Monday, September 22, 2008
Racing at Jungle Habitat, is one of the highlights of the year for many mountain bikers. The defunct 70’s safari theme park has taken new form, with 30 years of new growth and vines entangling trees and structures of another era. Jorba, the main force behind the extensive trail planning and building in the park, has done a great job on the trails, and this race shows them off well. Racers were certainly challenged with rocks galore and tight off camber single-track with trees nipping at their handle bars the whole way. And if that wasn’t enough to keep their attention, racers could also take in the historical sites along the route as they would ride past a monkey cage, an amphitheater, to the top of a hill, in between tiger and baboon pens, through fences, past an umbilical cord vine, through a tunnel, into the deer pen and around the 80 acres of crumbling parking lot.
It was nice to see Team Campmor out racing on the trails they helped to build! - Ellen
Ed Ceccolini - 1st Pro
Art White - 4th - Pro
Laura Winberry - 1st Exp Wom
Darlene Phillips - 2nd Exp 35+
Ben Williams - 3rd Exp 40
Ellen White - 3rd Exp 35+
Tom Stanowski - 4th Exp 50
Zach Koop - 4th Exp 19
Tahir Thomas - 8th Exp 30
Jeff Coneys - 8th Exp 40
Jeremy Swift - 9th Exp 30
Marianne Santangelo - 1st Sport Wom 35+
Tyler Conlon - 3rd Sport Jr
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Ed Ceccolini - 1st Pro
Joe Azze - 4th Pro
Tom Stanowski - 2nd Expert 50+
Laura Winberry - 2nd Expert 12-34
Darlene Phillips - 2nd Expert 35+
Tahir Thomas - 6th Expert 30-39
Joe Barros - 7th Expert 40-49
Jeremy Swift - 8th Expert 30-39
Ben Williams - 9th Expert 40-49
Marianne Santangelo - 1st Sport Women
Tyler Conlon - 5th Sport Jr
Lauras's report here: http://humblecoalition.blogspot.com/2008/09/swingwood-ringwood-blingwood-and.html
Thursday, September 4, 2008
It’s All in the Family
With over 500 competitors attending the 10th annual Shenandoah Mountain 100 the atmosphere was nothing short of a grassroots festival. At the local Stokesville campgrounds a myriad color of parked cars, Porto-Johns, tents and Ez-ups scattered the outskirts of the start/finish area. Saturday’s check-in and registration was followed by a classic pre-race meal of spaghetti and meatballs. Despite the number of hungry riders eager to fill their stomachs, dinnertime was a rather relaxed mixture of conversation and laughter among a gathering of distant members of the same cycling family.
The evening rolled on with the hoot and holler of a rowdy riders’ meeting, and eventually night blanketed the sacred mountains of Virginia. Headlamps and flashlights searched for tent zippers leading to slumber and just before midnight an assembly of clouds decided to deluge the sleeping campers below. Bellows of thunder accompanied illuminating flashes of energy between each drop of rain and the next day’s course became progressively more interesting. The campsite faded into sleep amid sheets of rain and pages of mountain bikers’ dreams.
The following morning a rain-soaked pre-dawn darkness greeted hundreds of five a.m. risers rubbing fistfuls of night from their eyes. The breakfast scene was typical—bagels and boiling oatmeal water, peanut butter and bananas—and within minutes of consumption the diffused light of an overcast day began to stretch itself over those preparing for the trek ahead. Come six-thirty there was just enough light to get a clear view of the multi-colored sea of spandex congregating about the start/finish area. With a simple “go” the click of cleats entering pedals resounded as hundreds of members of the same family embarked on a hundred mile odyssey through the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia.
