Sunday, September 10, 2000 -- Coopers Rock State Forest - Morgantown, WV
Henry Clay 30K
Story by Marty Lamp, photos by Lew McGrath
The orignal Henry Clay 30+K races were the product of local riding
legend Tommy Harris, who among many other things was also one
of the founding members of WVMBA. One thousand pages could not
hold the exploits of Harris on two wheels, but trust me when I say the
man was, and still is, very tough. He was stretching the limits of mountain biking back in
the day when bio-pace chainrings and chainstay mounted U-brakes were
the latest rage, and suspension on a mountain bike was nothing more
than how much pressure you put in your tires. Whether he was the first
to do it, who knows, but I do know that he pedaled up the famed
powerline "money climb" (we came down it this year) more than
This year 150 racers lined up for the start just above the furnace parking lot, and at roughly 11:30am it was time for the fun to begin. Racers were faced with 2 miles of road climbing before turning left onto a tricky little bridge on their way through the day use parking lot and onto Scott's Run Trail. Rocks, roots, and a few more rocks kept everyone on their toes, and put a few riders on their ear before it was all said and done.
Climbing up to McCollam Campground from Scott's Run was a pure test of
will power and technical riding ability, but reprieve and a water
station were waiting at the top as everone crossed the paved road and
got a small rest on a rolling grassy trail before making a sharp left
and cranking up another steep climb. Then it was time for some great
winding, rocky downhill that led to the Henry Clay Furnace. All short
loop racers headed for their finish line at this point, the furnace
One racer that liked this course was Pro/Ex rider Jeremiah Bishop(1:29:08). After finishing in first place, Bishop sat on his bike smiling, taking it all in. "The mountain biking in West Virginia is great, I love riding and racing here", said Bishop. But it wasn't all clear sailing for the fleet K2/Sun speedster. A first lap flat after Scott's Run put Bishop behind a handfull of fast riders, with his K2/Sun teammate Eric Keim(1:29:14) taking the lead.
"That was the quickest flat tire fix I have ever had!", said Bishop,
"The whole thing took something like 2 minutes 20 seconds, and I still
didn't get back to the front until the final downhill." But Bishop did
get back to the front, and when he did, it was just he and Keim.
In the Men's Vet Ex class, Bob Vernon(1:42:33) proved he's still a force to be reckoned with as he took the win for his class, and crossed the line in 9th place overall! Allen Moore(1:46:25) and Brocc Kaylor(1:53:19) finished second and third for the class, and 12th and 23rd overall respectively.
The fastest female rider on the course this day was Cassi
Smith(2:00:17). Smith relied on her technical prowess to finish
45th overall, and some 14 minutes ahead of her closest class
competitor, Mandi Williams(2:14:54).
Jeff DeVincent(1:50:59) continued to lead the way for the Men Vet Sports, while Dannie Hillery(2:04:04) continued his streak of wins in the Clydesdale class. Matt McDonald(2:03:39) won the Men Jr Sport class.
On the short course, it was Danny Wilson(1:04:43) earning the overall win, and taking first place in the Junior 14-under division. Brandon Farley(1:10:40) was the first Men's Beginner to finish, and Women's Beginner Sarah Loucks(1:22:20) got the checkered flag for her class, while Idress Gooden(1:40:33) led the way for the Women Masters.
Thanks go out to Colin Dierman and Wamsley Cycles of Morgantown for keeping this great event going, for the countless volunteers out on the trail, and for ensuring a good time was had by all.