NUE-Shenandoah 100Mile

The 23rd annual Shenandoah 100 is the oldest race in the NUE Epic Race Series held over Labor Day weekend in Stokesville, VA. Shenandoah now includes a 100k option of racing on Saturday and the classic 100 mile race on Sunday.

Early 630AM race start

Held within The George Washington National Forest of Virginia, Shenandoah marks the start of the fall season of the NUE Series with just a few races remaining that will determine this year’s champions. Shenandoah is a highly anticipated showdown showcasing top level talent in a festive atmosphere with most racers choosing to camp out at the Stokesville Lodge and campground which is included in registration.

Womens Open Toops with second NUE win

Women’s 100 M podium: 1st Jen Toops, 2nd Leila Husain, 3rd Laura Hamm, 4th Kaitlyn Maddox, 5th Lynn Faust

Making the trip down from Ohio, previous NUE marathon series winner Jen Toops (Pearl Izumi/ Pivot Cycles), took the top step with a time of 9:17:59. Toops now leads the 21 NUE epic series with a win at Mohican and second at Wilderness earlier this year .

” I’ve been signed up for Shenandoah for the past couple years but couldn’t make it for various reasons. I was very excited to finally make it down to VA and see what Shenandoah was all about. My brother Shane Cusick came to cheer and is a Shenandoah veteran so we spent race eve going over the course. Game plan: the “death climb” is tough so save some matches and ride my own race. Some jerk on Saturday threw tacks out on the beginning of course and I got one in my front and rear tires. Luckily Stans sealant did the job and I was still able to run my Maxxis ikons with no issues.

Toops navigates one of many water crossing

All the women were lined up together for start of the race in about 100th position. Julia and I rode most of the beginning gravel together and then I lost sight of her (turns out she had some tire issues and had to DNF). When the race entered the first singletrack there was a lot of Congo lines and hike a bikes. I think this helped in the long run by not burning too many matches in the beginning of the day. I continued to ride a steady pace, keep up on nutrition, and save plenty for the “death climb”. Then the moment of truth…. the so called death climb. Turns out what I envisioned was way worse than it actually was. The 17 mile death climb is long but never super steep and you even get some breaks here and there. I kept looking back and asking at aids if anyone knew time gap and no one knew. I just kept pushing a tolerable pace and ended up taking the win! Super excited to celebrate with my brother and Ohio crew that made it to the event. Sponsors: Pearl Izumi, Pivot cycles, Ergon, Fox, Maxxis, Stans, Scc, Honeystinger, Carborocket, Lazer. Next up in Marji Gesick in MI. ”

Putting in a lot of training this year for Shenandoah led to happy tears at the finish line for Leila Husain. She took second place with a time of 10:11:33.

An emotional finish for Leila Husain taking 2nd in the women’s 100 mile open

Laura Hamm made a weekend out of racing. She completed the 100k race on Saturday and also the 100 mile race on Sunday. Taking the Stan the woman award she finished the 100 mile in a time of 10:32:13.

Laura Hamm completed both the 100k and 100 mile races

Finishing fourth was, Kaityln Maddox with a time of 11:27:26 and Lynn Faust finished fifth in 13:03:03.

Mens Open- Johnson gets Shenandoah win

Previous NUE epic series and Shenandoah winner, Dylan Johnson took the overall 100 mile race with a finish time of 7:29:21.

Johnson leading 100 mile race

About 20 minutes back, Ian Schwing took second with a time of 7:50:34.

“My favorite race of all time had awaited me Sunday. The legs were fired up from the day before having my second collegiate race in UVA. 6:30am start is always majestic at sunrise with hundreds of people riding together in the woods. Fireworks and moves happened early and many people flatted. Worked my way through traffic until finally at the bottom of Tillman, found myself in the lead group, racing through almost 20 places. Dylan was already out of sight and put in what seemed like a death march of an attack for 90 miles, and nobody followed. Dropping into aid 3 only 3 of us were left in our group. On braileys decent, Jake got a flat and I rode passed him. A very very lonely death climb was ahead of me, and lonely it was. I shared a few miles with Bobby Lea before regaining the gap on Chestnut and hammered to the finish to ensure a second place.  Thank you to Flowformulas for all the support and fueling these massive efforts! Next big race on the calendar is a full collegiate season, collegiate nationals, and marathon nationals!”

