With over 14,000 cyclists participating in this year's Hotter 'n Hell, the nation's longest one day bike race smashed records over the weekend. You might think everything's done and over, but there was still plenty of cleaning up and taking down for workers today. Once all that is done, it's time to start getting ready for next year.
What does it take to break Hotter 'n Hell records? Try about 13,000 participants in the endurance ride, more than 300 in the mountain bike race, and close to 350 in the trail run, just to name a few. Race officials have a couple ideas as to why this year's race was such a success.
"Attendance at Hotter 'n Hell 100 has a lot to do with the accumulation of improvements over several years," said Committee Chairman Roby Christie.
One contributing factor this year was promotion, which employees started to do three months earlier than normal.
"Other riders promote it to other cyclists, saying what a great even it was, so those types of people get kind of excited, ya know -- 'Hey, we wanna try this out,'" said media coordinator Randy Canivel.
But even with the success, some residents in Electra weren't too pleased with the route because it closed off access to essential farm to market roads and interfered with their business. Canivel says ultimately the event benefits all areas of the race.
"Not only does it put Wichita on the map, but it puts the surrounding Texoma area on the map," he said.
"We sincerely regret getting in the way of commerce on those roads, but it's one day a year," Christie said.
Another concerns rural residents have is trash. Officials say clean-up started as early as Saturday morning. Even during the race volunteers were already putting some equipment away in storage and picking up trash.
"We don't want to be litter bugs, so we work hard to take care of that," Christie said.
The goal is to have everything cleared out and put up by tonight.
"Hotter 'n Hell is a lot like Christmas. You'll look forward to it. You just have so much fun putting it up and enjoying the day, but when it's over, it's gotta go back in the box," Christie said.
Tonight Hotter 'n Hell officials are meeting to discuss some of the successes of the race and any changes for next year, including new signage and marketing efforts. Christie says the committee is always trying to add value to a cyclists $30 entry fee.