The Lewis & Clark Ultra was a spectacular success in 2014.
The weather could not have been better.
In the last seven years, the weather has not been as fine as it was this year. The sky was partly cloudy, the temps were in the 70s and there was the lightest breeze to keep everything fresh.
Now that the ambiance is set, we can look at the competition. This year the race had two divisions: a six and a twelve hour. The decision for this was made to encourage new people to the sport of ultra racing. In fact, while talking to people, they were much more responsive when I left the word “ultra” out of the conversation and asked if they could ride 70 miles. Most said yes.
The six hour course was a challenging 30 miles. It is, roughly, in the shape of a figure “8”. The southern half is fairly flat and the northern half is quite hilly. The thing I like about this course is that if feels like two separate loops, yet is still has enough similarity to allow it to flow nicely.
The beauty on the 6 hour course is stunning and makes it really hard to ride at race pace. There are big red barns, white fences, running horses and more green, of every shade, than you can imagine. The roads are smooth and free of debris and traffic and the air is fresh.
The competition was hot between Alex Tiletsine and Mick Walsh. They completed their long (144 mile) loop within two minutes of each other. In fact, because of the start time difference, Mick had gained two minutes on Alex. However, while circling on the small 10 mile loop, Alex slowly pulled away with an average speed of about 1 mph faster. Mick hung in and gave it his all completing nearly 214 miles in 12 hours – just 5 miles less then Alex.
The two person teams were also very close. Gina Kavesh and Martha Walsh beat the Gapays (Angela and Hugh) by a mere four miles. Watching the exchanges every 35 minutes, or so was exciting. A delay of a teammate not being ready when time for an exchange, such as a poorly timed restroom break, could set a team back several minutes.
The top mileages for the 12 hour race were:
- 219.5 – Alex Telitsine
- 213.9 – Mick Walsh
- 204.3 – Gina & Martha
- 203.3 – Bob Fisher
- 200.3 – The Gapays
The top mileages for the 6 hour race were:
- 100 – Kate Riggs & Brenda Middleton
- 77 – Joanne Heilinger
- 62.4 – Jennifer Pesut
- 62.4 – Andre Miske & Bill Dolan (Team Dr Will Bar)
Congratulations to all the finishers. Riding as fast as you can for 6 or 12 hours is quite an accomplishment. This course will test you. This is the type of race that separates the serious riders from all the rest. I think you are all awesome!
A portion of the proceeds of this race are being donated to Shape Up America.
I’d like to thank all of the riders, sponsors and volunteers. I heard a lot of great feedback for all of these and I want to encourage you to tell the sponsors yourself or that you appreciate their support.