Taking third place was Bobby Lea finishing about three minutes off second place with a time of 7:53:21. Fourth place went to Jimmy Klose crossing the line in 7:54:40. Hot on his heels was Heath Thumel just one minute back in 7:55:39. Bishop had mechanical issues and finished 14th.

Singlespeed- Holle with 3rd NUE SS win

Singlespeed 100M podium: 1st Justin Holle, 2nd Lance Byrd, 3rd Anthony Toops, 4th Patrick Blair, 5th Joe Fraas

The single speed division put on quite the show with the top three just four minutes apart. Making the trip from Colorado, Justin Holle, took the single speed win with a time of 8:07:51. With previous wins at High Cascades and Lumberjack he now leads the NUE epic singlespeed series.

Holle congratulating Toops after a close race

Just over a minute back, Lance Byrd took second in the singlespeed division with a time of 8:09:09.

“The Shenandoah 100 single speed division went full-dramatic in 2021.  The lineup contained multiple previous winners (Justin Holle and Patrick Blair) and 39 registered single speeders.  With a neutralized socially distanced mass start, the pace remained sane early, keeping every possibility alive.  Justin Holle (current NUE SS series leader) wouldn’t waste his premium starting position and led the entire field up the gravel climbs to the singletrack.  His confidence paid early dividends as Adventures for the Cure teammates Lance Byrd and Pat Blair were trapped behind a pileup that caused the first decisive split on mountain 1.
Furious chasing towards mountain 2 ensued.  Lance, Pat and Anthony Toops were hanging onto geared riders for dear life as those who were held up tried to bridge back to the leaders.  Pat Blair tried eating gravel at speed, with only a chipped tooth and the dust of his competitors to show for it.  He would fall further behind but wasn’t done!  Lance and Anothony attacked mountain 2.  Lance bridged to leader Justin Holle on mountain 2, ripping Wolfe descent.  The race was on.

Just a minute back, Bryd finishes second in SS. Look at those bars!

Lance and Justin joked that it would be a battle the rest of the day.  They marked each other over mountains 3 and 4.  They climbed similarly, Lance hiked and descended a little faster, Justin would repeatedly pedal him down and take control of the race.
Heading to The Death Climb of mountain 5 the stakes were raised… Anothony Toops bridged, Pat Blair (chipped tooth) bridged.  The top 4 single speeders entered The Death Climb together.  In slow motion they tested each other, some were faster on the steeps, others faster in the mud.  But, even another hour of brutal climbing couldn’t separate them by more than a few seconds.
Lance attacked the 5th and most epic descent.  It seemed to work.  There was no one in sight as he turned onto the gravel leading to the finale, mountain 6.  But Justin would not be denied.  He clawed Lance back on the roads, bridging just before the start of the climb.  The two were inseparable and they even discussed how this would play out.  They decided at the same time that Lance would attack near the top.  It seemed scripted, inevitable.  Justin responded to the final surge and then pulled away over the final kicker.  He ripped down the final descent, sealing his Shenandoah 100 and NUE SS series victory.”

Previous NUE marathon SS series winner, Anthony Toops (Paradise Garage) of Ohio took the third spot with a time of 8:12:01.

