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September 1997

Veterans triumph in hill race; heat a close runner-up

This year's relay racers handed off five-foot-long "aqua noodles"--fortunately, they were light noodles.

With fresh competition nipping at their heels and the sun beating on their brows, the old-timers in NCAR's annual up-the-hill race had much to contend with. In the end, though, perennial champions won the men's challenges and placed high in the women's competitions as well. The 13th annual race up the Mesa Lab road took place on Friday, 12 September, with temperatures climbing above 26 degrees C (79 degrees F).

Cruising to victory: cyclist Alan Hills.

Alan Hills scored his ninth victory out of eleven attempts in the men's bike race. Only three seconds behind Alan at the finish line was Ginger Caldwell's 13-year-old son Blake, a four-time national champion in his age group. Alan overtook Blake toward the race's end, making for an exciting finale. Anne Jefferson cruised to victory in her second women's bike race, with Ilana Stern close behind. On a commuter bike this time rather than her usual racing bike, Ilana does the road race every other year: "It takes me two years to forget how miserably sick I feel at the finish line." SCD's Don Middleton-Link and Steve Hammond conducted their own bike-race-within-a race; each was pulling a trailer with a child in tow. Steve and his tyke, Sawyer, won out over Don and son Russ.

Barb Bailey took first place in the women's foot race.

In the women's competition, returning runner Barb Bailey took the prize, 12 seconds ahead of newcomer Tera Newman. Ambling his way to his seventh men's foot-race victory was Andrew Crook, well ahead of the pack. Taking second in the men's race was first-time participant Nathan Gillett, a three-month visitor in HAO from Oxford University. "It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be," gasped Nathan just after his run. In a rare feat, Karsten Baumann, an ASP postdoc in ACD, scored third place in the men's foot and bike races both--then ran on the winning ACD relay team.

The nail-biter of the afternoon was the divisional relay. In the traditional finale--directors running the last leg--ACD's Paul Sperry (filling in for Guy Brasseur) came in just one second ahead of Maurice Blackmon (CGD). The participation-weighted results also ended up in ACD's favor. "One of our people raced in sandals and a skirt. We were trying to get participation rather than to win," says Paul. The semi-torrid race conditions segued into delightful shade on the tree plaza at the after-race party, where awards were bestowed and beverages downed. •BH

Complete race results are posted on the Employee Activities Committee Web site.

1997 Winners

Divisional Relay/Time

  1. ACD, 5:50
  2. CGD, 5:51
  3. HAO, 6:03

Divisional Relay/Participation

  1. HAO, 59.1 %
  2. ACD, 57.4 %
  3. MMM, 46.3 %

Division Relay/Overall

(time weighted at 65%,
participation at 35%)

  1. ACD
  2. HAO
  3. CGD

Men's Bike Race

  1. Alan Hills, MMM, 5:48
  2. Blake Caldwell (Ginger's son, SCD), 5:51
  3. Karsten Baumann, ACD/ASP, 6:08

Women's Bike Race

  1. Anne Jefferson, ACD, 8:00
  2. Ilana Stern, SCD, 8:13
  3. Gretchen Wallhaus, UNAVCO, 10:06

Men's Foot Race

  1. Andrew Crook, MMM, 8:04
  2. Nathan Gillett, HAO, 9:52
  3. Karsten Baumann, ACD/ASP, 9:58

Women's Foot Race

  1. Barb Bailey, CGD, 11:30
  2. Tera Newman, HAO, 11:42
  3. Julia Lee-Taylor, ACD/ASP, 12:54

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Edited by Bob Henson, bhenson@ucar.edu

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