Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Locals, visitors flock to Galena to take on the Grinder

Galena Lodge plays host to rugged riders

Ketchum’s Greg Martin follows closely behind fellow Marathon racers JP Grendson (left) and John Tormey in the early stages of the Galena Grinder. Martin and Grendson were two of eight Marathon racers riding single-speed bikes. Photo by Willy Cook

By Damian Thornton

Express Intern

Of the more than 150 cyclists who battled Galena Summit Saturday in the 2010 Whit Henry Memorial Race, only four were registered as professional riders. For the rest of the bunch, taking part in the Galena Grinder is a little more personal.

Many competitors were present to honor the memory of Whit Henry, a Bellevue cycling enthusiast whose life was cut tragically short by a car accident in July 2003. Henry's mother, Gail Henry, spent the day in the midst of Whit's friends and contemporaries, whose focus seemed more on enjoying the challenging ride than outperforming the competition. Race coordinator Marc Driver reminded racers of this emphasis moments before they hit the trail.

"It's good to race hard," Driver blared through the megaphone he carried with him throughout the day. "But it's more important to have fun."

Though 10, 17.5 and 22.5 mile cross-country races make the event accessible to racers of all ages and skill-levels, the Grinder's signature attraction is the Marathon race, which takes riders twice through the longest cross-country course, totaling 45 grueling miles featuring more than 6000 feet of climbs and creek crossings. While the Marathon race did not count toward championship contention, many riders cannot turn down the challenge.

The sea of brightly-colored long-distance riders piled behind the starting line kept growing until literally seconds before their 9 a.m. start. Determined to push their limits along the treacherous trails and breathtaking views, 54 of the 67 long-distance racers completed the journey over the next six hours.

Cary Smith of Jackson, Wyo. completed his first lap in a very impressive one hour and 48 minutes, clocking the fastest overall time of 3:39:37. Local girl, and reigning three time World 24 hour Mountain Bike Champion, Rebecca Rusch, was the first woman across the finish line, with a time of 4:29:19.

Seven cyclists braved the Marathon course on single-speed bikes. The quickest of which, national single-speed champ Dejay Birtch, was the eighth finisher overall.

Eighty three cross-country riders hit the trail at 10:30 a.m., followed by the young cyclists known as the Trailblazers, who Driver kept behind to ensure they didn't embarrass any adult racers by overtaking them.

The longest of the cross-country races measured in at 22.5 miles, one half the marathon's distance, allowing competitors to pay more attention to their speed than fatigue. Top performances in this race earned cyclists points toward the Knobby Tire Series, Idaho's championship racing series. The Galena Grinder is the final indication of who may secure the title of Idaho State Champion at the Series Finals in Boise on Aug. 7.

Dave Harrison of Fairfield was first across the finish line in the pro men's class, finishing with 1:50:40. Winner of the women's pro division was Eagle, Idaho resident Jana Repulski (2:09:01).

The stand-out of the 17.5 mile cross-country race, known as the sport class, was Collin Rogers, who finished with 1:34:32, eight minutes ahead of the next finisher.

The riders in the beginner class faced 10 miles of mountain trails. Alec Miller of Nampa not only finished ahead of all the other riders in the 11-12 year old junior class but achieved the quickest time of any riders in the class.


(Compliments of Knobby Tire)

Marathon (45 miles)

Men's Open: 1—Cary Smith 3:39:37. 2—Nathan Miller 3:52:25. 3—Peter Butt 3:54:52. 4—Michael Tobin 3:55:57. 5—Evan Plews 3:58:55. 6—Ryon Butterfield 4:01:21. 7—Josh Berry 4:04:11. 8—Sam Young 4:16:09. 9—Matt Luhn 4:19:35. 10—Andrew Genco 4:19:48. 11—Mike Sherman 4:34:38. 12—Sean Donovan 4:36:02. 13—Mike Hurley 4:38:04. 14—Troy Nichol 4:51:50. 15—Seth Westbrook 5:04:14. 16—Alex Phipps 5:17:17. 17—Drew Juiliano 5:17:17. DNF—BJ Mazzola.


Women's Open: 1—Rebecca Rusch 4:29:19. 2—Kelsey Bingham, Sarah Kaufmann 4:34:48. 3—India Wysong 4:44:24. 4—Jenny Tobin 4:49:01. 5—Jill Damman 4:57:02. 6—Wendy Wimmer 5:34:32.

Men 19-29: 1—Tyler Matheson 4:42:13. 2—Mark Tate 5:01:50. 3—Jered Coles 5:33:15. 4—Anthony Bunt 5:38:50. 4—Andrew Woodruff 5:46:50. 5—William Spiller 5:58:53. DNF—Erich Kolan, Eric Allen, Kai Applequist.

Men 30-39: 1—Troy Olson 4:14:14. 2—Nate Ginzton 4:22:08. 3—Ryan Baum 5:01:44. 4—Cameron Lloyd 5:18:01. DNF—Colin Soares, Brett Jacobson, Shae Mayner.

