Wilderness 101 Mountain Bicycle Race

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Wilderness 101
Race details
Date Variable, late July usually
Region Bald Eagle State Forest and Rothrock State Forest, Pennsylvania
Nickname(s) W101
Discipline Mountain Bike
Type 100 Mile Ultra Endurance
Race director Chris Scott
First edition 1991 (1991)
Editions 18
John Majors in the 2006 Event

The Wilderness 101 Mountain Bicycle Race is an ultra-endurance 101 mile (162 km) mountain bike race held annually in late July. The race is commonly called the W101, akin to a first year college course, such as Physics 101, at the nearby Penn State University.

The race was first held in 1991 and been held continuously since 2001. The W101 starts and ends in a small village Coburn, Pennsylvania near Millheim, Pennsylvania. The W101 course is a single loop covering roads, forest roads and trails. The total climbing in the race is approximately 12,000 feet (3,658 meters.) The majority of the course is within the Bald Eagle and Rothrock Pennsylvania State Forests. The event is organized and run primarily by Shenandoah Mountain Touring (located in Harrisonburg, VA) and has been one of the stops of the National Ultra Endurance Series since 2006.

Profile of the 2005 Course, Part One
Profile of the 2005 Course, Part Two


The Wilderness 101 was first held in 1991. The same organization held the W101 again in 1992 and 1993 and then unfortunately stopped holding the race. In 2001 an unrelated company specializing in organizing bike tours and races, Shenandoah Mountain Touring from Harrisonburg, VA, re-established the race. This organization has now held the race annually since and plans to for the foreseeable future. The 1991–1993 race courses were primarily fire-roads and roads. A guide book by Scott Adams, Mountain Bike Madness in Central PA [1] has a write up and map on the course. The early years even included a short section along the margin of a busy highway. The 2001 and later race courses contain substantially more trails and degraded fire-roads. In subsequent years the organizer has added more trails (single-track and double-track) as new trails are opened or their condition improved. Even when new trails are not included, the course often has to be changed to avoid areas closed by forestry operations, changing trail conditions or due to requests of the managing agencies.

The inaugural winner of the 1991 race was Harry Winard with a time of 6:59. He was a Penn State student at the time and according to an interview in the Oct 1991 Dirt Rag, only decided to race the event the week before. Harry won the race on a Bridgestone MB-0 mountain bike with very narrow and smooth tires (1.5" Avocet Cross) and a set triathlon aero bars. The modern courses with more trails and rougher trails would reduce the chance of someone winning on such a bicycle. These changes also prohibit comparing the finishing times from the earlier events to the current events. [2]

It is not know if any women started or finished the 1991 and 1992 events. John Stamstad, a famous pioneer in endurance and ultra-endurance mountain bike events, won the 1993 race. In these early editions of the race, each finisher was given a t-shirt after finishing that listed their placing and finish time in felt iron-on letters and numbers.

Jay Duff won the first of the re-established event in 2001. His finishing time of 7:07 cannot be compared to the times of the 2002 and later events as a significantly larger amount of new challenging single-track sections were added. In 2011 new record finishing times were set for both men and women. Four time winner Jeff Schalk finished in 6:26 and Vicki Barclay finished in 7:42.


Year Starters Finishers Male Winner Time Female Winner Time
2014 196 Jeremiah Bishop 6:50 Missy Nash 9:28
2013 253 203 Christian Tanguy 7:01 Vicki Barclay 8:27
2012 287 235 Jeremiah Bishop 6:31 Cheryl Sornson 7:44
2011 364 314 Jeff Schalk 6:26 Vicki Barclay 7:42
2010 298 273 Jeff Schalk 6:34 Cheryl Sornson 8:06
2009 325 281 Jeff Schalk 6:58 Pua Sawicki 7:44
2008 287 243 Jeff Schalk 6:41 Cheryl Sornson 8:37
2007 177 127 Jeremiah Bishop 6:52 Betsy Shogren 8:36
2006 278 218 Harlan Price 7:33 Betsy Shogren 9:28
2005 229 207 Chris Eatough 6:59 Tiffany Mann 9:14
2004 208 194 Chris Eatough 7:10 Tiffany Mann 9:23
2003 167 145 Chris Eatough 7:04 Lee Schwarz 9:23
2002 101 91 Mike Keefer 7:23 Tiffany Mann 9:40
2001 61 56 Jay Duffy 7:07 Sue George 9:27
1993 John Stamstad Christina Baum
1992 Allistair Neil 7:14 unknown
1991 Harry Winard 6:59 unknown


  1. ^ Adams, Scott (January 1, 1993). Mountain Bike Madness in Central PA: An Atlas of Central Pennsylvania's Greatest Mountain Bike Rides. Beachway Press. ISBN 9781882997022. 
  2. ^ "Dirt Rag Mag Issue August 1991 Issue #18 Article on Wilderness 101 Pages xx-xx". Retrieved 2012-05-18. 

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