23:07.0 Derrick’s splits were 22:22.9 with a 7:10 pace for the first 5K run, 53:21.3 with a 20.9 pace in the 30K bike ride and 24:43.1 with a 7:55 pace in the second 5K. In this her third competitive event of the year, this is also the third time Cathy has competed in this annual event. Last year, she ran the long course of the same race which is more than twice as long in each individual leg of the race. “My overall time was a good time’better than the last time I did this race two years ago,” she said. “My first 5K in this race was only two seconds slower than my fastest time ever. The bike ride was a blast. I had a really fun time with it. “Last year when I did the long course, I staggered through it. This year, the short course was much more enjoyable.” By competing in the Clydesdale division, Derrick was classified separately from all other male age divisions. His times were better than several other winners in younger age brackets. His time was significantly better than the winners in both the 16-19 age group and the 20-24 group. Had he been classified in his age group, his time was less than two minutes behind Tom Elkins, 38, of Dallas who won the 35-39 age bracket with a time of 1:40:16.0 “What was surprising about this race was the incredible shape the older men were in,” said Derrick. “There were men in their 50s and 60s who were in the best shape of their lives running times significantly faster than I was.”

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