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Sunday, December 10, 2000 -- Germantown, MD
Seneca State Park Winter Biathlon
Story and photos by Beth Herr

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8]

Seneca Creek State Park Biathlon
The top two finishers afterwards
There was no need for a recount on Sunday, December 10th at the Inaugural Seneca Creek Biathlon. Held at Seneca Creek State Park in Germantown, MD by the Triathlantic Association. According to Brad Jaeger, this association is the largest and most prolific non-profit 501c3 multi-sport organizer in the country. They have organized well over 300 events in the past 13 years from Florida to Massachusetts and out to the Mississippi River. They have over 6,000 members across the country and have helped develop the numerous professional and Olympic triathletes, swimmers and runners over the years. This event, now in its ninth year, was moved to the park, due to development on the previous course in Columbia. The move ensured the overall safety of the participants and spectators, as well as added a change to the physically demanding event. Jaeger, event director, stated that although attendance was in decline this year, this was expected for a first time event.

Seneca Creek State Park Biathlon
Where's my bike?
"The tight turns and Winter Lights display included with the abundance of wildlife in the park all made the event unique and challenging", stated Jaeger. The cold temperatures created yet another obstacle for the racers to overcome. The Triathlantic Association is known for their creativity and originality in creating courses.

This particular event consisted of a one-mile loop through the park, to be completed twice, then through the transition area to pick up bikes and complete a 5 mile loop, twice. This would bring them back through the transition area again to do another mile run. The final stretch of the course contained one final loop through the bike terrain and another mile run. All in all they completed 15 miles on bikes and 4 miles on foot.

As the morning showed no signs of warming up, participants and spectators alike hoped the weather would at least hold off on rain or snow. Close to 9AM everyone crowded together at the start of the 2-mile run. At Jaeger's command, the pack took off down a hill and around a bend as sideliners looked on. A little more than five minutes later, the leaders rounded up the hill to complete their first pass, and onto their second loop of the run. From the start, Arland Macasieb of Clifton, NJ, took the lead and would finish first overall with a time of 1:23:46.

Seneca Creek State Park Biathlon
Arland Macasieb on the final bike leg
Not far behind him, and closing the distance with each pass through the transition, Ryan Jones of Radnor, PA, consistently kept pressure on Macasieb. Jones would finish second overall at 1:24:24, with John McGuire coming in third with a time of 1:27:55. Working hard, and coming in first overall for the women was Paula Pels of Bethesda, MD. She slipped in at 1:42:18 with Susan Baehre, Triangle, VA, finishing second overall for the ladies at 1:42:32. Marni Sundquist of Abingdon, MD took the third spot with a time of 1:44:56. Also adding excitement to the day were the many team relays. The first male team, appropriatly named Tired and cold, hailing from New York finished at 1:37:19. Team Henry was the first mixed relay and came in at 1:43:22.

After the race, the many volunteers were there to refill the dishes and beverages available to everyone inside the visitor's center of the park. It was a welcome retreat from the unforgiving bitterness of the outdoors. During the morning, spirits remained positive and no one got injured throughout the entiriety of the overflowing course of runners and bikers. Awards were given to the top three overall male and female winners as well as the top male and female placers in each category, and relay teams. Finally, a race in which should a vote be cast, there would be no contention for a replay next year.