Holidays often mean spending time with loved ones. The Gallagher extended family came up with a unique way to celebrate this Independence Day together and get in a little exercise.
Eighteen members from four states are convening Tuesday at Public Square in Medina to participate in the 42nd annual Twin Sizzler.
“We’re just doing this for fun,” Jeanne Anciaux said of the running, cycling and walking spectacular organized by the title sponsor Faith in Action — Medina County Caregivers.
Anciaux is one of four Gallagher sisters who grew up in Medina. While the 55-year-old now lives with her husband, Brian, and two sons, Michael, 23, and Matthew, 19, in Phoenix, she said she thought this year’s Twin Sizzler could be an opportune way to reunite with her sisters in Ohio.
Her older sisters, Sharon Traylinek, 59, and Kathleen Gress, 58, live in Medina and Peachtree, Ga., respectively, while Anciaux’s younger sister, Susan Martz, 52, resides in Seville.
Anciaux said her involvement in last year’s 5-kilometer run — her fourth appearance in the local Fourth of July classic — ignited the idea to make this year’s event a family affair.
“I love being around the environment (of the Twin Sizzler) and being on the Square,” Anciaux said. “We grew up going to parades there. I like looking around to see if there’s anyone I know (who is) competing.”
Anciaux, a recreational runner who has competed in marathons and half marathons, also tipped her hat to Traylinek for being another motivating factor in assembling the family reunion around the road race.
The cyclist is participating in her 39th year Twin Sizzler, which had nearly 1,000 pre-registered entries as of Sunday.
“I believe she’s only missed three and that was because she moved away and lived in Alabama or had an injury,” Anciaux said.
Thanks to Traylinek’s cycling roots, Anciaux’s husband and oldest son will be able to join in the bike race without toting their equipment across the country.
Traylinek had a pair of bikes tuned up at Century Cycle in Medina for Brian and Michael so they could race the course starts on Court Street on Public Square and end at West Washington Street.
The remaining 15 registrants from Team Gallagher — two of whom are pregnant and a third, Joe Traylinek, 60, who dropped 75 pounds and his making his Twin Sizzler debut — will either run or walk the course that starts and ends on Broadway Street.
Missing from the course will be Bobby Martz, Susan’s husband. He sustained an ankle injury and is scheduled to undergo surgery on Thursday.
However, the rest of the crew includes local family members Zach Traylinek and his wife Amber, both Stow residents, Patrick Martz of Seville with his girlfriend Jennifer Foster of Lodi, and Natalie Martz of Seville.
Coming in from out of state are Gress’ husband Tom, daughter Amy Goodman and son-in-law Mike Goodman, all from Peachtree, plus Gress’ other daughter Emily Taylor and her husband Brandon Taylor, of Charlotte, NC.
Anciaux said that nearly all of the family members are deeming the July 4th event as a recreational activity, and believes only her son Matthew will use the event as a training day. The member of the track and cross country teams at Grand Canyon University is entered in the 3.1-mile race and the 10K.
“We’re just doing this for fun,” Anciaux said. “Other than my son, I don’t think any of us are going out there and trying to win.”
Unless, of course, earning bragging rights count.
Contact Lisa Gayle Grayson at firstname.lastname@example.org.