News: Cycling Event Turns Up The Heat, Offers Challenge
Story by Spc. Elayseah Woodard-Hinton
By Spc. Elayseah Woodard- Hinton
20th Public Affairs Detachment
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait - A group of cycling enthusiasts hosted the "Hotter 'N Hell Hundred" event, that took place at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Aug. 21, 23 and 25, 2008.
The three-day event consisted of indoor spin classes at the Zone 1 gym and an outdoor race around post.
The event replicated the three-day annual cycling race that takes place every August in Wichita Falls, Texas on routes up to 100 miles in 100-degree temperatures.
Maj. Dallas A. Powell Jr., executive officer, 54th Signal Battalion, first heard of the Texas-based race while stationed at Fort Sill, Okla. He recently discussed the idea with Staff Sgt. Timothy A. Copeland, 228th Signal Company, of starting a similar event here.
Powell and Copeland have not yet had an opportunity to participate in the Texas event, which welcomes participants from around the world; however, both cycle around post with a small group of cycling enthusiasts as part of their physical training routine. They wanted to put an event together that was fun and challenging for people who enjoy the sport as much as they do.
"We really hadn't planned anything big, but we figured we could do 100 kilometers around Arifjan," said Powell, a Brandon, Fla., native. "There are only about four of us that ride and we figured, well, why not make it an event?"
Powell began doing research and speaking to people around post about putting together an outdoor race here.
Due to time constraints and the limited number of bikes available on post, a large outdoor event could not be arranged; however, the idea of having a small outdoor race and incorporating two spin classes into a three-day event came about.
A few weeks before the event began, announcements went out and a roster was created to sign up for the event.
The 100 kilometers Camp Arifjan based outdoor race, approximately 62 miles, took place on, Aug. 23, 2008, the same day as the start of the Texas event.
With limited space for the outdoor event, those who wished to participate in HHH were given the opportunity to register and ride up to 100 kilometers in the 2-hour spin classes.
According to Copeland,a Waldorf, Md., native, a 2-hour spin class averages about 31 miles on the bikes.
The, Aug. 21, 2008, spin class was a success, resulting in more participants than bikes. Those who were unable to ride that day had the option to sign up for the, Aug. 25, 2008, event.
The two hour spin classes offered a challenge for riders of all experience levels.
Marine Maj. Alan McKinnon, Central Command Deployment Distribution Operations Center, has participated in spin classes for almost two months.
One day while signing in for the normal one-hour class a friend accidentally signed them up for HHH, yet Mckinnon still took on the challenge and participated in the event.
"The first hour will be as normal; the second hour will be a gut check," said McKinnon, the Carthage, N.C. native, before the start of the two-hour class.
The outdoor event also offered a challenge for experienced cycling enthusiasts. The race began at 4 a.m. at the post exchange parking lot. Participants rode around post for up to 100 kilometers, which took between 3.5-to-4 hours for them to complete.
Giveaways, fun and physical activity were just a few things the HHH event offered. Participants were rewarded with a free T-shirt, water bottle, a fun time and one step closer to being "fit-to-fight!"
"This is good training, something that we can have fun at and build a little bit of camaraderie at the same time," said Powell.