“What a race this turned out to be!  This was my first SS race since 2019 and I really didn’t know what would happen out there.  I went into the day with no expectations and no pressure other than riding hard and NO CRASHES!
The race started pretty easy and I just focused on my own race.  Justin Holle went off the front going into the first singletrack section and I wasn’t sure if I would see him again.  After I think aid two, I started to see a group up the road and it turned out to be a few geared and SS racers.  I latched onto them on a road section and from then on it was 4 SS racers battling it out for most of the day.
The pace was quick but there weren’t any all out attacks yet, just steady efforts to wear everyone down.  We were all anticipating fireworks on the death climb and everyone was riding really strong. Justin dropped back a little going into  aid 5 (mile 75) at the top and it was Lance, Patrick, and I together in and out of the aid.  I was wondering if he had cracked… but Lance quickly replied “He’s not gone yet. He always comes back!”.  Wouldn’t you know it; by the time  we were almost to the longest downhill of the day, here comes Justin! 
Lance was in the lead by about 25 yards and I had a small slide out in some mud so Justin went by going into the downhill(Chestnut).  I quickly popped back up and caught his wheel.  Patrick was in 4th and taking it easier on the downhills after a crash earlier in the race.  Justin and Lance were absolutely flying on the downhills and keeping their wheel was difficult since I was having some pretty bad hand cramping issues.  The legs were feeling strong but the hands couldn’t safely hold on so I had to back off and would loose some time going into aid 6 (mile 88).
At aid 6 I quickly grabbed a can of coke and got pedaling again.  Justin and Lance were just up the road about 200 yards. I spun like crazy and was closing the gap going into the final climb.  I was all in and went as deep as I could and almost caught them, but they put in a big attack before I could close the gap.  They would again gain some time on the final downhill and at this point I was yelling at my hands they hurt so bad!  At the line we would finish just a few minutes apart. 
This is the best battle and the most fun I’ve had in a 100mi race and couldn’t have asked for better competition on the day. Looking forward to doing it again at the Marji Gesick 100! Sponsors: Paradise Garage. Bike setup:Frame – Pivot LES size largeGearing – oval 32x19Tires – front Maxxis Aspen 3c exo 29×2.25, rear Continental Race King protection 29×2.2″

Rounding out the podium was Patrick Blair finishing fourth in 8:30:58. Fifth place went to Joe Fraas in 8:52:56.

Masters- Weaver gets win

Masters podium: 1st Dave Weaver, 2nd Eric Magnuson, 3rd Amir Matityahu, 4th Keith Papanicolas, 5th Garth Prosser

Taking the win in the Masters division was Dave Weaver (Rapha/Canyon) with a time of 8:43:05.

“Last week my rear hub cracked and a replacement never made it by Friday. My mtb shoes and helmet were still lost in shipping from the Last Best Ride in Whitefish, MT. So I threw my mtb in the car without a rear wheel along with my roadbike, in case I couldn’t race, I was just going to ride Reddish and camp out with  friends. Fortunately, Jeremiah came through with a loaner rear wheel Saturday afternoon! 

I’ve only done one other 100 miler and it was the SM100 in ‘19. I wasn’t prepared for the attrition and pain it took…and my bike setup was all wrong. My goal for Sunday was not to go out too hard on the first two climbs and stay between 10-15th overall hanging close to  Pat, Lance, and Anthony. It’s easy to get caught up in fast starts. The masters guys at this level are all very strong and know how to ride bikes in the backcountry-I knew Amir is leading the NUE Series, kept an eye on him early, and was able to pull ahead on the technical Lynn Trail climb, only to lose time to Dan Atkins on the decent-he’s fast. 

On the flats going into the Death Climb I hear Nathan and Jeremiah charging back calling my name, and was motivated to jump on that train the entire climb as I was seeing some dark moments. It was great to be with two friends on the worst climb of the day. I pulled ahead of Dan again only for him to drop me on the descent again. After a season of flat tires, I took it easy on all the downhills making sure I didn’t flat, or crash. Both are likely at the SM100. Hats off to Chris Scott, who always works hard putting together the best bike racing experiences for everyone! We’re fortunate to have beautiful places to race bikes and volunteers who put in their time to help make the race possible. I’ll definitely be back next year!”

About twenty minutes back was Eric Magnuson finishing second and crossing the line in 9:02:51.

“Taking my son on a college-campus tour through PA, DC, and VA, I figured I’d take a slight detour to race the Shenandoah 100. Glad I did. The course mixes a range of surfaces (rocks, dirt, gravel, and pavement) with suffer-inflicting climbs and smile-inducing descents. The result: a stellar MTB race. I finished where I finished (second place Masters) by pedaling with some luck and sticking to a run-of-the-mill plan, which consisted of going hard at the start; settling down to an all-day pace; and avoiding direct conflict with trees, boulders, and other hazards. There’s a band of people to thank, including family, friends, racers, race organizers, and volunteers. Special shout out to Riverside Cycle for all they do to keep my “lightly used” bikes in working order. Next up: something on the NUE 2022 calendar—perhaps True Grit.”

