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Racers get funky in the rain

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
March 4, 2001
Dedication is the only word that can be used to describe the competitors in the Fourth Annual Funky Monkey Duathlon.
The combination running and biking event went on early Saturday morning as planned, despite a steady downpour at Lake Okatibbee.
One racer came all the way from Clinton, Ark. to compete. It paid off in big dividends as Todd Hink took the race with a time of 1:13.01.
Hink said the conditions of the course were bad, but nothing he hadn't seen before.
Hink said the rain made for slower turns on the bike, but he said overall it may have only affected his time by maybe a minute.
Hink, 30, has been competing in endurance events such as these for six years.
This was his first race in Meridian.
Mike Thrailkill, a top 10 finisher and a regular winner of Meridian-area races, said at one point, midway through the race, the precipitation was coming down at quite a clip.
Saturday's race start saw the men get going first, with the women starting five minutes later.
The first women's finisher was Enterprise native Frannie Childs. Childs said this was her third duathlon and she has also competed in four triathlons.
Race organizers Deshon and Amy Davis, regular winners at the Meridian Athletic Association's first event of the year, were unable to compete Saturday. Amy, a two-time past winner is nursing an injury and Deshon had to pull out when a number of race volunteers didn't show up to help with important race duties, such as insuring the safety of certain race intersections.
But both of them agreed that a turnout of nearly 100 racers in poor conditions is a testament to the competitive spirit of these type of athletes.
She did add that the weather may have kept around 30 or so racers away.
Saturday proved the majority of these athletes don't need too much of a boost in that area.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.