Men 40-49: 1—Todd Meier 4:17:26. 2—Kyle Rafford 4:29:06. 3—Paul Nash 4:49:50. 4—Kevin Olson 5:28:05. 5—Mike Herlinger 5:43:37. 6—Bryan Newberry 5:49:35. 7—Bill Josey 5:54:20. 8—James Chandler 6:06:45. 9—Tony Buoncristian 6:16:49. DNF—Jon Gould, Eric LaPerle, Doug Kolan, John Tormey.

Men 50+: 1—Dave Bell 4:55:03. 2—Jim Santa 5:01:28. 3—Roger Mankus 5:32:28. DNF—Timothy Elliott, Mike Kennedy.

Women 50+: 1—Muffy Ritz 4:59:15.

Single Speed: 1—Dejay Birtch 4:05:07. 2—Michael Shane 4:15:42. 3—Greg Martin 4:22:46. 4—Brian Fuller 4:31:28. 5—JP Grendson 4:36:36. 6—Bryon Waite 4:37:12. 7—Chris Howell 5:13:30.

XC Pros/Experts (22.5 miles)

Pro Men: 1—Dave Harrison 1:50:40. 2—Darren Lightfield 2:01:58.

Pro Women: 1—Jana Repulski 2:09:01. 2—Anna Fortner 2:33:35.

Men 19-29: 1—Luke Pletcher 2:05:40. 2—Keith Bryant 2:18:31. 3—John Koudelka 2:22:07. 4—Josh Zuck 2:33:39.

Women 19-29: 1—Sara Schroeder 2:11:25. 2—Beth Kobza 2:40:14.

Men 30-39: 1—Armando Mireles 2:00:12. 2—Eric Chizum 2:02:58. 3—Jeff Ward 2:17:43. 4—Brian Rees 2:20:10. 5—Chris Pilaro 2:57:22.

Women 30-39: 1—Erin Zell 2:21:34. 2—Peggy Boggs 2:32:15.

Men 40-49: 1—Pat Schott 1:59:44. 2—Greg Coy 2:21:16.

Single Speed: 1—John Reuter 1:59:14. 2—Matt Newbill 2:01:05.

XC Sport (17.5 miles)

Men 13-14: 1—Will Harder 1:53:56.

Women 15-18: 1—Maranda Stopol 2:42:14.

Men 17-18: 1—Brandon Wade 2:04:11. 2—Daniel Sundali 2:26:05.

Men 19-29: 1—Collin Rogers 1:34:32. 2—Brian King 1:47:16. 3—Trey Knox 1:54:00. 4—Austin Bourret 2:07:56. 5—Scott Phelan 2:15:29. 6—Fritz Gibson 2:17:04. 7—Brock Dewalt 2:27:36. 8—Luc Chaney 2:52:09.

Women 19-29: 1—Claire Garcia-Webb 2:20:39. 2—Alexa Turzian 2:27:17. 3—Ashley McQueen 2:28:06. 4—Laura Theis 2:29:18.

Men 30-39: 1—Trevor Greenwood 1:42:47. 2—Benji Hill 1:54:53. 3—Bryan Warnock 1:59:25. 4—Elton Graugnard 2:01:16. 5—Abel Valencia 2:04:36. 6—Troy Clark 2:08:41. 7—Andrew Shaber 2:10:50. 8—Chris Abbott 2:20:24. 9—Mike Gordon 2:44:20.

Women 30-39: 1—Mary Brown 2:10:07. 2—Mia Jones 2:18:14. 3—Jana Woodruff 2:55:23.

Men 40-49: 1—Ed Daniels 1:57:39. 2—Gary Tickner 1:58:26. 3—Bill McCann 2:00:51. 4—Jeff Camer 2:08:40. 5—Chris Clay 2:18:25. 6—Scott Dewall 2:27:34. 7—Rick Hilles 2:35:20.

Women 40-49: 1—Gretchen Flint 2:25:05. 2—Kendra Smith 2:39:45. 3—Wendy Rector 2:41:09. 4—Renee Shelton 2:42:07. DNF—Collen Hayes.

Men 50+: 1—Dan Daigh 1:43:29. 2—Scott Grill 1:50:15. 3—Will Raff 1:54:54. 4—Dennis Botkin 2:17:06. 5—Rick Kapala 2:17:08. 6—Bill Dickerson 2:21:54. 7—Steven Edsall 2:23:56. 8—Del Pletcher 2:29:52.

XC Beginners (10 miles)

Men 13-14: 1—Justin Clark 1:27:42.

Women 19-29: 1—Tory Smith 1:58:05.

Men 30-39: 1—Eric Greenwood 1:42:20.

Women 30-39: 1—Sandi Hagel 1:23:42.

Men 40-49: 1—Jeff Golden 1:21:05. 2—Jason Hausske 1:34:39. 3—Brad Mitchell 1:58:08.

Women 40-49: 1—Kris Josey 1:18:30. 2—Chris Barnes 1:22:59. 3—Gabrielle Rafford 1:27:43.

Women 50+: 1—Jodi Cuccia 1:33:04.

Juniors 11-12: 1—Alec Miller 1:16:30. 2—Jacob Payne 1:21:18. 3—Henry Raff 1:43:41.

Juniors 13-14: 1—Anders Olsen 2:00:39.

Trailblazers: Fast! 1—Aaron Payne. 2—Dylan Fluckiger. 3—Thomas Clark. 4—Torry Clark.

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