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Saturday, September 4, 1999 -- Hacker Valley
Holly River State Park 40K
Story & photos by Julie Bertsch

[Coverage] [Pic Set 1 ] [Pic Set 2 ] [Results]

40K Pre-Race Start
Ready and waiting for the start of the 1st Annual Holly River 40K
Holly River State Park is known for it's many scenic hiking trails, and relaxing camp grounds, but on Saturday, September 11th, the park was bustling with people and excitement. Labor Day Weekend is a busy time as the park comes alive with vendors, family reunions, singers, and a new addition to the festivities, mountain bikers! The state park held it's first time ever 40K MTB Race, which had a brand new bike route to be broken in. Race Director, Jonas Anderson and his crew worked on getting the trail ready for the race all summer. "It's the first trail we've been able to bike on in the park," explained Anderson, "We're working on getting some authorization to set up more bike trails, and single track in the park. They've been very receptive to this race."

Holly River 40K
Taking the scenic route on the trail by Laurel Fork Creek
The 40K course started at the park office on a paved road, the racers then had a 3 mile climb up Pickens Road, (a recently improved road). The bikers then veered off into the woods to continue another mile uphill, then they hit a 2 mile downhill. "It was a really rocky downhill, lots of flat rocks." said Men's Beginner, Scott Simmons,"There were a lot of flat tires out there today." The course wound it's way around the park and then lead racers to the log-hopping, soft, sandy trail that ran along the Laurel Fork Creek. After exiting the wooded trail, it was back to the pavement for a long, gradual uphill climb back to the park's main road ending with a fast, downhill finish.

Cam Lewis
Cam Lewis cruises to the finish
Flying through the log-hop trail all alone was Cam Lewis. Ranked 3rd in the WVMBA Men's Sport Overall standings, Lewis finished the race 1st in the Men's Sport Class with a fast time of 2:09:11. Keith Lilly(2:26:30) finished 2nd in the Men's Sport Class, and Chris Jones (2:31:15) rolled away with 3rd.

The Men's Masters race for 1st had Micheal Offutt(1:19:50) pedaling hard in the end on the downhill to take the win. Vernon Wolford (1:44:14) finished 2nd in the Men's Masters Class, respectively.

A close finish was in store for the crowds watching as the Men's Jr. Expert Class speed to the line. Bucky Murray(2:18:40) kept about an 8 second lead over Chad Mollohan(2:18:48) to take 1st in his category. Tyler Wells finished 3rd in the Men's Jr. Expert Class with a time of (2:35:57) beating out David Layman by nearly 2 minutes.

Holly River 40K
Team Fat Tire crossing the rocky creek!
Duwuan Oliver(1:32:52), received the 1st place prize in the Men's Jr. Sport Category, finishing nearly a minute ahead of his competition. Halley Anderson(1:33:24) had a strong finish getting 2nd, and Courthey Mollohan(1:44:24) received 3rd in the Men's Jr. Sport Class.

Lori Bennett(1:36:59) enjoyed her first MTB race by steadily staying ahead of Paula Lilly(2:03:30) by more than a minute to finish 1st in the Women's Beginner Class.

The Men's Beginner race for 1st was a lot closer than the Women's. Joshua Singleton(1:12:06) just barely stayed ahead of Scott Simmons(1:13:54) to take the Men's Beginner 1st place price home. Kelly Gleason(1:24:37) finished 3rd in this category.

Debbie School Craft Catering Rules!
Keith Lilly fills his plate with some amazing post-race food!
During the awards ceremony, bikers were treated to a catered meal done by Debbie School Craft Catering! Complete with lasagna, fruit salad, cake and more, this spread was fit for a king! Special thanks goes out to Race Director Jonas Anderson, the always helpful Jack Downs, and from Fat Tire Cycle, Gene Wells. "We try to do anything that we can to promote the sport of mountain biking." said "Mean Gene", "The more people in the sport the better!"

A great success story for a first time ever MTB Race, and we can't wait to go to the 2nd Annual Holly River 40K next year!