This year’s Shenandoah Mountain 100 may have been one of the most interesting in a long time, with rain, thunderstorms, and lots and lots of mud. Trail conditions were about as bad as they get, but every TBLer who started, also finished. In a year with a significant list of DNFs, that is an accomplishment not to be ignored.
The Bike Lane set up camp on Saturday afternoon with Team XXL and Team Half Way There. It wasn’t long before severe storms were spotted on the radar, threatening everyone’s dinner and race prep. Luckily, the storms somehow passed around Stokesville, and around 7 p.m. they tapped several kegs of the always delicious Starr Hill. There may have even been some flabongos involved.
The 5:00 a.m. wake-up call came quickly, and it looked like the weather might hold out, at least for a little while. Five of us headed to the start, with most gathering in the 12 hour bracket. The rain held out for an hour or two, but the day quickly turned into a story of slippery descents, thunderstorms, run ins with wild animals, and lots and lots of mud.
Mike Buchness was the first to cross the line for The Bike Lane, finishing his 14th Shenandoah 100. Next came Brad Hawk, followed by Dave Rees. Russ Adams and Karen Talley Mead finished together, with Russ finishing his 7th SM100.
Our TBL volunteers were great throughout the day. Aaron and Katie provided much needed support and friendly faces at Aid Station 5, while Pete von Loewe was the most popular guy at Aid Station 6, as he was in charge of the chain lube. Scott Scudamore was also at Aid Station 2/6 ALL DAY providing support and keeping things running smoothly. John Mead kept us on course early in the race, and lent a pedal that finished in 8th place overall. Having such a solid crew of volunteers at the race made everyone’s day that much better and helped to push us to the finish.
Overall, it was still a great race and a fantastic weekend thanks to Shenandoah Mountain Touring.