M/cloudy
22°
M/cloudy
Hi 29° | Lo 15°

Running

Banana handoff

  • The final Sizzler race of the season saw six teams compete in the Bananarama Relay on August 4.
  • The final Sizzler race of the season saw six teams compete in the Bananarama Relay on August 4.
  • The final Sizzler race of the season saw six teams compete in the Bananarama Relay on August 4.
  • The final Sizzler race of the season saw six teams compete in the Bananarama Relay on August 4.
  • The final Sizzler race of the season saw six teams compete in the Bananarama Relay on August 4.
  • The final Sizzler race of the season saw six teams compete in the Bananarama Relay on August 4.

Six teams took on the challenge of the annual Bananarama Relay on Monday. The relay is held at Norway Hill in Hancock, and marks the end of the Summer Sizzler season.

The relay is unique in that each team is presented with a banana to use as a baton. Teams of three are tasked with splitting up the 5k course into three one mile legs. The leg assignments often lead to rifts between teammates due to the first mile being downhill, the second flat, and the third all uphill.

At approximately 6:45 p.m., Karla Palmer, Art McGrath, Sizzler Director Dave Birse, Amelia Schillemat, Newt Tolman, and Bob Madden toed the line on Duncan Road. “On your mark — go!” declared Birse, who chose to compete in the final Sizzler of the summer.

The group of six sped down Duncan Road, merging onto Forest Road with Birse leading the charge. Birse was followed closely by Art McGrath when the two reached the handoff zone towards the bottom of Forest Road. Birse handed his banana to teammate Jerry McDougle, who was quickly passed by McGrath’s teammate Daryl Schillemat as the two were running on Route 202.

Next into the handoff zone was Karla, passing the banana to her son Calvin who sprinted into the turn for Route 202. Calvin picked off both Mcdougle and Schillemat before handing the banana to his father Steve at the base of Norway Hill. Following Calvin’s 5:26 second mile leg, there was little doubt that the Palmer family was destined for victory.

“The second leg was pretty easy. It was all flat,” said Calvin after passing the banana to his dad.

Nobody would catch the Palmer clan as they finished the 5K course in first place with a time of 19:09. The team of Art McGrath, Daryl Schillemat, and David Schillemat would finish second in 19:49, while the team of Birse, McDougle, and Joe Puffen took the bronze in 21:29.

Rounding out the field in 6th place was the team who deemed themselves the “Over-Ripe Bananas.” The team was comprised of Tolman, Rachel Lakin, and Christina Christides.

“We have more than 180 years of running experience between us,” laughed Tolman, who has been running since he was in high school. Tolman ran competitively in high school, then dropped the sport until his thirties when he decided to start running again. “I never thought I’d run a marathon, and now look at me, I can’t even remember how many I’ve run. I did my first one when I was 49,” smiled Tolman, who has run the Boston Marathon 12 times, but claims “no more.”

Now, 72, and running for pure enjoyment, Tolman summed up the spirit of the Bananarama Relay perfectly when asked about his current outlook on the sport.

“Running always feels good when you are done, when you stop. I do this relay every year.”

Bananarama Relay results

1. The Palmer Family 19:09

2. Art McGrath, Daryl and David Schillemat 19:49

3. Dave Birse, Jerry McDougle, Joe Puffen 21:29

4. The Schillemat Sisters 22:27

5. Bob Madden, Sheri and Trista Smith 28:53

6. The Over-Ripe Bananas 42:28

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.