AT THE STARTING LINE
OF THE 2018 BIX 7.
QUAD CITY TIMES PHOTO
Tiahun, Muriuki Win Bix 7 Battle
By Herb Townsend
DAVENPORT, IAStraddling the banks of the Mississippi
are the Quad Cities of Moline and Rock Island on the Illinois
side, and Bettendorf, and Davenport on the Iowa side. Davenport
is the birthplace of Bix Beiderbecke, a noted jazz musician in
the 1920s, and his birthday is celebrated here annually with
a jazz festival. In 1975, the first Bix 7-mile race was held
on the same week as the birthday celebration with only 84 runners.
Over the years, both events have grown so large that they are
now held on separate weeks. On July 28 of this year, roughly
20,000 runners were at the starting line. Among them were numerous
world-class athletes, as well as US icons Meb Keflezighi, Joan
Benoit Samuelson, and Bill Rodgers.
Many might assume that a race in Iowa would be flat. But not
so much here! The 7-mile run begins with a steep uphill segment
of about 300 yards to the top of an escarpment overlooking the
river. After a brief, relatively flat section, the course descends
gradually to a nasty little uphill before the turnaround, where
it repeats the process in reverse, followed by an added flat
500 yards to the finish line. Although the heat and humidity
at this event are usually brutal, this years temperature
at the 8am start was only 68F under a partly cloudy sky.