Anderson celebrates return with State Games gold
By By Laurence Hilliard/special to The Star
June 23, 2002
Mark Anderson was competing in his first competitive race in four years, Jackie Calvert in her first competition ever. But they were both winners Saturday at the State Games cycling competition.
Anderson won the men's 30-mile race, outsprinting four rivals to the finish line for victory in 1:26:52 (one hour, 26 minutes and 52 seconds), an average speed of 21.77 miles per hour.
Calvert was all by herself at the end of the 20-mile women's race, winning in 1:11:40, an average of 16.75 mph. Runnerup Stephanie Jackson finished 7 minutes and 12 seconds behind.
Having a 5-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter brought a temporary halt to competitive races for Anderson. "I've entered just one race since my son was born," he said
But he continued riding with the Hub City Cyclists of Hattiesburg and decided recently to return to competition. "I realized that I'm 40 now and if I don't get back into it, I never will. Now that I don't have to change diapers, I can be away for races."
He will next compete in a 100-kilometer (62.1-mile) race in Tryon, N.C. on the Fourth of July.
Five of the 24 racers Anderson, Lawerence Welden, Jason Wilborn, Brandon Gaudren and Johnny Joiner pulled away early and remained bunched until the end, taking turns in the lead and drafting.
The five were separated by nine seconds at the end. Welden captured the silver medal, five seconds behind Anderson in 1:26:57. Wilborn, Anderson's teammate from the Hub City Cyclists, took the bronze in 1:26:57.6, followed by Gaudren (1:26.59) and Joiner (1:27.01).
Anderson, a forester for the City of Hattiesburg, puts in 175-200 miles per week "depending upon the weather if it doesn't rain too much."
Calvert, 44, took up cycling less than two years ago. "My husband was walking with me for exercise," she said. "He said, This is boring. We've got to get bicycles.'"
She entered the State Games at the urging of her husband and father-in-law, and won despite a cramp in her left calf suffered at the 17-mile mark. "It usually doesn't happen until 30 miles," she said. Calvert was able to keep going by switching to a higher gear for greater resistance.
She attributed the cramp to the hilly course, especially the infamous "Mr. Hill," a one-mile incline that presents a severe test to a cyclist's fitness and stamina. On the 10-mile course, men have to climb "Mr. Hill" three times and women twice.
Calvert does 100-150 miles per week with a club. "We recently went to six days a week. Everyong has to have one day of rest."
Five other gold medals were presented Saturday in the youth races that featured two familiy affairs.
In the boys 11-year-old competition, Andrew Sheely and Henk Both shared gold, finishing the 10-mile race in a dead heat at 1:03:42.
In boys 8-10, Robby Shine was first, covering 3 miles in 8:45, with David May second in 9:04. Karissa Both won the girls 8-10 gold medal in 9:14.
For the 5-7 boys competition, Peter Both took the gold medal in 2:08 for one mile, followed by Andy Shine (2:10) and Matt Shine (2:30).
The three Shines are brothers and the three Boths likewise are siblings.