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Sunday, August 29, 1999 -- Coopers Rock State Forest, Morgantown
13th Annual Henry Clay 30K
Story and photos by Marty Lamp

[Coverage] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4] [Pic Set 5]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]

Henry Clay 30K
Marc Glass and Benjie Klimas teasing the pack
Although the 13th Annual Henry Clay 30K was sporting a few new surprises this year, one thing is for sure, the riding at Cooper's Rock State Forest is always tough. Some would even say that painful is a more accurate description. It's surely no secret to anyone who has ridden the trails, but rocks and roots are the name of the game, and anyone having a good day at Coop's will usually be seen grinning from ear-to-ear after the final dismount of the day.

Over 125 mountain bikers were lined up for the start on the paved road leaving the Henry Clay Furnace parking lot. All classes started at the same time, but Beginners, Masters, Junior Sports, and Women's Vet Sport classes all rode a shorter course.

Henry Clay 30K
Gunnar Shogren and Kyle Dixon staying ahead of the game
The course kept racers on pavement with about two miles of uphill, before entering the woods with a quick left turn over a small wooden bridge. Riders crossed by the day use parking lot, then it was onto Scott's Run Trail. Technical singletrack with endless softball-size boulders strewn along the path eventually led to McCollam Campground, where racers crossed the paved road, and headed down towards the furnace on scary-fast gravel roads, and more bone-jarring singletrack.

When the furnace was in sight, it was time for another rocky, technical uphill giving way to more rolling singletrack while looping back to the furnace. Short course racers pedaled uphill for less than a mile to their finish at the furnace parking lot. Long course racers made a right at the furnace and had to face another long technical uphill before crossing the furnace road and turning left into the woods for the final two mile blast down to the finish.

Henry Clay 30K
Susannah Matthews having fun at Cooper's Rock
At the very beginning, Benjie Klimas(1:44:51) and Marc Glass(1:47:52) sprinted out in front of the main pack, forcing a serious pace right from the beginning. The pack caught up before they left the pavement, though, and by the time the last racer left the pavement to enter the woods, Gunnar Shogren(1:35:23) and Kyle Dixon(1:35:20) were already all alone and out in front. Shogren would lead with Dixon right behind, and when the duo came by the furnace the first time, they had a 3 minute lead on the next rider. Shogren and Dixon battled hard with Shogren leading the majority of the time-- then came the finish.

The final 100 yards of the course took racers from a brief stint on pavement with a sharp left turn on loose gravels, and a 50 yard sprint to the finish on wooded singletrack. With Shogren in the lead, Dixon cut inside with a quick left turn, but when Shogren countered preparing for the final sprint, he lost traction with the front wheel and went down. "We were gonna sprint, but I fell down" said a chagrined Shogren afterwards. Dixon got the win, with Shogren finishing 3 seconds behind. Mike Yozell(1:42:29) rounded out the top three finishers. Mike Bowen(1:43:58) finished 4th overall, while Pete Sednov(1:44:16) finished fifth.

Henry Clay 30K
Mike Yozell running past the furnace
In the Women's Expert class, Sue Haywood(1:56:16) didn't let a flat tire keep her from being the first lady to finish, but Missy Showman(2:01:19) made her work for it, finishing second in the class. Haywood and Showman finished 24th and 30th overall, respectively.

For the Junior Experts, Brett Hixson(1:47:19) was feeling fast, and finished over four minutes ahead of his closest class competitor, Kevin Leyh(1:51:29). Hixson finished 9th overall. Leyh finished second in the class and 15th overall, while Jeremy Rowand(1:51:55) rounded out the top three, finishing 16th overall.

Steve Thaxton(1:50:59) led the entire race for the Vet Experts, but Allen Moore(1:50:58) lurked close behind, never gave up, and sprinted past an unknowing Thaxton at the very end. Matt Marcus(1:51:59) was right behind to finish in a fast third place. Thaxton, Moore, and Marcus finished 12th, 13th, and 17th overall, respectively.

Henry Clay 30K
He's big, he's fast, and he can dance
Pablo Martinez1:50:40) and Drew Morse(1:51:00) were spinning fast in the Men's Sport class, finishing 1st and 2nd in the class, and 11th and 14th overall.

Other class winners included Shawn Kennedy(2:02:04) for the Clydesdales, who despite crashing hard near the finish, and getting 5 stitches in his knee after the race, won his class by more than 13 minutes. Danny Camden(2:03:17) got the win for the Men's Sport Vets, and Jennifer Shogren(2:24:03) finished first for the Women's Sports.

Short course winners included Bruce Wohleber(1:36:57) for the Men's masters, Jeff DeVincent(1:37:23) for the Men's Beginners, Rocco Mazzei(1:40:13) for the Junior Sports, and Wendy Fischer(2:11:49) for the Women's Beginners. Patty Hobbs(2:52:10) finished first for the Women's Masters, and Julie Schooley(2:17:40) got the win for the Women's Vet Sports.

Once again, Rob and Gail Voorhees put together a great race. They had plenty of volunteers helping out from Wamsley Cycles of Morgantown, not to mention many other folks, too. The pizza afterwards is always a big plus, and the cash and prizes were plentiful. The hard work before and during the race was evident, and as always greatly appreciated.