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Leadville 100 qualifier returns to Wilmington

January 24, 2012 - Morgan Ryan
Good to see the Leadville 100 qualifier mountain bike race coming back to Wilmington on June 17 for its second year. Sounds like a pretty brutal 100-kilometer course on singletrack and dirt roads that passes over a couple mountains then climbs a good way up Whiteface for the big finish.

Jeremiah Bishop, a pro, won the race last year in 3:33:34, just ahead of Alex Grant of Salt Lake City in 3:33:45.59. Bishop went on to take fifth in the 100-mile Leadville 100 in August with a time of 6:43:34. Todd Wells of Colorado won Leadville in 6:23:38 (15.6 miles per hour).

Dave McCahill of Lake Placid was the top local finisher at last year’s WW 100 in 3:53:42.39. Searching quickly through the Leadville results, it doesn’t appear McCahill made it out to Colorado.

Those Leadville races in Colorado are pretty crazy events. Other than the mountain bike race, they also host running races of different distances, including the 100-mile ultramarathon, “The Race Across the Sky.” There’s a great scene in Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run that describes the 1994 race when the Tarahumara runners took on Ann Trason over the 100-mile course that climbs as high as 12,620 feet.

Wikipedia tells me that the city of Leadville, where the events begin, is the highest incorporated city in the United States at 10,152 feet. By comparison, the town of Wilmington is at 1,093 feet, with the top of Whiteface Mountain weighing in at 4,867.

If you want to finish the Wilmington/Whiteface 100, you’re gonna have to hustle a bit, especially early. There are three cut-off times that if you don’t make your race is over. The first is at the top of Jay Mountain Road, 19.2 miles into the race. You have to be there by 8:30 a.m., which is a 12.8 mph clip. The second cut-off is at the Lacy Road Aid Station at the 37.3-mile point and the third is at the bottom of Whiteface Mountain at 51.2 miles by 1 p.m. You have to average 9.32 mph for the first 37.3 miles and 8.53 mph over 51.2 miles not to get cut off.

Below is the press release for the event. Also check out the Leadville website for more information or to register: www.leadvilleraceseries.com/page/show/431652-wilmington-whiteface-100

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The Wilmington/Whiteface 100 mountain bike race will return for its second year on Sunday, June 17. The race is one of six qualifiers for the Leadville Trail 100 held in Colorado.

As the only LT 100 qualifier in the Northeast, the WW100 will coincide with the annual Whiteface/Wilmington Bike Fest. The race will start and finish at Whiteface Mountain and weave its way through jeep roads, backcountry trails, Jay and Saddleback mountains and through the towns Wilmington, Jay, Lewis, Elizabethtown and Keene before a grueling 2,501-feet climb awaits the racers at Whiteface ahead of the finish line.

“The Town of Wilmington is extremely excited to host the Wilmington/Whiteface 100 once again,” said Town of Wilmington supervisor Randy Preston. “I think that our race course is the most diverse course in the Leadville Qualifier Series. We have added more mileage this year going onto the fifth town. This will make it unique and a true Adirondack event.”

Last year’s race drew more than 230 cyclists, including pro cyclist Jeremiah Bishop, who won the race. The race also included a number of recreational riders, such as 2010 luge Olympian Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake.

Between 70 to 100 qualifying spots into the Leadville Trail 100 will be up for grabs, and organizers hope that this combined with all of the activities surrounding the Wilmington Bike Fest will bring even more cyclists to the region.  

The WW100 is the feature event of the four-day long Wilmington/Whiteface Bikefest, which will include pro-trials demonstrations, “Best Calves of Wilmington” contest, a Brainless not chainless downhill event and the Whiteface Mountain Uphill Bike Race, which is a part of the BUMPS series.

“The whole idea of the weekend is to bring all types of cyclists together,” Preston said.  “Wilmington and Whiteface are hidden cycling jewels and there’s no better way to showcase this area to the cycling community then through these events.”

  Through March 18, registration for the Wilmington/Whiteface 100 is $95 for the general public and $85 for Life Time members. Life Time employees can enter the race for $75. Price will increase by $10 after March 18.

The top three cyclists in each division will receive awards and one qualifying slot will be given to the top male and female single-speed finishers, while one more spot will be awarded to the top tandem team. The remaining LT 100 spots will be distributed based on performance and a lottery system. Racers who do come away with qualifications will have the opportunity to race in either this year’s LT 100, or next year’s.

Other LT 100 qualifiers include the Austin 100, April 21, in Austin, Texas; the Barn Burner 104, June 2, in Flagstaff, Ariz.; the Leadville Silver Rush 50, July 14, in Leadville, Colo.; the Tahoe Trail 100, July 22, in Lake Tahoe, Calif..; and the Alpine Odyssey 100. This race is slated for Sept. 15 and will serve as the first qualifier for the 2013 Leadville Trail 100.

 
 

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Blog Photos

Mountain bike racers line up at the start of last year's Wilmington/Whiteface 100. Last year's event drew more than 230 riders. (Photo by Margaret Moran/Lake Placid News)