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Saturday, September 1, 2001 -- Oak Hill, WV
Concho Classic 12-hour MTB Relay Race (iPO Event Id#: 2636)
Story and photos by Don Parks

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

Race Pic
A race with a view
Southern West Virginia was decimated by summer rains that caused extensive flooding. The town of Minden and the nearby trails at ACE Adventure Center were not spared. However, the folks in these parts are a hearty bunch and it didn't take long before the rebuilding began. The hard work that the ACE crew put in to repair the many washed out trails and prepare for the first annual Concho Classic 12-hour MTB Relay Race was evident everywhere.

The rains returned the day before the race only letting up as the race was about to start at 9:00am Saturday morning. Eventually the sun broke through the clouds, but not until all the early racers were covered with a nice layer of mud. Clearing away the mud from the faces of the racers revealed some big smiles. It seems that even with the difficult muddy sections, the 12-mile plus course was a delight to everyone. At least until the fatigue of endurance racing began to take its toll.

Race Pic
Mountain biking at its best
After the first lap it was David Wall leading Team Deliverance to the front of the pack. His three person Male Pro team included alternating laps with Bill Collin and Robbie Cornett and they fought to keep the early lead they were given. The team finished with 9 laps at 9:11pm for an average lap time of 1:21. That would be one more lap than any other finisher.

Finishing with the second most laps at eight was the Male Solo winner, Rich O'Neil, along with two three person Male Junior teams. These two teams, Team Balzout and Team Peach Fuzz, battle the entire race and it came down to that final eighth lap to determine a winner. In the end it was Balzout's Brandon Lilly, Aaron Amick, and Bob Lilly, taking the win over Peach Fuzz's Lucas Chandler, Jeff King and Steven Nutt.

Race Pic
12 Hours later and it's quitting time!
Many more winners were crowned in an assortment of solo, two person, and three person teams. And whatever place everyone finished, ACE was throwing a party. While there hard work on the trails could be seen, the hospitality they provide must be experienced. What do they provide? Well just free race t-shirts, numerous prizes, a huge buffet meal, free camping, live music, and even a special deal on a rafting trip for all participants. They'll be at it again for next year and you won't want to miss the next 12 hours at the Concho Classic.

Oh, and before you go, you may be asking like we did, what is "Concho"? Concho was once a town that existed on what is now the property of the ACE Adventure Center. You can even find it if you search on MapQuest.com! The town is no more, just like the coal mining heydays of Minden. But this once thriving community is still evident along the trails by the remnants left behind, and the old mines that are now sealed shut.