Sports

Mudder a challenge even without mud

It’s the Mudder of Whidbey Island off-road bicycle races. About 100 racers of all ages showed up for the Whidbey Island Mudder Sunday to take on a slew of determined competitors and challenge themselves on a hilly, five-mile, single-track course through private property off Coles Road.

Conditions were dry and the mud was limited to a single, wet depression, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of racers, said Trish Coffey, one of the race organizers.

“We named it the Mudder because we were hoping it would be really wet and gooey,” Coffey said. “But the course is good either way. It just changes character depending on the weather.”

The race is in its fifth year and draws racers from western Washington and British Columbia. This year’s field was the largest so far, Coffey said.

“The course is a nice tight single track,” she said. “You don’t find that very often, so everyone really enjoys it. It has a very nice home grown feel to it.”

The race was divided into different skill levels: beginners, sport, and expert. Races varied from 5.3 miles in beginner categories to 26.5 miles of fast-paced non-stop pedaling for the field of experts.

Local bikers were shut out in the expert category. The fastest time for the most grueling race was 1 hour, 52 minutes, by Russel Stevenson in the 18-35 age group.

Whidbey Island resident Erin Simms won the women’s beginner’s division with another local rider, Challis Stringer, coming in third.

Islander Darcy Patterson placed third in the women’s sport division. And local beginners Thomas Hastings and Nash Grimm took first and second in the ages 10-13 category.

The race was sponsored by Heggenes Arboreal, Half Link Bike Shop, Island Asphalt, Island Recycling, Rainshadow Sawmilling, Sherry, Russell and Lilly Mays, and the O’Sullivan/Anderson family.

2004 Mudder results

Beginners Ages 10-13: 1) Thomas Hastings, 2) Nash Grimm; Ages 13-18: 1) Zach Johnson, 2) Freya Fenwood, 3) Sam Goldman; Ages 18-35: 1) Robert Juhlin, 2) Sam Statler; Ages 35+: 1) Brad Furlong, 2) Chris Chesson, 3) Joe Martin; Women: 1) Erin Simms, 2) Carrie Cooper, 3) Challis Stringer.

Sport Ages 18-35: 1) Tim Ryan, 2) Nathan Bannerman, 3) Johnathan Moore; Ages 35+: 1) Rich Blanco, 2) David Cook, 3) Richard Hughes Davies; Women: 1) Robin Pangliss, 2) Tammy Meyers, 3) Darcy Patterson.

Expert Ages 18-35: 1) Russell Stevenson, 2) Eric Atwood, 3) Mark Hanson; Ages 35+: 1) Loren Hanson, 2) Christian Young, 3) Bernie Miller; Women: 1) Tracey Bartholomew, 2) Jodi Hess, 3) Maribeth Evezich

Single Speeds (bikes with only one gear): 1) Brett Larson, 2) Kevin Axt.

Other Whidbey Island participants include: Andrew Leese, Dave Watkins, Kai Fleming Snow, William Root, Kathleen Rauch, Malin Anderson, Dane Anderson, Sherry Mays, Jim Patereau, Robert Root; Under Age 10: Jack Frey, Ebey Flyn England, Victoria Wellmen, Lhasa Arnold, Malika Arnold, Sage Mauk.

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