Only a minute back from second was, Amir Matityahu took third place in 9:04:12. In what looks like a sprint finish fourth place went to Keith Papanicolas in 9:04:14. After a broke derailleur Garth Prosser ran the last few miles finishing in 9:05:53.

Written by: @jentoops

Photos by: @Shenandoahmountaintouring

For full results CLICK HERE

Next up on the NUE Marathon Series is the Marji Gesick in Ishpeming, MI on September 18, 2021. See you all there!

NUE Mohican 100 Mile

Written by Jen & Anthony Toops

Photos by Butch Phillips

Racers assembled at 7am in downtown Loudonville for the mass start.

The 17th annual Mohican MTB100 kicked off on June 1st at 7am sharp.  Hundreds of racers from around the country gather in Loudonville, Ohio each year to take on the deceptively tough course.  Before the start riders were given some encouraging words from the Mayor of Loudonville, Steve Strickland, race director Ryan O’Dell, and a duo rendition of the National Anthem. 100mile and 100k racers then proceeded with a neutral rollout lead by the Ashland Sheriff’s Department to the steep paved climb out of town, where the race officially starts.

The first 7 miles are a fast paced paved section where racers jockey for position going into the 25 miles of single track in Mohican State Park.  After the single track is a mix of mostly gravel roads with some technical single and double track sections thrown in.  Being in Ohio, most assume this course is relatively flat.  What the race lacks in elevation it makes up for in dozens of steep, punchy climbs strewn throughout the entire distance.  The 100k and 100m course splits after aid station 3, where the 100k turns left and completes the last sections of the course and the 100mile turns right to add in the extra miles (and tough climbs!).  

“New” rock garden added in Mohican Wilderness trails.

This year, a large technical rock garden located at Mohican Wilderness, was brought back thanks to some dedicated trail crew.  This section hasn’t been included since the first race, 17 years ago.  There are also Tree Frog canopy tours, zip lines, and platforms directly overhead enjoyed by racers families. Also added was a new “secret trail” that removed a notorious hike a bike that had become known as “Big A** Climb”. Only one racer in our 17 year history has ever ridden it during the race. That racer was Jeremiah Bishop, who went on to win in both 2017 and 2018.

The water bar downhill was extra sloppy this year.

Finishers cross the line and grab a pint glass(100k) or a growler(100m) and can enjoy the post race atmosphere.  Families and friends gather for food from Smokin’ Bros BBQ, beer from Great Lakes Brewing, and live music.

Race Director Ryan O’dell.

“The biggest improvement at this year’s race was added safety for Mohican racers. The Mohican100 formed a new partnership with University Hospital of Ashland that included a much more detailed medical plan, including a med-evac helicopter at the race, medical room and doctor on call at the finish line, medical staff and tents at each aid station, and quads permitted to go anywhere necessary for rescue of injured racers. The racers who were injured this year had great reports about the speed and helpfulness of our new UH team of professionals.” Race Director, Ryan O’Dell 

Part of the medical crew on hand.

Women’s Open

1st Chase Edwards, 2nd Jen Toops, 3rd Julia Thumel,
4th Becky Edmiston, 5th Heidi Coulter

Edwards Repeats at Mohican

Chase Edwards leading through the first single track section.

Taking the win in the women’s open with a time of 8:30:56 was Chase Edwards of Construction Zone Racing. This was her second Mohican 100 win after winning last year in 2018.

“I was nervous going into Mohican! My body had not been performing the way I’d wanted it to most of the spring, and I also find wet and muddy singletrack to be extremely challenging. At the start, I stayed focused on Jen Toops who is a really strong rider and also from the area. My plan was to ride behind her for most of the first singletrack section, however, I got knocked down by an overly aggressive rider during the neutral roll out. Adrenaline from the crash helped me catch back up to Jen, and then without thinking I got in front of her just before the singletrack. I rode the first 48 miles of singletrack as smooth as possible, and when I got to the dirt road section in the middle of the race I was feeling great and decided to turn it up and widen my gap. The green rolling hills of the Mohican State Park make for an awesome course! I crossed the finish line with juice still left in my legs, which makes me extra excited for the rest of the NUE season. Lumberjack 100 is up next! Thanks Construction Zone Racing, Tenac Coaching, and Paragon Athletics for the support this season.”

