Ev­ery­one’s a win­ner at MDIR can­cer event

Lo­cal Clontz takes top prize at can­cer event at MDIR

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By MICHAEL REID mreid@somd­news.com

Though many driv­ers reached the win­ner’s cir­cle this past week­end at Mary­land In­ter­na­tional Race­way in Me­chan­icsville, other win­ners were those bat­tling breast can­cer thanks to the Paint the 1/4 Pink event held dur­ing Bike Fest 2016.

Now in its sixth year, Paint The 1/4 Pink is a wom­ens-only com­pe­ti­tion which fea­tures com­peti­tors rac­ing head-to-head on drag bikes and street bikes. A to­tal of 10 riders took part in the event.

“It feels great, [but] it feels re­ally good es­pe­cially for all the peo­ple who are go­ing through the strug­gle,” said Kelly Clontz of Hugh­esville, who took the ti­tle af­ter de­feat­ing Robin Pro­co­pio in the fi­nals. “My bike was very con­sis­tent this week­end, and my re­ac­tion times were pretty good, too, so I can’t com­plain.”

Clontz won the event in 2013 and 2014 but came into the event this year with a chip on her shoul­der af­ter be­ing knocked out in the sec­ond year last year.

The event helps to raise funds for “Bik­ers Against

Breast Can­cer.” In 2014, bik­ers chipped in $7,000 and last year $13,000 was raised for the char­ity.

“Our mis­sion is to pro­vide tem­po­rary as­sis­tance to peo­ple with can­cer, any form of can­cer not just breast can­cer, or peo­ple who are in­di­rectly af­fected,” said Sheila Green-Barn­hill, founder and CEO of the na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion, which is based in New Jer­sey. “We pro­vide a mini-grant up to $300 to help them pay a bill or two so they can con­cen­trate on re­cu­per­at­ing. The thing is a lot of the or­ga­ni­za­tions are fo­cused on re­search, which is so needed, but the fact that peo­ple go home af­ter sur­viv­ing but are stressed out by the bills they can’t pay so our goal is to help peo­ple re­lieve that lit­tle bit of stress. We know we can’t give to ev­ery sin­gle per­son ev­ery sin­gle time so we make re­fer­rals and that helps the per­son to­tally all around.”

The foun­da­tion, which re­lies on vol­un­teers, con­trib­utes 100 per­cent of all do­na­tions to the grant foun­da­tion while mer­chan­dise sales go to­ward the op­er­at­ing bud­get. Paint The 1/4 Pink raised $700 in 2013, but that num­ber bal­looned to $7,000 a year later.

“That’s a big push and it tells me they’re do­ing some­thing right,” said Green-Barn­hill, who lost a sis­ter, Lenora Hay­wood, to lung can­cer in 1979. “Last year the ladies were able to raise $13,000 so that type of do­na­tion al­lows us to serve more peo­ple and with that type of ser­vice to the com­mu­nity we’re able to get our name out be­cause we’re get­ting re­fer­rals from ma­jor can­cer foun­da­tions across the coun­try. So events like these bring our name to peo­ple who have never heard of us. So when they see our name it al­lows them to know who we are and what we do.”

Tanya Lovett, a stylist from Seaford, Del., made the nearly three-hour drive ex­clu­sively to race in the event. The 44-yearold had a re­ac­tion time of .053 of a sec­ond and a reached a speed of 145.52 mph aboard her 2006 Suzuki 1000 to de­feat Jaleesa Mi­nor in the first round.

“Be­cause it’s for a good cause,” Lovett said of why she en­tered the race. “Any­thing for a char­ity or to help some­one out, es­pe­cially another woman, and it’s a good cause.”

Lovett, whose grand­mother died nearly 20 years ago from pan­cre­atic can­cer, was elim­i­nated in the sec­ond round by Julie Burk­head.

“I got a good start and had a good time so I’m happy,” said Lovett, who ad­vanced to the quar­ter­fi­nals last year.

Jorene White of Min­eral, Va., who re­cently took up bike rac­ing — this week­end’s event was just her fifth — was elim­i­nated in the first round af­ter a re­ac­tion time of .190 and a speed of 117.48 mph, but the 41-year-old is just happy to be alive.

White was di­ag­nosed with cer­vi­cal can­cer in 2006 but fought the dis­ease and to­day is com­pletely can­cer-free.

“It is what it is. You take it one day at a time,” said White, who was rac­ing a 2002 Suzuki 600. “The can­cer part [of this race] is very spe­cial.”

Clontz re­ceived a bye in the sec­ond round and then ad­vanced to the fi­nal af­ter a win over Burk­head in the semi­fi­nal in which her re­ac­tion time was .096 and reached 159.36 mph.

Though she had a slower re­ac­tion time to Pro­co­pio in the fi­nal, .040 to .009, “You’re go­ing for [the good start] and you hope [the Christ­mas tree] doesn’t go red,” said Clontz, who claimed the crown when she reached 159.17 mph. Clontz’s speed of 160.29 in the first round was the top speed of the event.

Rid­ing a 2008 Kawasaki, Necka Lan­caster of Wal­dorf was elim­i­nated in the first round.

“It is very fun,” said Chisa Yokota, who made the 12hour flight from Ja­pan to race in the event. Yokota, who co-owns a cus­tom mo­tor­cy­cle shop with her hus­band, also raced last year.

In other races this past week­end, Mark Sch­walm won the FBR Shop 5.60 In­dex, Joey Glad­stone took top hon­ors in both the DME Rac­ing Real Street and Ori­ent Ex­press Pro Street Class and Boo Brown won the IDBL Crazy 8s.

David Ash­ton was named IDBL Top Sports­man. In­dian Head’s Shayne Proc­tor was sec­ond, Prince Fred­er­ick’s Dur­wood Rawl­ings fin­ished fifth and Chris Clontz grabbed sev­enth place.

Tyler Cam­mock won the Vance & Hines 4.60 In­dex while Marvin Savoy of Char­lotte Hall placed sec­ond.

When asked what ad­vice she’d give to other women who have been di­ag­nosed with can­cer, White paused.

“Stay pos­i­tive, it’s go­ing to get bet­ter,” she said be­fore climb­ing aboard her bike.

STAFF PHOTO BY MICHAEL REID

Hugh­esville’s Kelly Clontz burns rub­ber be­fore her qual­i­fy­ing run in the Paint the ¼ Pink event on Satur­day. Clontz won all four of her races and reached an event-best 160.29 mph to win her third ti­tle in four years.

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