COPPERAS COVE — C.C. Rowe loves her 10-year-old bicycle, Old Faithful.

“It’s my baby,” said Rowe, of Austin. “It has thousands of thousands of miles on it.”

Rowe was among 80 women who ran 1.5 miles, biked 10 miles and ran another 1.5 miles Sunday during the Tough Cookie Women’s Duathlon at South Park.

The all-women’s event was a training race for the Tough Cookie triathlon group, said Tzatzil Lemair, the race’s director.

The organization holds races throughout the year in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio and donates all proceeds to charity. This year, funds will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Lone Star Chapter.

Lemair started Tough Cookie Fitness in 2002 to reach out to other women who feel like they don’t have time to focus on their fitness.

“Women really need the social aspect to stick with the training program as opposed to men who just go out and run,” Lemair said. “We’re really busy and having to make time to stay in shape is hard. If you make it fun and sociable, it becomes part of your social life and your training partners become who you hang out with. Suddenly staying in shape is no longer a chore, it’s what you do for fun.”

Meldoye Dzamba, of Harker Heights, said it was her first duathlon.

“I’ve done 5Ks before, so I wanted to try something a little different,” she said. “It’s going to be really exciting.”

After finishing, she and her daughter, Isabella, 3, participated in the race’s Kid’s K. “It (was) really fun. It’s something for both of us to do,” she said. “I want my daughter to learn how to be active, and it’s a really good way to teach her how to do stuff like that.”

Contact Sarah Rafique at srafique@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7549. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.

I'm the education reporter at the Killeen Daily Herald. Follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SarahRafique

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