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Sunday, June 3, 2001 -- Douthat State Park, VA
Middle Mountain Momma (iPO Event Id#: 3985)
Story and photos by Dana Harshberger

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Set 14] [Set 15] [Set 16] [Set 17]
Added 6/7/01: Pic sets 9 through 17 contributed by Warren Catlett

Race Pic
Taking on a water hazard like a pro
To quote the venerable Mike Capraro, "this should be illegal". And if you had the chance to ride this Sunday at Douthat State Park, I'm sure you'd agree with him. Billed as the 'finest course in the world', you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who didn't find pure pleasure in the riding. Well, if you did find such a person, they'd be better off staying on the couch!

The weather was beautiful and quite possibly perfect for the second attempt at running the Middle Mountain Momma. Race promoters extrodinaire, Kyle and Debbie Inman, went through it all again. The trails were in prime shape; having been power washed 2 weeks earlier. Evidence of the previous high water was still visible, with leaf, stick and log debris, still piled up around the trees that were near the overfilled stream cum river. The course had something for everyone: craggy uphills, smooth fast downhills, stream crossings, and yes, even a freaky suspension bridge that made for an interesting hike-a-bike!

Race Pic
Lean into those turns
Starting at the crack of dawn, okay, well 9am, were the masochists of the bunch: the XXC'ers. These crazy riders did a whopping 40 some miles of the killer trails in the park. As it was in the first race of the series, the pack started with a brisk pace. Eventual winner Dylan Johnson decided to do the slow and steady deal, and credits his breakfast of Mr. J's Orange Juice muffins for his win. He took and held the lead at the 'lollypop' portion of the trail, and as is usually the case for the leader, was never really sure of how much of a lead he had. "I was so lonely", said Mr. Johnson! Ahh, the price to pay for riding at the front. At one point he wondered if something had happened to the other riders, like perhaps bees had stung them! (It's not as crazy as you think, a few years back that very scene happened at the HooHa!) At around the halfway point, his confidence picked up and for the last hour, the stops were pulled out for a 4:07:24 finish. Second to the line was Ray Clark (4:20:21), and then "Enduro-man", Chris Scott (4:30:55). The women had quite a showing as well, with Noreen Smith being chased by Mandi Riddle for long haul. Third to the line was Susan Musante, who was always looking strong and had a smile for the camera!

In regular Cross country action: The Trek Duo, of Paul Buschi and Jeremy Wimpey repeated their one-two punch of Dragon's Back, again capturing the top two spots in the Pro/Expert category. Mr. Buschi, (2:01:55) whose only speed appears to be fast, opened throttle at the gun. His strategy of getting to the top of the beginning climb first seemed to do him good. As he established a nice grip on the lead for the entire race, Mr. Wimpey (2:05:58) did battle with Mr. Jason Laxton (2:08:30). May we also note here that Buschi and Wimpey also consumed the aforementioned Orange Juice muffins from Mr. J's . . . hmmm! Or is that Mmmmm?

Race Pic
Looking out for what's around the bend
On the other hand, Women's Expert winner Sue George, now racing for Extreme Sports/CRC, started her day out in a more leisurely fashion due to a previous knee injury. She took it easy at first, in order to allow her knee to warm up properly. After a bit, she heard that then leader, Amy Crawford had started to cramp, and she kicked in it and made it to the line in 2:50:15 followed by Beneline Williams (2:59:46) and Ms. Crawford (3:11:58).

At the finish line was the requisite rice and beans for all of the racers, as well as groovy tunes for all to enjoy. Thanks to Shenandoah Bicycle Company for helping to sponsor this race in the series, and a big hand should go out to all of those who showed up twice! And even bigger hand to those brave folks who decided to play the odds and camp again! Tune in for the next race of the series, the Massanutten Hoo Ha!, which will take place the weekend of August 11-12, and is part of the inter-series exchange with WVMBA.