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Saturday, August 12, 2000 -- Slatyfork, WV
Wild 100 and Backcountry Race
Story and photos by Marty Lamp

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3]
[1998 Wild 100 ] [1999 Wild 100]

Wild 100
Some last minute instructions
The mountain biking around the small town of Slatyfork is not for the weak-hearted, with super technical, rock-strewn trails snaking their way through the steep, lush mountains. Anyone will tell you that cranking through 20-30 miles of these trails can be a test, mentally and physically.

Well how about 70-90 miles of the same terrain, in one day? If that's not enough, how about trying to find some strategically placed checkpoints along the way, with only a map and an occasional tire track to follow? If this sounds like a good time to you, then the Wild 100 Backcountry Race was calling your name.

Wild 100
Which way do I go?
Well over 100 racers gathered at the Elk River Touring Center on Saturday morning, August 12th, to compete in one of the toughest mountain biking events around. At 8:00am, with racers ready to go and their bikes shining, maps were handed out showing the 6 check points, and after a few minutes of planning, it was time to mount up, and head out.

The first CP was located at the intersection of Saddle Loop Trail and Turkey Point Trail, on the other side of Gauley Mountain. CP2 was quite a few miles north from here, where the old Props Run Trail intersects with Forest Road 24. Most everyone took advantage of road riding on this section, evening out a little of the time lost on the trails.

After heading south from CP2, and crossing Gauley Mountain again, CP3 proved to be the most troublesome check point for some, sitting atop Guy Sharp Knob on the east side of Rt 219, hidden from a biker's view on the dirt roads that surrounded it. This refueling point also provided some great scenery for those with enough time to enjoy it.

Wild 100
Footin' it to check point 3
Where should CP4 be? Why, on the other side of Gauley Mountain, of course. Only some 3-4 miles south of CP1, CP4 was in the Tea Creek Campground. From here it was back towards the ERTC for CP5, which was situated on the northern end of the Gauley Mountain Base Trails. The final check point was the start/finish, only about 1 1/2 miles from CP5, but with no real trails in between.

The first person to finish the course this year Male Solo riderRay Clark(7:24:00). Clark stayed with a lead group of riders that included Mike Buchness(7:26:32), Mike Capraro(7:28:49), Chris Scott(8:00:34), among others. Different paths were follwed to CP3, and this is where a lot of ghround was made up, or lost. Clark was the first to find CP3, and he wasted no time in taking advantage of his early lead.

In the end, Clark got the win, with Buchness and Capraro finishing 2nd and 3rd, Glenn Walton(7:54:43) finishing 4th, and a late-charging Scott finishing 5th.

Wild 100
Enjoying a little road section
Alice Vernon(9:15:36) managed to hold off Julie Larson(9:31:47) in the Women's Solo class, with Vernon finishing an impressive 17th overall, and Larson coming in 23rd overall.

Other class winners were Broughton/Erlewine(13:37:30) for the Female Duo, Huck/Lane(8:28:00) for the Male Duo, Wikswo/George(10:14:24) in the Coed Duo, and Gene's Team(10:35:19) in the 4 Man Team class.

Although touted as a 100K race, it's a testament to their mental toughness that some racers logged in close to 100 miles, with times in excess of 13 hours! When they did manage to make it back to the finish, they were greated with some incredible nourishment courtesy of Mary Willis and the ERTC staff, not to mention some tasty brew.

If all this sounds like a great time to you, make sure to join in on the fun next year, and tell them iPLayOutside sent ya'!