Sunday, October 2, 2011 -- Marietta, OH / Wayne National Forest
The Wayne Ultra - WVMBA Ultra #5 Series Championship
Series Championship Ends in Ohio
Story by Meredith Erlewine with photos by Alicia Mathers.
One thing that did not change, however, was the incredible effort put forth by the River Valley Mountain Bike Association to provide an excellent experience for every racer.
Temperatures hovered just below 50 degrees under cloudy skies with misty rain falling on the Ohio River as racers gathered for the 11 a.m start. After a two-mile neutral motorpace and a few miles of paved and gravel climbing, racers hit the singletrack.
RVMBA worked hard to prepare a challenging course that shows off the unique terrain found in the Ohio River Valley. Highlights included incredible caves and rock formations that are hidden throughout the Marietta section of the Wayne National Forest.
As the miles piled on, the temperature dropped a bit and the rain continued to fall intermittently. It was clear how chilly it was at the aid stations, where campfires and full winter clothing were necessities for the volunteers who met racers with food, water and encouragement. Racers were grateful to see their smiling faces standing out in the middle of nowhere in a cold rain to help them make a turn, fill their bottles or grab a bite to eat.
A new twist this year took racers through a culvert under the highway to allow the finish to be at the campground. Decorated with "danger" signs, skulls and bones, the spooky culvert brought some comic relief and a little mystery for riders during their final moments on the course.
In the end, the fastest folks made it back to the Ohio River first:
Rob Spreng captured the overall $500 prize for the XXC course (45 miles), with Betsy Shogren taking top honors in the women's XXC course. Gunnar Shogren headed up the single-speed XXC podium, while Mike Boyes took home the "W" in the master's XXC race.
In the XC race (20 miles), Camden Dierkes and Jenny Smith emerged from the woods victorious.
Overall The Wayne Ultra was another top-notch event produced by the River Valley Mountain Bike Association.
Racer Eric Turcotte writes . . .
Thanks to all the volunteers for a very well organized event and for turning what started as a cold rainy day into a pleasant challenge. The course was really well marked, and Wayne National Forest has some stunningly beautiful trails. Sorry it took me so long to finish (7.5 hours, I was the last one in...), I really appreciated that someone was still at the finish line to cheer me and to record my time, and the organizers had even kept me a warm plate of food!
Thank You 2011 Sponsors . . .
Parkersburg Bicycle, B&J carryout, The Anchor, Dimex, Wilson Heating
Flexmag, Spalon of Mtta/Anne Gray, Old Town Bakery, Harris Family Dentistry
U.S.F.S, Ketel 1, Jet Lights, Morrison Inc, Sign Source, Smith Rentals
Mtta Rowing and Cycling Club, Mondo, Audio Extreme, Vienna Bike Shop
Marietta Adventure Company, Crescent and Sprague, RJF International, AEP
iPlayOutside.com, Peoples Bank, RVMBA, WVMBA