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Saturday, August 14, 1999 -- Slatyfork
Wild 100 and Backcountry Race
Story and photos by Marty Lamp

[Coverage] Pics: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]
Results: [By Name/Class] [By Elapsed Time] [By Split Times]
[1998 Coverage]

The Wild 100
Chris Scott wasting no time at Checkpoint 5
The thought of riding a mountain bike for over 60 miles on some off the roughest terrain West Virginia has to offer may not seem appealing to most, but 140 die-hards thought it sounded like a great idea on Saturday morning, August 14th.

The air was moist and warm for the start of the Wild 100 and Backcountry Race, when took of from the Elk River Touring Center in Slatyfork. Racers had to navigate through 6 check points spread across Gauley Mountain.Everyone had to stay off of paved roads except for Rt 219 next to the start, and had to reach the checkpoints in order. The preferred route varied with competitors, and bushwacking off a trail was allowed.

The Wild 100
Team Dirt Rag on the their way to a team victory
Racers were given detailed maps with the check points laid out for them moments before the start, and had to choose from some rugged trails such as Tea Creek Mountain, Bear Pen, Red run, and the "Not Recommended" trail, not to mention the Props Run trail. Add to this an estimated 8000 feet of cumulative elevation gain plus the muddy, slippery conditions and it's no mystery why some wouldn't make it back to the start until 11:30pm!

Check point 1 was located on Prop's Run trail, so from the beginning everyone was headed the same direction - up Prop's Run. CP 1 was the northern most check point of the day, and CP 2 took riders as far south as they would be all day. Gravel roads could be used about half the way to CP 2, and then the Gauley Mountain trail proved to be the most used means finishing the second leg.

By now, racers were starting to run low on water, and many different strategies came into play getting to the next two check points. CP 3 was on the Tea Creek Trail, and a much needed water pump was at Tea Creek Campground. CP 4 was on the Right Fork Trail. Check points 2,3,4, and the water pump were all within a 3 mile radius of one another as the crow flies, but no crows were spotted riding mountain bikes. The steep, rugged trails were relatively slow and painful, and all riders spent their share of time pushing their bikes through the mud and rocks.

The Wild 100
Julie Larson with two hours to go
CP 5 was situated at the bottom of the Crooked Run trail, letting riders spin downhill on a gravel road for a while, but every rider knew they would be turning around and pedaling back up their descent towards CP 6 on Gauley Mountain Road. From CP 6, everyone had the choice of pedaling down Prop's Run for a short, but pounding ride back to the finish, or a longer, more gradual route down the mountain on gravel roads, finishing on Rt. 219 back to the start.

Coming back to defend his two consecutive Men's Solo class Wild 100 wins was Chris Scott(8:01). Scott stayed within a lead pack of about 6 riders up until CP 2. From CP 2, Scott and Thomas Jenkins took off together, and made great time on the gnarly singletrack, coming into CP 3 first. On the way to CP 4, Jenkins wrecked hard, leaving Scott to ride alone. Scott would stay in the lead until the finish, and opted to descend Prop's Run, coming into the finish after 8 hours of pounding.

The Wild 100
Coming in to checkpoint 2
This is the third year in a row that Scott has won the Wild 100. Ray Clark(8:14) steadily moved up through the field to finish an impressive 2nd place, while Dave Hawxhurst(8:15) and John Lynch(8:15) battled hard and both finished third in the Men's Solo Class.

In the Women's Solo class, Julie Larson(10:34) showed amazing mettle getting the win, and she finished 29th overall.

Team Hugh Jass(8:08) was in full effect, riding their single-speed machines, and taking adavantage of some time-saving bushwacking opportunities. They finished first in the Team 2-Male division, and second overall. Atkins/Boughton(9:10) finished second in the class, while Lane/Wharton(9:42) took third.

The Wild 100
Are we going the right way?
In the Team 2-Coed division, PD and the Chiclets(11:11) got the win, finishing 37th overall, and George/Wikswo(11:31) took second and finished 45th overall.

For the Team 4-Male class, Team Richbrau(11:30) had an hour lead over team Dirt Rag(10:19) at CP 3, but by CP 4 Dirt Rag had pulled ahead, and actually lead by an hour at CP 5. Dirt Rag would get the win, and finish 25th overall, while the good guys of team Richbrau (they brought the porter) finished second in the class, and 44th overall. Team Fitness & Image Results(15:25) won the Team Open class.

Thanks to Gil and Mary Willis for making this event happen, and for all the incredible food afterwards. Much appreciation also goes out to Jen for handling the results, all the volunteers who manned the check points, and to Todd Simmler for all his course insights.