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Sunday, September 3, 2000 -- Harrisonburg, VA
Shenandoah Mountain 100
Story and photos by Dana Harsberger

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6]
[Shenandoah Mountain Touring]

Shenandoah Mountain 100
Chris Scott burning the midnight oil
Chafe, chain-suck, mud and cramping. These are just a few words to describe this weekend's 100-mile backcountry race. Great volunteers, awesome trails, and excellent organization are yet a few others.

Despite rain, rain and more rain, the week of, as well as an incredible thunderstorm the night before, the show went on. More or less promptly at 6:30 am, a field slightly shy of 200 riders began what would be a long day for most of them.

Starting at the majestic Stokesville Campground, and rolling down the hill to a nice and easy pavement start, the race then hit the fairly mucky trails that left most riders either pushing or carrying their bikes. A few stubborn riders insisted on spinning through parts of the trail that resembled chocolate pudding. Luckily, as the day wore on, the trails drained well, leaving the occasional standing water at the low spots.

Shenandoah Mountain 100
So what's a little rain?
At checkpoint #1, riders were coming out of the forest looking muddy, but still fresh. The great folks at this aid station were graciously helping with the application of chain lube, and doling out fruit, water and freshly mixed Cytomax.

Checkpoint 2/6 had its encampment tucked near the woods. Also popular at this station, chain lube!

At check point 3/4, more or less the halfway point in the race, most racers still looked fresh, although covered and splattered in George Washington Forest mud masks. A common call again, was for chain lube and refills on Cytomax.

Shenandoah Mountain 100
So... what mile am I on?
And a lot of racers used this stop as a lunch break. The friendly and efficient volunteers at this checkpoint had thoughtfully pre-made an immense amount of PB and J's and were definitely on top of things with riders not only shooting down from Dowells Draft, but also coming around again, completing a modified, shortened loop of the Braley's Pond area. This adjustment to the course took 4 miles off the total length, and also saved riders from a potentially treacherous technical single-track trail and downhill.

After a grueling, 20 miles of uphill, was checkpoint #5. A smiling and cheerful local Chief of Police Bobby Hill, was a welcome sight on top of the hill, greeting the weary racers.

Shenandoah Mountain 100
Can I have a PB & J to go, please?
Coming around again to CP 2/6, where riders who were freshly wet from a high stream crossing, hit some welcoming pavement for the last leg of their trip. This final part of the course took them longingly past the campground entrance, where the road turned to gravel. With a few turns, and twists, there was a soft fireroad uphill, and the final rocky gully-turned grass downhill for the finish at the campground. Finishers could then hit the ceremonial gong, and were then given a commemorative SM100 pint glass.

As with most races, there are some standout riders. This event was no exception. Of note was Lloyd Graves, who battled, and finished the race on a SINGLE SPEED. This makes one wonder, "Where was Hugh Jass?" Usually the ones to enter events on their single speeds and fixed gears, and with this being their own backyard, one is left to think "Maybe next year?" Hey guys! What up?

Shenandoah Mountain 100
You steer, I'll stoke
Also worthy of note were the guys on the tandem, Dan Hudson and Scott Siegel. Incredibly they also finished the race, with a respectable time of 14:25:30. Kudos to their impressive teamwork!

And now, on to the fast guys: Trek dominated the top five. Finishing in a record 7 hours and 12 minutes was East Coast Factory team member Chris Eatough. Breathing down his back was team member, Paul Buschi (7:16). And following for 3rd, yet another Trek rider, Joel Maynard (7:23). Rounding out the top five was Skip Brown (7:34) of Sevin, followed by Jacob Loverich at 7:41.

An impressive field of 18 women started the race. First to finish was Sammy Fournier, in at 10:23, which was an impressive 4 hours faster than her time last year. Sammy credits the teamwork with her Snow Valley team mate Jennifer Duncan (who took second with 10:26), as well as her training for this improvement. In third, was Sue George with a time of 10:58.

Shenandoah Mountain 100
Chris Eatough finished first, and alone
Despite the on and off again rain, and mostly cloudy skies, spirits were high at the finish. A delightful dinner in the pavilion greeted racers and spectators alike. Cooked with love by the families of race coordinators Chris Scott, Mike Carpenter and Jamie Keener, the hot food was a welcome departure from daylong ingestion of HammerGel and snack food. Four varieties of fine West Virginia Brewing Company's beer put the new pint glasses to use, and massage therapists worked on tired limbs and backs. Another welcome addition this year was the ingenious use of agricultural water tanks as a sun showers.

Even with a few last minute course adjustments, made in order to conserve some of the more delicate trail areas and for the riders' safety, the day progressed smoothly. With the water level in the North River considered too high and swift to cross safely, Mike Carpenter, trail high priest, worked his magic on revamping the course.

Shenandoah Mountain 100
Bangin' the gong
With these modifications the final length of the race came to about 96 miles, and according to race director Chris Scott, leaving almost 80% of the original course intact. Luckily, injuries were, few and minor, with only some shaken up riders and various and sundry stitches needed.

Once again Chris, Jamie and Mike pulled off a successful event, and many thanks goes out to them and all of their fabulous volunteers that make this race what it is. Lots of folks commented on how wonderfully groomed and manicured the trails were (thanks go to Shenandoah Mountain Bike Club). And that the well-stocked Aid Station/Checkpoints and the friendly staffing at them, made this daunting course, a very do-able event.

For the official "race promoter's" recap and videos, make sure you check out the Shenandoah Mountain Touring website.