Shenandoah Mountain 100
“Everything worth doing is worth overdoing.”
The Shenandoah 100 is an ultra-endurance 100 mile (162 km) mountain bike race held annually in early September (traditionally Labor Day Weekend) in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
After a season full of endurance off road events, some road racing and heading into cyclocross season, I thought it would be fun to venture down to Harrisonburg for this event. I am glad I did. Chris Scott (www.mtntouring.com) and a team of volunteers put on an excellent event. What a well run event with 5 fully stocked aid stations and over 400 participants. Plenty of good food, free beer, cool people and excellent camping facilities.
My wife and two kids piled into the car on Saturday morning and started the 6 hour drive. Fortunately for us, Hurricane Ernesto had cleared the area by Saturday and all was clear come Sunday. We arrived and checked into our hotel at around 4pm and hooked up with Ross Clark and his family. We headed to the race venue to grab our race packets and do a quick pre-ride. After a short 20 minute car ride, I was surprised to find out someone had picked up my race packet. I figured it was Bruce Steinfurth or Ernie or some other well intentioned person. As it turns out it was ALLEGEDLY a guy named Brett R. Davis from TN. That is either REALLY weird or the guy was a complete con artist. Anyway, I never got a race number and did the best I could and just rolled with the punches.
Race started Sunay morning at 6:30 am. The first mile was pretty scary with a bunch of sketchy mountain bikers but we survived. There were lots of long climbs totaling about 14,000 feet none of which I can recall by name. Some where single track, some where gravel road, some where steep, some not so steep. There was about 35 miles of singletrack and probably another 20-30 miles of jeep roads and some gravel roads too. The course also included some of the longest and most fun downhills I have ever ridden. Almost makes all the climbing worth the effort.
I made quick stops at each of the aid stations to fill by bottles and a quick lube of the chain. I stuck with Hammer Perpetuum and Sustained Energy with no solid food, except for ½ a banana. Energy level was good and I had no muscle cramps probably because I was taking about 3-4 endurolyte capsules every hour. I ended up passing a lot of people in the aid stations and in the last 20 miles probably passed about 20 people. At the end of the day I finished 48th out of 400 in about 9:30 hours. A great day with great weather, fantastic trails with a real fun party after. I’ll be back next year going for the triple crown, who wants to go??