Record numbers show up for Whidbey Island Mudder race

A flight of mountain bikers takes off on the 5.6-mile trail into the woods off Coles Road on Sunday for the Whidbey Island Mudder. - Jeff VanDerford / The Record
A flight of mountain bikers takes off on the 5.6-mile trail into the woods off Coles Road on Sunday for the Whidbey Island Mudder.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford / The Record

A bike-happy crowd of just under 300 folks enjoyed the finest course conditions ever during the Whidbey Island Mudder on Sunday, according to founder Robert Frey.

A light rain had tamped down the dust on the 5.6-mile trail through the woods off Coles Road in Langley. By the time the first flight of beginners in the record crowd took off at 10 a.m., the ground was just about perfect.

“It was a quick course, with riders finishing up to 10 minutes faster than previous years,” said Frey of the 11th annual bike race. “Everyone had a great ride and a great time.”

Tina Sarin of Redmond and daughter Audrey, 8, showed up at the start line with matching yellow mountain bikes. It was Audrey’s second race ever.

“I like to do this with my mom because we can get out on our bike and see a lot of stuff. And people,” she said.

Clinton’s Nash Grimm was trying out his new Transition bike, a 21-speed racer with the requisite racing saddle, complicated gearing and knobby tires.

“It rides smooth, which is good because of the technical aspects of this track,” he said. “This is my eighth time here, and I keep coming back because the people who run it are cool, the track is fast and, well, it’s just a blast.”

Rain Masters from Everett was trying out his first Mudder.

“On the ferry this morning it was wet and nasty and I was worried about how it would be,” he said. “But the conditions are amazing.”

Local riders participating included Neal Rixe, who placed second in the beginner category. In the sport group were Bob Hetzel (seventh), Mike Janes (eighth), Ryan Davenny (11th) Tyson Roesler (20th) and Jason Heggenes (21st).

Grimm was fifth in the junior category and mom Jody Grimm placed fourth in the over-35 bracket.

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