NEW HAVEN — Growing in the number of participants each year since its inception, the fifth annual Wahama Bike Race/Ride has been scheduled for Saturday, May 21.
The race serves as a fundraiser to purchase equipment and supplies for the school’s weight room/fitness center.
“Our goal this year is to top 50 racers,” said Jodie Roush, organizer and member of the Bend Area Sprocket Spinners bike club. “The event has grown to not only include local riders, but also participants traveling from far away.”
Roush credited the support of the New Haven Fire Department, Mason County Sheriff’s Department, New Haven Police Department and WV Department of Highways for the rapid growth the race has experienced. The event began in 2012 with 29 participating. That number has increased each year, with 49 riders last year.
Check-in the morning of the race begins at 7:30 a.m., with the race starting at 8:30 a.m. The course begins and ends at the New Haven ball fields on Layne Street.
Registration is $25, and the length of the course is either 10 or 20 miles. Any racer who completes the first lap in 35 minutes or less will race a second lap, Roush said.
Along with overall awards in both men’s and women’s categories, there will also be 11 age group classes and six novelty events. Age groups include 16-20 years; 21-25; 26-30; 31-35; 36-40; 41-45; 46-50; 51-55; 56-60; 61-70; and 71 years and over. Novelty categories will be Wahama alumni male, Wahama alumni female, Wahama student, retro road (1999 or older road bike), flat bar bike (hybrid/mountain), and single speed.
All level riders are welcome and encouraged to participate, according to Roush. Helmets are highly encouraged.
Sponsors for the race are Mason County Sheriff Greg Powers; Crank and Kirkpatrick Animal Hospital; RK Innovations, Inc., Oil Field Services; Farmers Bank; Graphic Solutions; Mary Kay consultant Naomi Lanier; and Mountaineer Plant. Additional support is provided by the Town of New Haven, New Haven Fire Department and Police Department, WV State Police, sheriff’s department, Bachtel United Methodist Church, and WV Department of Highways, Point Pleasant.
Last year, race winner Nathan Damm completed the 20 miles in 54 minutes, after having completed the first lap in 26 minutes. Roush said the slower half of the field completed the 10-mile course in 35 to 60 minutes.
Registration forms are available at http://wahama.maso.k12.wv.us/.
For more information, contact 304-593-4446.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.