SIKESTON -- Adam McGee loved competing no matter what the sport.
With that in mind, Adam's family organized a duathlon -- a run-bike-run event -- held last month to raise money for the scholarship created in his memory. The 11-year-old died in his sleep April 16, 2001, after suffering a rare heart defect -- a condition his family didn't know about.
As his classmates enter their junior year of high school this August, Adam's family wants to ensure they can offer scholarships beginning in 2008 to Adam's peers planning to attend college.
"Adam was a hard worker," Mike Nelson, Adam's uncle, said. "He would come to my house every day after school and help me work in the garden and do other chores to earn money to buy a new bicycle."
In late May, the family agreed it would be fitting for the first fundraiser to include cycling.
"We got mailing lists from every triathlon and duathlon around and sent out hundreds and hundreds of fliers," said Adam's cousin Brooke Marriott, who helped organized the event.
The duathlon conducted by Splitmaster Timing and Adam's family was held June 24 at the Charleston Baptist Association campgrounds in Benton -- a favorite place of Adam's. About 20 participants ranging in age from 11 to 50 were divided into adult and youth groups.
Adult participants started on a three-mile cross country style run through the campgrounds. Scott County Sheriff's Department assisted so the runners could then ride a 14-mile loop on the Highway 77. Once finished the bikers would repeat the same three-mile run. The youth race consisted of a 1.5-
mile run, 7-mile bike, 1.5-mile run.
John Kipper of Cape Girardeau was the overall winner with a time of 1:13:28. The youth duathlon winner was Andrew Box of Sikeston with a time of 50:24. "Adam was a really good kid and loved to do anything athletic. He was always a competitor," Marriott said. "He would've loved this."
Described by his family as a sports fanatic, Adam was active in the Sikeston Youth Bowling League, Sikeston Sharks Swim Team, Kelly Junior Hawks basketball team, Little League baseball at New Hamburg and Sikeston YMCA and Church League basketball. He was also a puppeteer and member of the children's choir at Miner Baptist Church, a fifth grade honor student at Kelly Elementary and an avid race car fan.
Adam is the son of Kathy McGee of Sikeston and the late Gary McGee. He also has a brother, Ryan McGee.
Kathy McGee said she thought the event was very successful.
"It was a beautiful place and maybe next year we will have more people who will compete," McGee said.
A duathlon is a great way to involve both children and parents, Marriott said. "Like all endurance sports, duathlon promotes fitness and healthy lifestyles. Another perk is the event brings revenue into the community by drawing duathletes from surrounding cities like St. Louis, Columbia and Dexter," Marriott said.
Many local companies and individuals played a huge part in the success of the event, and the family was very pleased with the response from the community, Marriott said, adding donations were nearly tripled following the event.
"The location was perfect for a duathlon and the course was flat and fast. It's obvious this event is going to become more and more popular in the future. I'm anxious to do it next year," said Delbert Marriott, a professional duathlete and event supporter.
Adam's grandmother, Glenda Evans of Sikeston, was on hand for the event and said everyone who attended seemed to enjoy themselves.
"Adam would have really thought that this was something neat," Evans said. Donations may be made to the Adam McGee Memorial Scholarship Fund at Montgomery Bank.