Jen Toops in 2nd, staying close through the Mohican singletrack.

On her first Mohican 100 Mile attempt, 2018 NUE Marathon Series Champion, Jen Toops of Pearl Izumi/Pivot Cycles, finished second with a time of 8:52:49.

“I lined up near the front to get a good position for the opening sprint to the single track and hopefully avoid any crashes. Having just finished racing the Trans-Sylvania Epic 5 day stage race only 4 days prior, I had no expectations for race day other than to enjoy some new trails. It’s funny living only an hour a way but I’ve never ridden most of wilderness.

Chase started strong and entered the state park single track a few positions ahead of me. It was hard to watch Chase disappear and not hold her wheel but I just didn’t have it today and decided to race my own race. The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. I felt like a yo-yo all day getting burst of energy and then just trying to keep the pedals turning. Mentally I wanted to go catch Chase but my body said, nope. I didn’t see any other women throughout the day but was happy to chat with some guys to pass the miles. To my understanding there was mostly gravel after the 100k split. Wow, was I surprised of the singletrack climb after aid 3. The second half of the race was beautiful and I had a blast riding some new trails in Ohio. I thankfully caught a pace line on the rail trail and we all worked together to knock that out. A few gravel roads and some more singletrack later and I crossed the finish under my goal of 9hrs.

Thanks to all the amazing volunteers this year! Especially aid 4.5 to give me something to read up that climb and the motivational stickers to get me to the finish! Big congrats to Chase for a strong race and Julia who finished 3rd after also taking on the Mohican 100 after the TSE stage race.”

Julia Thumel in the lead pack.

Also coming off the TSE stage race and taking the third step, Julia Thumel of Race Pace Bicycles, finished in 9:21:08.

Men’s Open

1st Dillon Johnson, 2nd Christian Tanguy, 3rd Jeffrey Pendlebury,
4th Heath Thumel, 5th Adam Hill

Johnson is TWO for TWO

Johnson picking his was through the new rock garden.

After coming off the NUE Cohutta win in April, Dylan Johnson, takes the NUE Mohican 100 mile win in a time of 6:49:22. He is now two-for-two and leads the 2019 NUE EPIC series. Christian Tanguy of RBS Cycling Team finished second in 7:03:11 and Jeffrey Pendlebury of RideOn Wooster took third place crossing the line in 7:09:42.

Christian Tanguy on his way down the water bars.
Jeffrey Pendlebury half way through the first singletrack


1st Anthony Toops, 2nd Shane Kramer, 3rd Eli Orth,
4th Dahn Pahrs, 5th Adam Murack

TOOPS gets 1st NUE EPIC win

Anthony Toops dropping into the water bar downhill.

2018 NUE Marathon Singlespeed Champion, Anthony Toops of Paradise Garage, gets his first Mohican 100 Mile win finishing in 7:37:33.

