Sunday, June 27, 2010 -- Marietta, OH / Wayne National Forest
The Wayne Ultra - WVMBA Ultra #2
Story by Chris Swarr with photos by Chris Weihl.
The Wayne Ultra featured two course length options: a 44-mile route for cash, prizes, and WVMBA Ultra Series points; and an 18-mile loop for bragging rights and prize table goodies. Over seventy riders showed up to experience the trails of Ohio's only national forest.
True story . . .
after the race I heard one obviously depleted competitor mention to the person next to him that he had figured that since the course was only 44 miles long and in "flat" Ohio, it would be "no problem" to show up and rail through the event and then head home. Such expectations about pleasant, rolling Ohio, however, can run into an entirely different reality when the venue is the Wayne National Forest.
First, there is no shortage of climbing in the deep, impressive woods and steep, stony hills that thrust westward out of the bottomlands that hug the wide Ohio River there. And second, when race day happens to coincide with the hottest day of the year so far in the Mid-Ohio Valley and waves of humidity roll off the river into the surrounding terrain, suffering is inevitable. A brief survey of the number of racers in the DNF column clearly indicates the heat's brutal toll.
Another true story . . .
as I floated around the staging area after the race I heard riders commenting on just how killer the trails in the WNF are. The Wayne has a lot of single-track -- much more, in fact, than was included in this WVMBA Ultra. This place is full of beautiful and soulful riding thanks to the fanatical quantity and quality of trail work done by the River Valley Mountain Bike Association. It is really worth a stand-alone visit by mountain bikers who treasure a great biking experience and whether you race or not, you should visit the "Wayne".
In Men's XXC, Ernesto Marenchin seized the overall win in just over four hours on the course.
Less than a minute behind was Daniel Evans in second place, and Bradley Schmalzer was close at their heels for third.
Joey Riddle and Garth Prosser rounded out the top five in the overall.
Women's XXC was won by Mandi Riddle, with Ruth Cunningham snagging second place. Meredith Erlewine completed the podium in third.
Peter Kotses stuck out an impressive Single Speed class victory for sixth overall, while Morgan Miller pulled a silver in this class and Jonathan Martin captured third.
The Master's XXC victory was had by Scott Root; Michael Boyes and Kaylor Brocc took second and third, respectively.
Matthew Stahl won the Men's XC class in 1:57:37. Scott Zyla held on for second place, with Joseph Keegan slipping onto the podium just behind him.
The Women's XC class, in a moment eerily reminiscent of the '86 Tour de France Alpe d'Huez finish between Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault, witnessed Brette Swarr and Kim Coram cross the finish line hand-in-hand in a tie for first.
Thanks are extended to all the volunteers who worked to pull it off:
* The West Virginia Mountain Bike Association, and
* The National Forest Service.
And thanks to all of the Sponsors, including:
The Vienna Bicycle Shop; Parkersburg Bicycle;
Wilson Heating and Cooling; D. Michaels Salon / Anne Gray; Dimex;
Flexmag; Smith Rentals; Morrison Incorporated;
Old Town Bakery; Audio Extreme; Subway; Peoples Bank;
Pepsi; Ketel 1 Team Wear; Sign Source; Dr. Jonathan Harris, D.D.S.;
RJF International; Mar Par Rental; and iPlayOutside.com.
We'll see you next year!