No more than ten minutes into the ride did I find myself with a swollen tongue and sore throat after having ejected some sort of bee from the depths of my mouth. Was this a premonition of things to come or a minor hindrance to surmount?—I decided on the latter and kept a steady pedal while attempting to assuage some of the pain with squirts of cool water. It was not until we hit the first singletrack climb that my throat actually began to close, thus restricting the necessary flow of oxygen to my already out-of-breath body—needless to say, I pulled to the side and began to yell in hopes that someone might have the denouement to my particular dilemma. Someone did. Kristin Eddy, who turns out is the second ever female to win an off-road iron distance triathlon, was passing and happened to have a flask each of Ledum Palustre and Apis Mellifica, which when combined form an excellent homeopathic solution for the swelling caused by a bee sting. Thank you, Kristin.
With a freshly reopened throat I settled into enjoying the mixture of singletrack and fireroad descents and climbs, all of them fairly long in length, that straight up begged me to partake in the greatness they had to offer. Throughout the day, several mantras played consistently inside my mind, with frequently interjected guest appearances of a few choice songs. As well, I remained focused on a list of simple yet personal goals: no longer than seven minutes at each aid station; middle ring or nothing, granny gear was not an acceptable option; push the limits of turning; love and appreciate what you are doing (this one goes without saying); complete what you have started. I am grateful to say that all of my goals were achieved, and as a bonus my low expectations in terms of projected finishing time were knocked clear out of the water when I arrived at the campgrounds at 10:58.56 to take 11th in an open field of 40 plus women. I’ll take that for my first shot at a 100 miler.
My goals, however, might not have been so obtainable without, at least, two outside factors: the first was the dedication of all the volunteers at each blessed aid station—the smorgasbord of heavenly comestibles, the tech support eager to lube a thousand grimy chains, the youth and adults alike prompt to refill bottle after bottle with your beverage of choice; the second was Al Yoon, of GFK Racing, whom I encountered shortly after leaving aid station 4 (mile 57). Feeling a little sluggish in the false flats, I asked Al if he minded my sitting on his wheel for a bit. He did not, and for the remainder of the race Al and I would trade back and forth; pacing, pushing, and encouraging one another; devouring, consuming, and rushing through aid stations; keeping the flow rolling and constant. We would finish the race together, high-fiving as our grins crossed the finish line. I am a firm believer that we cross paths with people for a reason, however blatant or indeterminable that reason might be; Kristin and Al reaffirmed my belief, and with that, a hundred miles of riding mountains reached a culmination at contentment and peace. In retrospect, I have come to the conclusion that it was more than simply a solo effort. Rather, it was a family working together towards a common goal, a unity without which I might not have faired as well. Certainly, I could have gone it alone, and physically I did; yet, why deny the fact that we are here to help each other out, to learn from one another? If we begin as family, regardless of the outcome of events, we still end as family, comprised of those who we have affected and those who have affected us; and that, perhaps, is what we must remember to take home in the end.
Top Five Men
Chris Eatough 7:14.19
Sam Koerber 7:26.55
Jeff Schalk 7:37.25
Chris Beck 7:39.05
Aaron Oakes 7:41.51
Top Five Women
Cheryl Sornson 9:08.14
Trish Stevenson 9:19.42
Betsy Shogren 9:44.13
Johanna Kraus 9:57.11
Andrea Dvorak 9:59.11
Waking up to a beautiful race day....
After nearly a decade of the dreaded Allamuchy rain curse, good fortune finally came to 24 hour racers. Clear skies, cool nights and dry conditions were enjoyed by all. A slightly lighter turn out, made for a festival style atmosphere with the return of the disco ball to the Jorba campsite. While racers embraced the new found dusty conditions, and night festivities, sleep deprivation was still the main challenge. And as always, we ask ourselves afterwards, “why do we do this?” … and then three days and 40 hours of sleep later, we are ready to do it again.
Race Results for team Campmor were:
1st place women’s team – “Team Campmor” Dar Philips , Laura Winberry, Ellen White and Jen Barden.
2nd place corporate team – “Jorba All Stars” Art White and 9 other Jorba board members.
3rd Place 5 person coed – “Yes Deer” Tom Stanowski, Joe Baldacci, Marianne Santangelo, Bryan Petersen, and Steve Kane.
over tired girls getting silly
Jorba board representing
members of "Yes Deer"