Rey Espera and Steve Box work well together on the water.
Sunday, they showed they can also work well together on land as they teamed up to win the Capital City Fish-On Duathlon. Espera handled the running duties and Box was the cyclist as the pair completed the two-mile run and 15-mile bike course at False Outer Point in 56 minutes, 46 seconds, more than four minutes ahead of the next finisher.
"We've gill-netted all summer long on the boat he (Box) owns," said Espera, who has been attending the University of Alaska Anchorage.
"I did one stage of the Tour (of Juneau cycling stage race last weekend), but I didn't do that well," Box said. "Today there was a little tailwind, and it was fast, way fast. It was nice and dry, and the road was clean."
Hans Moser was the next finisher, winning the individual title in 1:01:06 as he finished just ahead of the 1:01:12 posted by the team of Jordan Moser and Jeff Donaldson. Fritz Moser was the second individual, crossing the line in 1:01:13 for fourth overall. Dave Bartlett was next in 1:01:36, followed by Doug Woodby in 1:01:44. Kim Hurley of Vancouver, British Columbia, was the top female in 1:08:27, with Tara Jeans next in 1:09:01.
But when the runners headed into the transition area after their leg, the leader was Don Eagle, who was 44 seconds ahead of Espera. Box caught Eagle about three miles into the cycling leg, but Eagle was still leading the solo racers by about three minutes when he got a flat tire with five miles left in the race. Eagle arrived at the finish line within seconds of Box, but he got there with his bike in the back of a pick-up truck.
"What I hate about bikes is you can't depend on them. I'd rather run," Eagle said after throwing his bike in his car. "I had a great race go down the tubes because I got a flat."
Sunday's course was weighted in favor of the cyclists, especially since there wasn't the normal second running leg common to most duathlons. Hans and Fritz Moser are both regular racers in Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club events, and so are Donaldson, Bartlett and Woodby.
"From the turnaround on back, we were all trading places," Hans Moser said of his battle with Fritz Moser and Jeff Donaldson.
"I don't know how they do it, another run," Fritz Moser said.
Bartlett echoed his fellow cyclist's opinion on running, especially as he watched Colleen Gordon complete the running course a second time after she'd finished the bike leg of the race. Bartlett rarely competes in running events, but he did run in Saturday's Eaglecrest Hill Climb race.
"You know running sucks," Bartlett said as he shook his head in disbelief at Gordon's extra run. "Biking's really fun, but running's hard."
"It's not a duathlon without the run-bike-run," said Gordon, who took third among women and was the only racer to add an optional second running leg. "It's not a bike-a-lon."
In the women's division, Jeans led after the running leg. But Hurley, who was using a borrowed bike, caught Jeans near the turnaround of the cycling leg. Hurley said she had some problems with the gears slipping on the borrowed bike, and she had to use her hand to hold them in place which kept her from being able to stand up when she climbed hills. That allowed Jeans to briefly reclaim the lead, until another cyclist passed Hurley and showed her how to lock the gears in place with about two miles left in the course.
"I do lots of running, but this is my first year doing triathlons," said Hurley, who arrived in Juneau on Thursday and also ran in Saturday's Eaglecrest Hill Climb. "I've done four or five triathlons this year, at the Olympic distance of 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometers bike and 10-kilometers run."
"I was OK with it," said Jeans, a local runner who recently has been entering some cycling events. "I ran long yesterday, 12 miles, and that may have taken it out of me. I like cycling. It's a little easier on my body and it doesn't hurt so much."
Charles Bingham can be reached at email@example.com.
Capital City Fish-On Duathlon
Results from Sunday's Capital City Fish-On Duathlon, a two-mile run, 15-mile bike event cosponsored by the Southeast Road Runners club and the Juneau Freewheelers Bicycle Club. There were individual and team divisions.
Individuals -- 1. Hans Moser, Male, 1 hour, 1 minute, 6 seconds; 2. Fritz Moser, M, 1:01:13; 3. Dave Bartlett, M, 1:01:36; 4. Doug Woodby, M, 1:01:44; 5. Joe Sorenson, M, 1:04:56; 6. Kim Hurley Female, 1:08:27; 7. Tara Jeans, F, 1:09:01; 8. Steff Thomas, M, 1:10:20; 9. Colleen Gordon, F, 1:12:15; 10. Marjorie McKeown, F, 1:15:44; 11. Fiona House, F, 1:18:09; 12. Kristie Erickson, F, 1:22:55; 13. Sarah Thompson, 1:27:42; DNF (all had flat tires on the bike leg): Don Eagle, M; Dave Harju, M; Tim Hahnlen, M.
Teams -- 1. Rey Espera, Male, and Steve Box, M, 56:46; 2. Jordan Moser, Female, and Jeff Donaldson, M, 1:01:12; 3. Ritchie Sonner, F, and Greg Pease, M, 1:07:44; 4. Zelda Swan, F, and Morgan Davis, F, 1:07:53; 5. Tonja Moser, F, and Bernie Sorenson, F, 1:09:04.