All the rain and flooding has left its mark on the Wee-Chi-Tah trail in Wichita Falls. This year's ride will follow a different path, and is sure to bring a number of surprises and challenges for riders that come back year after year, according to the trail crew.
The 34th annual Hotter’N Hell weekend is almost here. On Friday, riders will hit the trails for the Wee-Chi-Tah off-road mountain bike trail races. It’s also the beginning of the Triple Threat.
The trail crew has been working on getting the trails prepared since the flooding cleared. And Wednesday, Joe Orender was out on the trail making sure some of those final preparations are complete.
“It’s real important because we try to make it so it’s fair for everybody,” said Orender. “Because we have riders that are at the top of their game, cap one’s, then you have the cap three’s who aren’t that good, and can’t handle the bike very good.”
From a mountain bike race to a 100 mile endurance ride and finally a half–marathon, the Triple Threat is for the fiercest of competitors.
“Hotter’N Hell, in itself, is a bucket list kind of a thing,” said Sandy Fleming, Off-Road Events Director for the Hotter’N Hell Hundred. “As soon as they find out about the Triple Threat they go out and buy a mountain bike and go buy some running shoes and come back the next year and do the triple threat because it is really an accomplishment.”
It’s a ride that Sherry Potts knows well.
“We just started building a trail, a bunch of us got together and thought ‘lets just add a little more,’ and now I think we're up to about 12 and half miles of trail,” said Sherry Potts, founder of the off-road trails and biking participant.
“I actually started with Hotter'N Hell,” said Potts. “My grandmother actually road the first race, she was 69 the first year, the second year I road with her,” said Potts.
Potts is no stranger to the triple threat.
“That experience was amazing. So I’ve never done anything like that before,” said Potts. “I"m not a runner and that was also my first year to do 100 miles.”
It’s a ride that's not for the faint-of-heart.
“The hardest part, I guess, is the last 20 miles of the 100. That’s always kind of tough; you know your brain starts melting. The best part is the last half mile of the run because you know you're going to make it,” said Potts.
Every participant that competes in the Triple Threat is awarded a wooden plaque that says “I survived the Triple Threat.” This year Potts will leave that plaque behind and concentrate solely on the Wee-Chi-Tah off-road mountain bike trail races.
“I recommend it, even if it’s your first time, just go,” said Potts. “If you're not going to ride, just watch. I mean the energy there is amazing.”
So far, 245 people are signed up for the Triple Threat this year. It’s a 20 percent increase from last year.