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Mountain Biking

Endurance at its finest

HAMPSHIRE 100 SPORTS WEEKEND

  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The 7th annual Hampshire 100 was held in Greenfield and surrounding towns on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013.<br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

Seven years ago, the Hampshire 100 began with just one event, a 100-kilometer endurance mountain bike race through southern New Hampshire.

With the success of the inaugural event in 2007, it immediately became a go-to destination for some of the top riders in the country, while also attracting novice bikers from the New England area.

Until 2012, the Hampshire 100 remained as it began, with just a single race of 62-plus miles on a Sunday in August that challenged even the most skilled riders. Then last year, the decision was made to add an even tougher option — a 100-mile course — that had riders return to the some route as before for an abbreviated second loop.

But since last year, the Hampshire 100 turned into something even bigger and better. Not only could participants choose from the 62.1- or 100-mile mountain bike courses on Sunday, but there was also the addition of a 100-km trail run that followed a similar route.

“We’re looking for a fun weekend focused on health,” said Race Director Randi Whitney.

And what once was a single-day event has turned into the Hampshire 100 Sports Weekend. This year, for the first time, the Saturday of race weekend was not just for registrations. There were also a pair of events, the Cyclocross Training Race and the Short Track MTB Race.

For the weekend, the Hampshire 100 saw more than 454 riders and 19 trail runners sign-up for the various events, making it one of the most successful events in its short history. And the goal is for the trend to continue in 2014.

“I think it went very well. We had athletes from around the country in a variety of disciplines,” said Whitney. “That’s what we’re looking for.”

Leaving Oak Park in Greenfield in waves starting at 6:45 a.m., riders began the long journey through six southern New Hampshire towns that took anywhere from five hours and 24 minutes to 13 hours and 16 minutes. They crossed small man-made bridges, pedaled over rocks and tree roots and navigated up hills that totaled approximately 7,000 feet of climbing.

Brian Lariviere of Morristown, N.J. posted the best time of the 100-km riders in 5:24:34, while Karen Potter of Shrewsbury, Mass., did the same for the women in 6:08:23.

As for the 100-mile riders, Jeremiah Bishop completed the course in 7:14:40 to capture top honors for the men. Vicki Barclay won the women’s 100-mile in 9:17:20.

Tristan Williams of Jackson blew away the field in the inaugural trail run, finishing in 8:23:27, more than hour and a half ahead of the field. Kristina Folcik won the women’s trail run title in 10:21:12.

It is an event that takes skill, endurance and plenty of training to complete.

For Shannon and Judy Surdam of Greenfield, Sunday’s race was a training exercise for another event next summer — the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado. Both had participated in the Hampshire 100 before. Judy rode two years ago, but saw a dramatic change in her performance this time around. She was two hours and 42 minutes ahead of her 2011 pace, finishing third this year in the Women’s Sport division in 8:09:13.

“It’s really a tough race,” said Judy. “Its hill after hill after hill and eventually your legs don’t want to do it anymore. You’re constantly working. There’s not a lot of rest.”

Shannon competed in the 62-plus mile event a year ago, but made the switch to the 100-mile event in 2013 and finished 43rd in the Open Men’s division in 10:39:33, the same time as Kaleb Guinn of Greenfield.

All three ride with the Greenfield Trails Association, as does Tim Iwanowicz of Peterborough.

Iwanowicz was making his second straight appearance in the Hampshire 100, competing in the Single Speed Men’s division. Last year was not exactly the kind of experience Iwanowicz was looking for. When he finished the 2012 race in close to nine hours, Iwanowicz said his body felt abused.

And it wasn’t until a few days after the race that Iwanowicz decided to give it another try. He talked it over with fellow GTA member Nick Hill of Francestown and both wanted to do better. Iwanowicz shaved more than an hour and a half off his time to finish in 7:21:05 this year after riding his road bike more in the month prior to the race. Hill also improved by more than an hour to take 17th in the Sport Veteran I division in 7:46:55.

“I wanted to do this thing and feel good about it in the end,” said Iwanowicz. “The road bike made a big difference.”

The Surdams’ times at the Wilmington Whiteface 100K in June had them under the qualified time for Leadville, but due to the race’s popularity, many of the spots are still determined by a lottery. And when they were both selected, they decided to start training and no better place than in the town they live.

“It’s a little mind boggling to have all these national riders in our small town,” said Judy. “It’s a big event for us and we’re very proud of it.”

The Greenfield Trails Association maintains many of the trails used in the Hampshire 100, including the home stretch. They also help put together the pre- and post-race meals.

“They help us in more ways than I can list,” said Whitney.

And for those riders not participating in the race, they help out at aid stations and cheer riders along.

“We had a huge amount of support from other GTA members,” said Judy.

John Hopkins, also a member of GTA, does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work for the Hampshire 100. Members of the group know the race would not go as smooth without him.

“He does an unbelievable amount of work to get this thing ready,” said Iwanowicz. “He deserves a lot of credit.”

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