JACKSONVILLE, ALABAMA May 20, 2018
2017 CHEAHA CHALLENGE & ULTRA RIDE REPORT
We can’t possibly give enough credit to Ride Director Brooke Nelson and her team in putting on the impressive weekend Gran Fondo Cheaha Challenge & ULTRA! With a grim weather forecast, Brooke sent out positive vibes across the universe and came up with a perfect day for this extremely tough ride, challenging the century riders with 9,714′ feet of climbing and the ULTRA’s with 12,835′!
Saturday’s first BIKEXPO was a great success and we predict huge growth in the coming years. TREK’s Timothy Wakefield joined the ABCS/Glassner Autumn Challenge booth to display our 2017 Grand Prize, the TREK Emonda ALR5. Folks were also able to check out the YETI cooler provided by State Farm’s Thomas Waters and enjoy an ice cold Aquafina water by Buffalo Rock plus purchase Glassner and ABCS Primal Wear jersey gear. And when the “deluge” began, we sure appreciated the canopies provided by Academy Sports!
The Pre-Ride Party with live music and buffet by Classic on Noble was great fun and the huge tent saved us! One of the awards presented by Director Brooke Nelson was The Spirit of a Champion Award and is a way to recognize a cyclist who inspires us by cycling despite physical limitations and/or illness. This year’s award went to Brian Smith!
With 838 registered cyclists, 550 were signed up for the 100-mile Challenge & ULTRA! The Saturday night rains subsided just in time for the 7:30 roll out of the ULTRA’s on Sunday morning and pretty much left everyone alone throughout the day.
By 8:00, all waves including the Chief Ladiga Cruisers had begun their ride of choice, including ABCS Support Staff Kathy Thornton, Marsha Burt, & Sarah Churchman.
Meanwhile, at JSU Headquarters, preparation had already begun for the cyclists’ return with live music and a fantastic lunch layout by Cooter’s Rib Shack. This event truly had the feeling of a Gran Fondo!
With impressive finish times, Brendan Housler (4:24) and Kat Sweatt (4:57) were the first male and female Century finishers.
First male ULTRA finisher was David Winston (6:03) with Judah Sencenbaugh (7:30) as the first female.
As always, both ULTRA and Century finishers are listed to the right on this page. If you have any corrections, please let us know: email@example.com
Special shout outs go to ALL cyclists who pedaled the 155 miles to support Smile-a-Mile on Saturday and to these Awesome Eight who managed a Cheaha Century or ULTRA on Sunday!
We were very proud to award 14 cyclists with their 4th 2017 Centurion medal and patch!
Congrats to Don Mroczko, winner of the Four Corners Gallery unique and personal framed remembrance he will soon receive with his photo and a Cheaha Challenge finisher’s medal.
A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to the many volunteers who helped over the weekend!! Billy Ritch, you are always there when needed! Tracey White, Marsha Burt, Terrie Hinton…we are big into photos here with the Series and couldn’t recognize everyone the way we do without you! Amy White, Kathy Thornton, Sarah Churchman, Kathy & Althea Yburan…absolutely top notch organization in checking in hundreds of people, awarding medals, patches, ULTRA shirts, Cheaha caps and so much more. YOU ALL ROCK!!!
HIGH FIVES to Robert & Bonnie Traphan who do so much behind-the-scene work in making our sign-in process go so smoothly and for riding the only tandem in the Cheaha Challenge!
We have posted hundreds of photos on our BamaBackroads Facebook Photo page and will be adding to this page too!
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
HOW IT FEELS TO FINISH THE CHEAHA CHALLENGE ULTRA!
PRE- AND POST-RIDE PHOTOS BY TRACEY WHITE:
ON-ROAD PHOTOS BY TRACEY WHITE
AWARD PHOTOS BY MARSHA BURT:
AWARD PHOTOS BY TERRI HINTON:
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