Tim Hird has a decision to make every year at the Quad-City Times Bix 7.
Which trophy does he want to win?
This year, it was the Quick Bix.
Hird, a former Rock Island Alleman and North Central College standout, cruised to his second Swiss Valley Farms Quick Bix title Saturday, crossing the finish line in 10 minutes, 24 seconds with no other runners in sight. Laney Fitzpatrick, a 13-year-old from Bettendorf, was the first female to cross the finish line in the Quick Bix.
Hird has taken home some sort of hardware from the Bix five out of the last six years. He won the Gregg Newell Award as the top Quad-Cities male finisher in the Bix 7 in 2011, 2013 and 2015. His first Quick Bix title came in 2014.
“There was one year that there was a hiccup,” Hird said.
In 2014, a hip flexor injury led to Hird running the Quick Bix. This year, a family basketball game turned sprint-off led to a quad injury.
“Today, I was leaning more to doing Quick,” Hird said. “I said if I get to the top of the hill and I feel good I’ll just do the full. I got up to the top of the hill feeling awful, so I did the Quick Bix.”
Hird’s regular running routine has been a bit off as he searches for a job. He recently earned his master’s degree at North Central, ending his two-year run as a graduate assistant coach with the men’s cross country and track and field programs while earning his degree in leadership studies with an emphasis in higher education.
Hird said he’d like to coach and teach at the college level. He also has his eyes on even longer races than the Bix 7.
“I’d like to start trying my hand at a few marathons,” he said. “I’ve got to find a job and get on a normal pattern so I can get back into good training.”
Fitzpatrick, who is going to be an eighth-grader at Bettendorf Middle School this fall, crossed the finish line first among female runners Saturday in 12:59. Last year she finished second but had the fastest chip time at 13:02. This year she crossed first but had the second-fastest chip time behind Victoria Capozziello of Schaumburg, Illinois, who finished in 12:34.
“I went up the hill and I saw one girl,” Fitzpatrick said of Saturday’s race. “I caught up to her, passed her on the downhill and just had to finish.”
Fitzpatrick runs track and cross country and says she’s going to graduate to the big race next year.
“Next year I’m going to do the full Bix, but this year me and my dad decided that I’m gonna have a lot of years ahead of me to do the longer stuff so right now as I’m young just to do the short stuff,” she said.