“Going into this race I had no expectations after spending the previous week racing the Trans-Sylvania Epic stage race.  I wasn’t sure how my legs would be come race day.  Mohican has always been a tough race for me, even though it’s my home course.  I previously always hit a wall somewhere around the wilderness area either due to pacing or nutrition issues.  This was also my first race back on my Pivot LES hardtail; that bike rips!.  I ran 32×19 gearing which I thought was perfect.  There are some long flat sections in the course, but I think if you geared for those you would really struggle on all the steep punchy climbs, which there are a lot of.  
This year I had a different race plan approach.  Being my first Mohican 100 mile attempt I decided to ride my own race for the most part, making sure to keep my competitors in sight.  The race started off as usual with some jockeying for position going into the single track.  Pahrs was the first 100mi SS’r to get there and I was back about five geared riders and Peyton, a 100k SS’r.  For the most part the positions stayed the same throughout the park single track with a few passes here and there.  The pace was fast but sustainable. Just before the infamous water bar downhill I passed Pahrs and decided to ride the bars as fast as I could to open a small gap going onto the road.  Gotta say, the heckle section this year was the best I’ve ever seen!  
Once on the road, I concentrated on keeping my pace up because I knew Pahrs would be strong on the roads.  Going into aid 2 I had about a 30sec lead so I made sure to get in and out quick.  Heading up the Griffen Rd climb I was cresting over as Powers was hitting the bottom.  I knew I had to keep pushing it here since its a long road section before the Mohican Wilderness single track.  I have to give a big thanks to Josh Kunz, Ryan, and anyone else for all the work on the wilderness trails this year!  That section was a blast and definitely tough!
Going into Aid 3 I was out of sight of 2nd place and I had linked up with a top 10 geared rider.  We would end up working together until the end of the race and I traded pulls as best I could being a single speeder.  From Aid 4 on I made sure to keep the fluids/calories flowing and just concentrate on riding that fine line of going hard and not cracking.  This was a tough portion of the course.  The heat and humidity was getting higher and the legs were starting to feel it.  Aid 4.5 was ran by some great people from the shop I ride for, Paradise Garage in Columbus.  Tunnel vision was heavy at this point so I missed out on the all the fun they were having.  I grabbed fluids, chugged some M&M’s, and kept pedaling.  Going past aid 5 is always a good feeling because you know the only thing in your way is more fun single track.  The adrenaline kicks in here and you end up finding energy that you didn’t know you had.  Heading down the last road to the finish was a relief!  I crossed the line, grabbed my Mohican 100mi finishers growler, and finally got revenge on the race that has always kicked my butt!
Thank you to all the volunteers and staff for putting on an amazing race as always and thanks to Paradise Garage for all the support!”

Shane Kramer over the rocks in Mohican Wilderness.

Finishing about ten minutes later, Shane Kramer crossed the line second at 7:47:08. Taking third place was, Eli Orth of Team Hungry, finishing at 7:49:58.

3rd place, Eli Orth, hammering through the singletrack.

“Coming off of just finishing the 5 hard days of stage racing single speed at TSE on Monday it was a quick turnaround to racing Mohican on Saturday. The start seemed to be a really relaxed pace leading up the first climb. I worked my way to the front to try to get good position leading into the single track. Once to the single track i found myself in good position where i could ride hard without worrying about trying to pass a bunch of people. I kept a steady consistent pace like i had planned. I spent a lot of the day in the company of my friend Michael Gottfried. Having him there made the day go quicker and at times we helped push each other. He especially helped me once we hit the flat bike path! We caught the 2nd place ss and he latched onto our train.. then I saw good ol Dahn Pahrs up ahead just spinning away. I must say I was happy to see him, but he wasn’t so happy to see me haha. After a short chat i knew I had to keep the pace up as 2nd 3rd and 4th place single speeders were now all together. We all stayed together and stopped together at aid 4 (mile 72). Some of us were in and out quickly. After that aid stop i never saw Dahn again. I was still going back and forth with the 2nd place single speeder Shane Kramer though. Eventually he was able to put a little space on me and i was unable to pull him back in. Overall it was a great race especially on my not so fresh legs. Great to see Ohio take 2 of the top 3 spots in the Epic distance SS! Huge congrats to Anthony Toops on the win!My gearing was 34×20 which seemed to work well. 
Thanks to my team/sponsors Team Hungry and Absolute Black. My next race will be the Lumberjack 100 after two short weeks of rest and recovery.”


1st Joe Johnston, 2nd Devin Debower, 3rd Christian Butts,
4th Jeff Chalmers, 5th Ali Arasta

Johnston goes sub 8hrs 

Masters winner, Joe Johnston, dropping over the technical rocks.

Taking the win in the Masters class was, Joe Johnston going sub eight hours and finishing in 7:58:25. About six minutes later Devin Debower took the second position in 8:04:03 and Christian Butts finished third crossing the line in 8:41:28.

2nd place masters, Devin Debower.
3rd place masters, Christian Butts.

For full results CLICK HERE

Butch Phillips Photo Gallery CLICK HERE

Next up on the 100 Mile Epic NUE Series is the High Cascades in Bend, OR. CLICK HERE to register.