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Saturday, August 26, 2006 - Sunday, August 27, 2006 -- Oak Hill, WV
ACE New River Bike Fest - WVMBA #10 (iPO Event Id#: 7232)

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Photos]

Past Coverage: [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005]

Story and photos by JR Petsko

Photo by JR Petsko
MTB Vet Gunnar Shogren
keeps going.. and going..
Last week iPlayOutside headed to Oak Hill, West Virginia for round ten of the West Virginia Mountain Bike Series. Our hosts, ACE Adventure Center put on a race that will not soon be forgotten. It was the seventh annual Minden Mudfest XC Circuit Race. Due to the dry weather "Mudfest" it was not, but that seemed to be the only thing ACE got wrong at this event.

For starters, the back drop for the event was the beautiful New River Gorge. Add to that, scenic and hard-core mountain biking trails that are very well maintained, race t-shirts that where so nice I would have paid for one, and a burrito buffet after the race. Oh and did I mention someone racing in Teva's (check out the pictures for proof). As a former mountain bike racer all I could say was, WOOT!!

Photo by JR Petsko
The kids get to play too at ACE
Oh and how could I forget the post race dip in the lake at ACE. I am not afraid to admit that I was jumping on their water trampolines like a six year old kid. I was not the only one on the trampolines from the race; you know who you guys are! Sadly I didn't have my trusty camera on me, or I would have added those photos of you guys to the race pictures.

Even with all this fun and excitement going on before and after the race, the riders still had enough energy in them to tackle a very fast and technical race course. With trail names like Rigormortis, and Vulture's Roost who wouldn't be pumped to hit the trails.

At the start of the event I was amazed to see some of the folks that rolled up to the start line. The husband and wife duo of Gunnar and Betsy Shogren and Marc Glass where there and ready to race!? All three of them competed the pervious day in a Sprint, Splash 'n Spin triathlon in Morgantown.

Photo by JR Petsko
Hammering rocks
Not only did they compete they did very well at the event. Gunnar and Marc both finished in third place in their respected class, and Betsy took home the overall female victory. As a reporter for iplayoutside that made my ears perk up. How would these three do today after putting out such an effect the day before? Well they may have been hurting on the inside but they showed no visible signs of being tired as the pro/expert class took off from the starting line.

As the riders made there way around the prologue I ran to the first section of single track, and wouldn't you know it, Betsy was the first woman rider to pass by me. Following just behind her a few seconds back was overall series point's leader Cassie Smith, and Meredith Erlewine not far behind.

After the last rider passed me by at this spot I jumped in my car to take some more photos at a rock garden that was about seven miles into the course. By then I figured Betsy would fatigue do to the pervious day's event. That would not be the case.

Photo by JR Petsko
Is that a smile on Cassie Smith?
As she passed by she was riding hard battling it out with a few men's pro/expert riders it look like to me! Just a minute later Cassie came blazing though the rock garden, and in her usually form looked to be out on a ride to view the sites not to race. Not because of how fast she was going (cause we all know how fast she is on a bike), but because of the smile that went from ear to ear on her face as she passed by.

Then Meredith came hammering by me only a few minutes back of Cassie. Taking control of the technical rock garden area, Meredith looked to be riding in top form. As the pro women entered their second lap of the event their running order would stay the same all the way to the finish.

Meredith finished third overall for the women in a very respectable time of 2:49:56. Ahead of here in second place (still smiling) was Cassie finishing in 2:38:20. Keep on smiling girl! Unbelievable to me it was Betsy taking home her second victory in two straight days crossing the line in a blistering 2:28:24.

Photo by JR Petsko
Another beautiful ride
So what about the Gunnar and Marc you ask. They didn't do so bad ether (wink, wink!). Gunnar finished the race in a time of 2:05:04 taking home the single speed class victory over Greg (I finally got a wheelie picture) Moore. Like Gunnar, Marc Glass also won his respected pro class, taking the victory in the men's expert vet class in a time of 2:10:16 over Gerry Pflug.

Taking home the over all victory in the race was the Davis, West Virginia's own Nick Waite finishing in an unbelievable time of 1:55:03. Nick was the only two lap rider to complete the course in less than two hours. Finishing second overall on the day was Steve Hill, also putting in a great ride on the day crossing the line in 2:02:31.

Special thanks to Meghan, and all the staff at ACE for an unbelievable time down there. Hope to see you next year!