During the 29th Dehydrator Race, an annual tradition to help benefit the Duncan Schools band program, a little over 500 riders showed up and had a good ride around Duncan and to Waurika Lake.
Riders started to arrive around 6 a.m. and were greeted by Duncan High School Band boosters and the sounds of music warming up for the annual bike ride.
Duncan High School Band Director Jeramy Haas started the race by showing off the talents of the Demons band program as they played some music before take off.
Haas thanked everyone for attending and introduced Representative Marcus McEntire who talked about his district in which the ride took place in and gave an opening prayer fitting for the bike riders.
Upon hearing the word go, the racers were sent off by Duncan Band playing tunes. The riders took to their respective courses which consisted of a 10, 25, 50, 62 or 80 mile ride.
Water stations were placed throughout the ride and volunteers from the band program made sure that the riders had a good ride throughout Duncan, Stephens County and Jefferson County.
Brian Hibbard, chairman for the 2019 Dehydrator, was in his first year planning the race and everyone he had talked to has enjoyed the ride and will be coming back.
“As far as I can tell, what I have hard of those actually participating in it, all the riders seemed to have a good time,” Hibbard said. “There were very minimal comments as to what could be done different and I feel like overall we had over 500 riders. That was a little down from last year and the year before, but I think all of the people who did show up enjoyed it. We have heard from some of the new riders that said they loved the ride and will be back.”
The 30th anniversary will next be year for the event which began in 1990. Hibbard, who will be back as chairman for the planning of the event, said he is doing everything to make it a big event.
“I’m going to do my best since I will be doing this next year. I have already got some notes and for the 30th year we will hopefully kick it up a notch and hopefully have a better time next year,” Hibbard said.
Riders enjoyed a chicken spaghetti lunch after the conclusion of the race and after registration and fees, Hibbard said they are still calculating how much the Duncan band programs made this year.
Hibbard said they will finalize all the totals at the beginning of next week and is hoping to keep the tradition alive by donating some bikes to the toy shop.
“We do end up taking some of the proceeds as well as what goes back to funding the band program, we do give back by donating several new bikes to the toyshop every year,” Hibbard said.