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Saturday, October 31, 1998 -- New Martinsville
Nightmare at Margery Run
Story by Don Parks and Lew McGrath with photos by Lew McGrath.

[Coverage/Recap w/Pics] [More Pics Set 1] [More Pics Set 2] [Results]

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Getting ready to start a beautiful Nightmare
Starting at 10:00a.m. October 31st, just outside of New Martinsville, there was a unique Halloween party where everyone seemed to be dressed as a mountain biker. As it happens, they were gathering together for the second annual Nightmare at Margery Run. The event is a 12-hour mountain bike relay race with two person teams, and a few brave individuals, screaming around seven miles of ghoulish single track well into the night.

Each rider raced through an initial four-mile loop that started with the course's most brutal climb, continued on to beautiful, tight, off-camber single track, and finished with a technical descent. Then it was back past the start/finish area for the second three-mile loop. This loop started with an easier climb, went on to some nicely groomed trails, and finished with a fast, white-knuckle, downhill. These two loops combined to complete one circuit of this howling good time disguised as a mountain bike Nightmare.

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Ben Woodward screams down the trails at Margery Run
After the racing got underway, it appeared that the battle for first would be fought out between the teams of Uhl/Whorton and Clegg/Adams. However, early in the race, with just a few laps completed, Colby Uhl veered into a tree with enough impact to knock him silly. By the time Uhl managed to regain his composure and resume racing, the Clegg/Adams team had gained a sizeable lead. Uhl/Whorton still had a few tricks in their bag and continued to aggressively chase down the leaders. After no less than three more laps of racing, Uhl/Whorton made up the lost time and moved into first. They held the lead for the rest of the evening and into the night to win the Nightmare with 14 laps completed. Even with Scott Clegg recording the fastest single lap time of 41 minutes, the Clegg/Adams team had to settle for second after completing 13 laps.

Meanwhile, the team of Schwartz/Prather had settled down for what they thought would be a safe third place finish after 12 laps, but the Woodward/Stevens team had other ideas. As Ben Woodward came around to complete his team's 12th lap, a little before the 10p.m. cutoff, he never hesitated and imediately headed back out for another. Schwartz/Prather now had a choice, either concede third and take fourth or send out another rider to hopefully pass Woodward and complete their 13th lap first. Craig Prather was up to the challenge and headed out into the night where he was able to overtake Woodward and secure a third place finish.

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Jonathan Martin, on his way to 8 solo laps, wasn't scared of the dark
In the solo competition it was Jonathan Martin who quickly raced out to a big lead. Martin took no breaks as he raced through 5 laps of the course without a break. The torrid pace eventually caught up with him as he fought late in the race to maintain his strength. While Martin struggled, Rod Toothman began to slowly gain ground. In the end, Martin's lead was too much to overcome as Toothman completed 7 solo laps to Martin's 8.

Regardless of how many laps each racer finished or how fast they rode, Margery Run provided plenty of treats for all who participated. Country Road Bicycles and the Anderson family hosted a wonderful event that included campfires, a cookout, plenty of refreshments, and a healthy dose of West Virginia hospitality. You just couldn't ask for a better way to bring the WV racing season to an end for 1998.