More than 80 dedicated athletes of all ages wouldn’t let a continuous downpour slow them down Saturday morning as they splashed through puddles and cycled their way around an east Montgomery course.

The New Park Family Duathlon was held under monsoon-like conditions at the James W. Wilson, Jr. YMCA, but directors said the only thing to stop it would be lightning.  That didn’t happen and every body crossed the finish line in soggy fashion.

Event coordinator Greg Miles alluded to a familiar phrase usually reserved for mail carriers when he said “neither rain, nor wind, nor cold” could keep the participants from completing the course.

Add those factors together, he said “and you have an almost insurmountable hurdle, but all perservered and finished the race.”

“Endurance events are difficult to begin with, but when you have the conditions we have here this morning, they only add to the challenges,” said Miles, who kept tabs on the runners in a cart and made sure everybody was OK.

Because of the downpour that began before the start of the race and did not let up, Miles said some runners took off their sneakers because they had been soaked and only added unwanted weight.

He said the races are charity events to help KidOne and the YMCA Partner with Youth Campaign.

“The events are for both adults and children and are focused on fun as much as fitness,” he said, adding that one reason for the races is to fight obesity.

In addition to the runs that kicked-off and finished the event, a bicycle race was sandwiched in between the two.

Andy McElvaine finished as the overall winner in the male division, while Mary Robins dominated the women’s division.  Each received $200 gift certificates from Montgomery Multisport.

Most of the runners waited under a tent until it was time to walk to the starting line, but got wet anyway when part of it collapsed because of the heavy puddle on top.

Miles, who cheered his two daughters – Presley and Sailor – as they completed the course, said it was the first in a series of four endurance events that Montgomery Multisport is putting on for the 2011 season.

In the youngest division, Nick Dudle took first place in the male-under-6 division followed by Norris Pemberton and Eli Negro.

In the female division, Presley Miles was first, followed by Keagan Wendling and Sarah Johnson.

Written by Alvin Benn of The Montgomery Advertiser

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