Dirt Digger Duathlon takes over Yellowknife Ski Club

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When you think of an event with two different disciplines happening at the Yellowknife Ski Club, you would most likely think biathlon was going on.

Michael Gilday comes into the staging area to finish off the bike portion of his race in the open men’s division of the Dirt Digger Duathlon at the Yellowknife Ski Club on Sunday.
James McCarthy/NNSL photo

But with no snow on the ground yet, the Yk Multisport Club marched in and took over the trails to host its annual Dirt Digger Duathlon on Sunday. Nearly two dozen competitors tried their luck in an event which saw everyone start out with a run, followed by a mountain bike ride and ending with another run, almost similar to a triathlon.

In the open men’s division, Michael Gilday was first across the line in a time of 49 minutes, 50.3 seconds, more than two minites ahead of Mike Palmer, who came in second.

“Nicolas (Bennett) was setting the early pace in the run but he was using his brother’s bike so maybe he wasn’t too comfortable,” said Gilday after the race. “Plus, he was fighting a cold so give him another week to get healthy and Mike and I would be shaking in our boots, for sure.”
Gilday and Bennett were neck and neck after the first running portion but Gilday managed to get the jump on Bennett in the change-over to the bike and that’s where Gilday managed to put some daylight between him and Bennett.

“I’ve put in lots of kilometres on the bike this year and it worked out,” said Gilday.

Naturally, there was some good-natured banter between everyone while the race was going on and Gilday said that’s what kept the spirits up.

“That’s what kept it fun,” he said. “Just a good way to keep in shape on a Sunday and I love these events. You go out on your own and train and do your own thing but you have these events and you see the cones and flags out there. You can’t help but push yourself a bit harder and it’s a good way to work out.”

Bennett would go on to finish third.

In the open women’s event, Miriam Green, who seems to be at or near the top of every event she enters, was tops on Sunday. She very nearly broke the 55-minute mark but missed by four-tenths of a second. Kathryn Oraas finished in second while Fiona Aiston followed behind in third.

Moira Green was tops of the field in the recreational women’s division, finishing in a time of 37 minutes, 21.9 seconds to claim victory and said it couldn’t have been a better day for competing.

“The conditions were perfect out there,” she said. “Depending on how I feel, I prefer either the run or bike but this time, I preferred the bike. The trails were good to ride on but there was one stretch that was quite wet. Didn’t bother me, though.”

Jackson Bowden won the recreational men’s division in a time of 42 minutes, 56.2 seconds and it was his to lose as he was the only one entered in that division.

“It was tough but fun,” he said after the race. “The course was tough but at the same time, I think I put a lot of effort into it and I had a lot of fun out there. I think I’m gonna try it again next year.”

In the team division, the Jalapeno Hotties, consisting of Andrea Giesbrecht and Lisa Bowe, crossed the finish line first to win it while the mountain bike race was won by Paul Green.

Dirt Digger Duathlon results

Open men

1 st – Michael Gilday, 49:50.3

2 nd – Mike Palmer, 51:57.3

3 rd – Nicolas Bennett, 53:42.6

Open women

1 st – Miriam Green, 55:00.4

2 nd – Kathryn Oraas, 1:09:35.5

3 rd – Fiona Aiston, 1:09:36.1

Recreational men

1 st – Jackson Bowden, 42:56.2

Recreational women

1 st – Moira Green, 37:21.9

2 nd – Arlene Cliffe-Phillips, 42:32.3

3 rd – Michele Culhane, 42:38.1

Open team

1 st – Jalapeno Hotties (Andrea Giesbrecht, Lisa Bowe), 1:03:21.8

2 nd – Irongals YK (Carrie Heldman, Sally Card), 1:06:43.7

Mountain bike race

1 st – Paul Green, 35:59.0

2 nd – Julian Kanigan, 43:10.5

3 rd – Tyson Green, 44:18.7

source: Yk Multisport Club

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