Sunday, July 18, 1999 -- Canaan Valley Resort State Park, Canaan Valley
Revenge of the Rattlesnake
Story and photos by Marty Lamp
|Matt Marcus about to get things rolling|
The starting line was in Blackwater Falls State Park, at the Pendleton
Point Overlook parking lot. All classes started here, and they were
facing a 30K, 40K, or 50K course that ended next to the Nature Center
in Canaan Valley Resort State Park.
|George Willetts leads the way onto Plantation Trail|
Once Plantation crossed the Lindy Run Trail, 30K riders went left and
headed south to the Loop Road, while 40K and 50K racers went right
towards the northern half of Loop Road, and a much needed and
appreciated water station. The 40K and 50K course stayed on Loop Road
heading west towards the west end of the Plantation trail. The 50K
track gained it's extra 10K by leaving Loop Road for the Mountain Side
Trail, before once again coming to Loop Road and biking back to the
west end of the Plantation Trail.
|Benjie Klimas crushes the rough stuff|
Racers again entered the woods, this time on the Allegheny Trail and headed south towards Canaan Valley Resort State Park. The final few miles took riders across grassy fields on the Back Hollow Trail that showed little mercy on tiring legs and numbed minds.
Coming across the finish line first for the Expert class was Ben
Klimas(3:25:17). Klimas took the lead early and pulled the lead
pack up Rt. 32 before George Willetts(3:30:29) jumped out front
and led the way through Plantation Trail. Less than 100 yards off the
road, Klimas flatted, but wasted no time getting back on his bike
getting back to the front. Willetts would lead right up into the final
Lindy Run section, where Klimas pounded through the rough single track
to take the lead for good.
|Amy Atkins keeping the right attitude|
Other 50K winners were Nick Waite(3:54:35) for the Junior Experts, who finished 7th overall, Tim Willis(4:00:01) for the Vet Experts, who finished 12th overall. Ben Woodward(4:12:54) won the Men's Sport Long division, while Kevin Wetzel(4:30:11) got the win for the Clydesdales Long class.
For the 40K racers, Mandi Williams(4:15:23) was the first women
to finish, and she won the Women's Sport Class. Brad
Allen(3:29:55) won the Clydesdale Short Class, Eric
Durst(4:35:15) finished first for the Junior Sports, and Bruce
Wohleber(3:42:48) took top honors for the Men's
Masters. Gregory Olenic(3:23:33) got the win for the Men's
Sport Short Class, and Dave McKain(3:53:31) dug deep within to
get the win for Men's Sport Vet.
|Greg Moore on Plantation Trail|
Although the course was nothing less than grueling, the comments floating around after the race were nothing but positive, many agreeing that this was one of the best courses they have ever ridden. It was a great job done by race director Matt Marcus making sure the trails were properly marked (no one reported getting lost), and providing two vital water stations along the course. Thanks also to John Northeimer and Canaan Valley Resort for all their help and cooperation.