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Grosse Ile is a Race perfectly suited to first time Duathletes

Island Duathlon a Success.

Exclusive On-line High-Speed Coverage
from Saturday May 8, 1999

Click Here for Race Results

McBride won every Prime
and won overall,
but missed the course record by less than one minute.

Click on photos to enlarge
Photos and Story by Tom Demerly

A field of 225 athletes, many first timers, took part in the 1999 Grosse Ile Island Duathlon on Saturday May 8 at the Grosse Ile Presbyterian Church. The event enjoyed exceptional weather, with sunny skies and warm temperatures.

Perfect Conditions greet athletes on Grosse Ile

  The Grosse Ile Island Duathlon is the season opener for the Michigan Multisport season and caters to first time multi-sport and recreational athletes.
For more experienced athletes, the event featured $1500 in prize money donated by Bikesport, Inc. All proceeds from entry fees benefited the Lions and Kiwanis Club fight to end blindness.

Almost 50% of the field at Grosse Ile were doing their first Duathlon

Michelle Kitze won the Women's Race Overall, both Primes, the Super Performance Prize and a $150 Bonus for breaking her own course record. Her Total Winnings: $625

Michelle Kitze of Kettering, Ohio won the women’s event in a superb wire to wire record breaking effort. Kitze battled the strongest women’s field ever assembled at the Island Duathlon, including Karen McKeachie, Laura Sophiea, Jenny Eschbacher and Anne Marie Phillips.
Kitze collected 1st place prize money, plus two $100 primes for first returning runner and first returning cyclist as well as the special "super performance" prime ($100) and a $150 bonus for breaking her own 1998 course record. Her total take was $625 for the day. Race Director Gene Edwards characterized Kitze’s performance as "Incredible".

Michele Kitze's Bike to Run Transition took only 4.5 seconds.

Domino's Pizzaman Race Director Karen McKeachie of Athletic Ventures

World Champion Laura Sophia

Up & coming Pro Duathlete & Running Specialist, Jenny Eschbacher.

Cincinnati duathlon powerhouse Eric McBride shocked the men’s field with another wire to wire effort that won him the race and first place prize money by almost two minutes. Mcbride put together a strong first run along with an absurdly fast bike and solid second run to stop the clock in 1:10:29 for the 3.3 mile run, 12 mile bike, 3.3 mile run.
Second place Randy Walker (40) of Ontario, Canada, had an excellent day and placed a strong second. Walker is a member of the Canadian National Triathlon Team.

Overall Winner
Eric McBride of Cinncinati, Ohio

McBride won despite a mechanical problem before the race with his rear wheel.
Bikesport manager Ken O'Day assembled a new wheel minutes before the start for McBride to race on.

Eric Fernando
Came off a strong season of winter training to put in an excellent performance.

Linda Hammond of Taylor, Michigan completed her first duathlon at Grosse Ile. "This was fun, are there any other duathlons around?" Hammond said at the awards ceremony. Hammond typified the many entry-level recreational athletes who do the Grosse Ile race every year. The event has challenging, but attainable distances which most first timers can complete comfortably. Linda Hammond is a recreational jogger and cyclist who hopes to complete the Zoo to Mac ride later this summer.
This year’s 8th annual event featured four significant improvements from the previous 7 events:

Race results were compiled using the computerized "Champion Chip" timing system developed in Formula 1 auto racing. Results and splits were accurately reported within minutes of the athletes crossing the finish line.

The Michigan National Guard’s 1776th Military Police provided support and communications for the event, including live updates from the course.

For the first time ever, the Grosse Ile Duathlon was sanctioned by USA Triathlon, the National Governing Body for the sport of duathlon and triathlon in the USA.

Also for the first time in 1999, Bikesport, Inc. provided online entry services and access to results (on this page) within 72 hours of the completion of the event, along with photos from the event.

"This event showcased all of the modern race technology available to multisport, for a small event, we are very excited about these improvements." Said Bikesport’s Tom Demerly.

Fernando rode a Litespeed tachyon built by Bikesport.

John Sotir had an excellent race despite a disastorous transistion when his rear wheel fell completely off his bike.

Despite his transition problems, Sotir put in his typical powerful race.

Linda Hammond and buddies in her first duathlon

The Grosse Ile Duathlon caters to first time Duathletes


Bonny Hall- 1st Place, 25-29
Hall rode a Bikesport built Quintana Roo, as well as her husband, State Trooper, Rich Hall.

John Logan attacks the 2nd run.
Logon used a Quintana Roo Private Reserve built by Bikesport.

Heading out on the 12 mile bike.

A strong contingent of Ohio Athletes raced at Grosse Ile.

Kevin Hileman readies his Bikesport Built Litespeed Blade.

Tom Hardin & Kevin Hileman warm up.

Race Director Gene Edwards: Eight years of Great Duathlons on Grosse Ile!

Race Director Jeanie Edwards
put together a great event

Michigan National Guard's 1776th military police provided security, set-up and communications.

Bikesport's Ken O'Day (left) and Steve Terry provided support for athletes at Grosse Ile.

New Computerzed timing improved results speed and accuracy.

Thanks to the MPs, communication was the best ever at Grosse Ile

Everyone had fun at the Grosse Ile Duathlon - especially Ruby Herbst.

925 Mason - Dearborn, MI 48124 - Phone: 313.278.1350 - Fax: 313.278.0703