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Speedskaters compete at Midtown park

By KTVA Sports 12:19 PM January 6, 2014

The annual race is also one of the primary fundraisers for maintenance of the skating oval at Cuddy Family Midtown Park.

ANCHORAGE – Gavin Starck fell in love with speedskating at a tender age: The 11-year-old remembers watching the Olympics on TV when he was little.

“I jumped up and I yelled at my mom, ‘What is that?’” Starck said. “It was speedskating and I’ve wanted to do it ever since.”

Sunday was Starck’s first speedskate-skate ski duathlon. The race features several laps around the midtown oval followed by a transition into the cross-country skiing portion. The ski course was set up around Cuddy Family Midtown Park.

“There’s a lot of similarities in the technique of speedskating and skate-skiing,” said Alaska Speedskating Club Head Coach Peter Haeussler. “It seemed like kind of a natural thing to do this.”

The race is also one of the primary fundraisers for maintenance of the skating oval at the popular midtown park.  Haeussler said the group, Anchorage Skates, will put together $10,000 while the Municipality of Anchorage puts together the rest, which Haeussler said is about $6,000 to $8,000.

Everett Cason ended up winning the kid’s division over Starck, who failed to convert well enough in transition.  Winning for the men was Sam Dougherty, who’s from Anchorage and skis for Montana State. Ana Jager won her second duathlon Sunday. She won the event a couple years ago.

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