Public invited to duathlon, village celebration

Don Kurylowicz (left), organizer of the second annual Honey Creek Duathlon, and Sean Hogan (right), 15, of Rockford pass Ralph the Moose in downtown Cannonsburg while training for the September 3 duathlon.

A “labor lf love’’ takes place in the Village of Cannonsburg September 3 with the second annual Honey Creek Duathlon charity event.

If you can ride a bike, walk or run, you can participate in the Labor Day event, which benefits North Kent Community Services and The Kids’ Food Basket.

A duathlon is an athletic event that consists of a running leg, followed by a cycling leg and concluding with another running portion similar in format to triathlons. Nearly 100 people participated in last year’s event. Participants cover slightly more than 18 miles on foot and on bike through one of Kent County’s most beautiful areas, including Townsend Park.

The Labor Day event offers more than a good workout. Post race festivities include live music, entertainment for kids and adults, along with award-winning food and drink.

“Even if you can’t ride a bike or run, come down to cheer participants and enjoy myriad family-friendly events,” urged event organizer Don Kurylowicz.

Feedback from 2011 participants helped organizers enhance and improve this year’s event. Some of the add-ons include more live music, an expanded food and beer tent, duck races, an ice cream eating contest and competition at an old-fashioned horseshoe pit.

Don Kurylowicz, organizer of the second annual Honey Creek Duathlon, leans against Ralph the Moose in downtown Cannonsburg after completing another day of training for the September 3 duathlon.

“It’s not so much about winning the race, but completing the race,’’ laughed Michael Jonkman of Rockford, who participated in the 2011 event. “The duathlon was great, but I really liked the food and family-friendly events, especially pitching horseshoes. Who needs to walk the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day; Cannonsburg has it all.”

For those not tuckered out by the race, there will be a classic two-person crosscut saw competition. Cannonsburg Museum will also be open for visitors.

“We’ve added more activities for the kids and expanded the entertainment to include folk and blues music along with country and rock,” Kurylowicz said.

The American Red Cross will be on hand for blood donations.

“This is a community event and the focus is to give back to our community,” Kurylowicz said. “Whether you’re donating blood or just showing up for a good time, all money raised will be put back into the community.”

Primary beneficiaries are North Kent Community Services and The Kids’ Food Basket, an organization seeking to eradicate childhood hunger in greater Grand Rapids. It serves more than 4,800 kids each day.

The Labor Day event is also an opportunity for people to see a massive, free-standing outdoor barbeque pit erected in July outside the Grist Mill. Using finely aged wood, the mammoth smoker is churning out mouth-watering chicken, ribs and pulled pork to rave reviews from customers.

“No one should leave here hungry,” Kurylowicz said.

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