Sunday, August 15, 2004 -- Massanutten, VA
Massanutten HOO HA! (iPO Event Id#: 6026)
Story and photos by Dana Harshberger
The day began at 9am with the start of the XXC race. An unbelievable 32 racers singed up for this type of fun. The course was one long loop that started with additional mileage on Kaylor's Knob before joining back up with the regular XC.
Going for distance as well as speed, Benjie Klimas pedaled across the line for first. Klimas actually raced in the Ultra Class, which meant he had also raced in the Plus Category at the Wild 100 in West Virginia the day before! Joining him in this craziness was Carolinian Matt Lee (who did a lot of driving as well!) Jonathan Martin and Steve Reger followed their finishes respectively. Lee and Klimas also tied for first on Saturday. For his weekend effort, Klimas now receives a free entry into the upcoming Shenandoah Mountain 100. Klimas noted that he had a good solid ride and was using the weekend as training for the SM100. Benjie added, "That last climb didn't kick my butt like it does every year."
As for those in the regular XXC category, local yokel Dylan Johnson brought it home. Also in the mix was Steve Schwartz in 2nd and Jamie Keehner for 3rd. We caught up with Trevor Graham, recuperating in a lawn chair with a glassy eyed stare, who said, "Whole lotta fun"better than Cats"I'd ride it again and again."
Always a Crowd Pleaser
At 10am, the crowd pleasing Kid's Race began. Just shy of a mile this year's course was a bit shorter and easier than last year's. Helping with the lead out was world class racer Jeremiah Bishop fresh off the circuit. Nine racers duked it out, with Nick Fries scorching the course win in 0:04:10.
Opps, My Bad
Once the dust settled, and the awards were finished for the kids, the regular XC rolled around. The categories were staged on the dirt road, with a little mix-up occurring with the Clydesdales getting chased down by Sports. Kenny Hess, Director of Mountain Biking, would like to take this time to say, "Sorry guys. It's hard getting hoards of racers in the proper sequence."
Wave after wave of racers took off in clouds of dust. For the Men's Pro action, Jeremiah Bishop had a clean and fast race. Maybe the warm-up with the kid's contributed to his victory. Another Carolinian, Charlie Storm, nabbed 2nd while Nick Waite and Chris Eatough rounded out the podium. Waite commented after the race, "This course had all the makings of greatness: rocky, rough and awesome downhills."
Girls, Girls, Girls
In the women's end of things the big guns were on the line with a wonderful depth of women. A name you might have heard of, West Virginia's own, Sue Haywood took to the trails to finish 1st with fellow WVMBA racers Joanna Krause (2nd) and Cassie Smith (3rd) completing the women's top spots.
Vet Ex Man, Mike Capraro commented on the course conditions this year being the best possibly ever. Capraro also made note of the fabulous maintenance that was done by the Shenandoah Mountain Bike Club (SMBC), along with the nice re-route. Kudos to the SMBC for their countless hours of work that went into making this trail system better than it's ever been before. Thomas Jenkins, president of SMBC and perfect attendee said, "Around 600 hours went into the new connector trails, both in hand work, as well as nifty machinery, expertly maneuvered by Rich Edwards of IMBA Trail Solutions."
Christine Hall Neary, racing in the Beginner Women category, decided to race just the night before while talking to instigator Thomas Jenkins. He inspired her to race, and said, "It's easier than it used to be." This statement actually turned out to be true due to the aforementioned course re-route that pretty much allowed riders to stay on their bikes. Neary loved the course and put out the call for more beginner women to race next year.
As always there are numerous people that work behind the scenes well before the day of the race as well as race day itself. Thanks to Massanutten Resort for year after year, consistently put on a great race. Thanks to Kenny Hess and George Willetts at the Ski/Mnt Bike office for spearheading the effort. Thanks to all resort personnel who came out on a Sunday to marshal, hand out water bottles, awards, do the timing, and clean up afterwards.
If you have any questions regarding points for your state's series, please call the Mountain Bike Office at (540) 289-4954 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you have a story of you own to add, please drop us a line too at: email@example.com.