Steve Wenzel along with team riders Jeff Beck, Greg Ames, Matt Engen and Eric Oftedahl participated in the Maah Daah Hey 100 mountain bike race. Steve reports: In short, the absolute toughest event that I have done. Not so much physically, but mentally. Loved every pedal stroke!
The Maah Daah Hey 100 mountain bike race was held Saturday August 18th out in the beautiful badlands of western ND. I had ridden the whole trail in sections from both directions one year or another but this adventure I was gunning for the whole deal, 104 miles of single track in one day.
5am sharp we took off from the start of the North section of the MDH trailhead at the CCC Campground. Considering it was 5 in the morning all 50+ riders toeing the line were equipped with some sort of light on their bike. It is hard to wrap your mind around the fact that you were going to be on your bike riding single track for the pre-race meeting estimated finish time of 20 hours. Prior to the race I was considering only needing light the first leg of the ride, not on the other end to finish up. The batteries on my lights were not going to last that long. My plan B was my trusty LED Petzel head lamp.
Aid stations/baggage drops were located at 25 mile intervals throughout the day. Reaching them was always a carrot dangling in front of you and very much appreciated when you reached that goal.
At the halfway point I was on pace to finish before the street lights clicked on in Medora. At 75 miles I was still feeling fine and rode on through the last and easiest section of the Buffalo Gap trail. As you reel in the last miles of the Buffalo Gap section there is still over 3 miles of single track into the Medora trailhead. Hitting that familiar road going into Medora was an unbelievable feeling. Knowing that you had just completed one of the most difficult single track sections in the country! The biggest plus was the fact that the sun was going down, but the street lights were still black as I rode over the finish line all smiles!
In reading my Garmin data, I personally was very happy with my overall results. I ate, drank and rode consistent speeds throughout the day. There was not one time I doubted my ability or questioned if I should quit.
Nick and Lindsey Ybarra race organizers and passionate about the ND badlands along with numerous family and volunteers pulled off a top notch first time event. Check out their web page for future activities and overall news about this absolutely awesome part of the country. http://www.experienceland.org
Other racing action saw a few riders hitting up Mon Du Lac with Mason Bacso recording one of the best finishes of the season with a 3rd place finish! Thad Schulz recorded a 24th place overall and 4th place age group.
Good luck this weekend to team riders hitting up the local races in Wadena and Moorhead!
Keep the wheels moving!