On Saturday, October 17, 2015, the Highland Village Police Department sponsored the 8th annual Fallen Heroes Bike Race. The Annual Fallen Heroes Bike Race and 5K Run is a fund raiser for the Fallen Officers Fund, which is organized and ran through the Texas Police Chiefs Association Fund. The TPCAF helps families who have lost a loved one in the line of duty by giving financial assistance almost immediately after an officer’s death. The foundation receives 100% of the money raised from this event.
A Dallas police bike officer, Blain Norfleet, assembled a team of officers that consisted of Jerry Iliff, George Farmakis, and Todd Lafleur, and lead the riders as the team captain. The race was an 8.5 mile ride on the streets and bike paths of Highland Village. Norfleet stated, “We entered the race not knowing what to expect from the other teams.” There was a total of nine teams with four members each.
When the race started, the promoters were kind enough to let the Dallas PD team go first since it was their first time in the race. The winds were blowing between 10-15 mph that day and there were some hills they had to overcome. The team’s strategy was to ride into the wind and tackle the uphill climbs head strong, in an effort to make up time. They started the race by making their way through the neighborhood and entered the bike path which was uphill into a head wind. This is where they split up with Jerry and Todd taking off and keeping Blain and George at a short distance behind. They continued to push hard, not knowing how close the other teams were. On the return leg, they caught the tail wind which brought some relief, but still had a ways to finish. The team continued to drive hard and eventually crossed the finish line. Todd finished first, Jerry finished second, followed by George and Blain.
Before they started the race, they learned that North Richland Hills PD had dominated this event by winning the race every year. They held a record time of 1:53:28. The time is a cumulative time of each individual rider. The teams were all younger than the Dallas PD Team, who were all over the age of 50. The Dallas team assumed they did not win, but were sure their performance was up to par. The North Richland Hills PD, who had become accustom to winning from years past, had gathered at the finish line and felt victory was just moments away. However, the results were tallied and Dallas PD prevailed with a winning time of 1:51:28.88, setting a new course record. They beat the North Richland Hills PD’s time of 1:57:13.60 by 5 minutes and 45 seconds.
Todd Lafleur finished first overall with a time of 26 min. 20 sec and Jerry Iliff finished second with a time of 27 min 16 sec. Overall, it was a great day for the Dallas Police Department’s bike officers. They represented the Dallas Police Department very well and gave them bragging rights until next year. But in the end, the real winners were all those who participated and help raise over $21,000.00 for the Fallen Officers Fund.