Submitted by Sam Korsmoe
In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Virginia City, 30 athletes crossed the finish line in front of the Madison County Courthouse in the 2nd Annual Madison Duathlon on Sunday, July 7. The Madison Duathlon is a competitive bike/run race from Ennis to Virginia City. It’s the first leg of the Madison Trifecta, which is a three-sport series consisting of the Madison Duathlon, Madison Marathon and Madison Triathlon all held in Madison County.
On a beautiful blue sky day, Neil Andrews from Bozeman repeated as the overall and men’s champion. Andrews set a new course record of 1 hour, 51 minutes and 28 seconds over the route which is a 14-mile bike ride from Lion’s Club Park in Ennis to Twin Lakes via Varney Bridge Road, Shining Mountains Loop Road, and Axolotl Lake Road and then a seven mile run from Twin Lakes to Virginia City via the same road (also called the Old VC Dump Road). Andrews won the inaugural race in 2012 over the same course.
The Women’s Champion was Heidi Kaminski from Darby, Mont., who also set a course record of 2 hours, 16 minutes and 21 seconds. The team relay champions were Zach Gustin and Bo Tate. They formed the Willie’s Distillery team and completed the race in a course record of 2 hours, 11 minutes, 15 seconds.
Willie’s Distillery is one of the race sponsors, along with Moonlight Basin, West Yellowstone Economic Development Council, Yellowstone Trail Guides and Reliv International for the Madison Trifecta. The Madison County Economic Development Council founded the race series in 2008 and has been the race director from the beginning. Like in years past, numerous community members volunteered to work the race.
Some local athletes of note include Dave Legg, Jon Goodman and Cory Hardy from Ennis and Eric Huff from Sheridan. They have all committed to completing the Madison Trifecta. The next race is the Madison Marathon on July 28, followed by the Madison Triathlon on August 11. Nels Houghton from Billings, Richard Rose from Noxon, Jadin Van Steevort from Helena, and Craig Clouatre from Livingston are also intending to do the Trifecta.
The Madison Marathon is the highest road marathon in the World with an average elevation of more than 9,000 feet above sea level. It’s run on the Gravelly Range Road in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. It sells out with a maximum capacity of 200 runners who are currently coming from 30 states. Presently, the half and team marathon categories are sold out and there are just 20 spots left for the full marathon. Ruby Springs Lodge of Alder has posted a $500 prize for any runner who can break three hours on the route. The current course record is 3 hours, 12 minutes and 28 seconds. The current record holder, Gary Krugger from Flagstaff, Ariz., is returning to defend this title and try to break three hours.
The Madison Triathlon is a swim/bike/run event that is nearly an Olympic distance tri. It is a swimming leg of 1,000 yards in Ennis Lake followed by a 23-mile bike ride from Ennis Lake to Harrison via Highway 287 and culminating with a six-mile run from Harrison to the finish line in front of the Pony Bar in the old silver mining town of Pony, Mont.
For more information on all the Trifecta races as well as the Madison River Run, call 682-5923.