Stottlemeyer race draws more than 300 riders | Slideshow

PORT GAMBLE — The three-year-old Stottlemeyer 30/60 Mile Endurance Mountain Bike Race has grown, significantly.

What began as a modest race with fewer than 100 riders in 2010 quickly became a destination event for mountain bikers from around the state. The growing event is something Patricia Graf-Hoke, Kitsap Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau's executive director, is excited about.

The race, held May 19 on Pope Resources land adjacent to Port Gamble, is helping spread the word about the Kitsap Peninsula.

"It's huge amounts of economic development opportunity," Graf-Hoke said.

The race almost filled to its capacity of 400 riders. Approximately 385 were registered, and a total of 336 were entered into the online database following the race.

According to race results posted online, Jason Kettrick of Seattle took first overall in the 30-mile race, finishing in 2 hours 29 minutes 6.8 seconds. Logan Wetzel of Bellingham took first overall in the 60-mile, with a time of 4:31:06.4. Beth Ann Orton of Portland finished in 2:46:03.4 in the 30-mile women's open. Natasha Hernday of Bellevue finished the 60-mile in 5:19:59.5 in the women's open.

It was the place to be for mountain bike racing, organizer Roger Michel said.

"We're super lucky that we get to use this private property," Michel said. "It's difficult to find a place that has the right trails and a good start location. And the trails are definitely among the best in the Northwest."

The race began in the fields just outside of Port Gamble, where the radio-controlled airplane runway is located. Riders took either two or four laps around the trails, depending on which race they were in.

According to Michel, between 60-70 percent of riders and their families either stayed the night before or after in the area. He estimated a total of 500-600 people were drawn to the area for the event, including volunteers, which the visitor bureau helped find.

Events such as the mountain bike race and kayak races hosted by Port Gamble's Olympic Outdoor Center can be used as a way to help fill hotels, restaurants and breweries, Graf-Hoke said.

Along with bringing people to the North Kitsap area, $5 from each rider entry is donated to the North Kitsap Trails Association. In 2011, the event raised more than $3,500 for trail construction and maintenance.

The Stottlemeyer race is one in the three-part NW Epic Series. The other races are the Echo Valley 30/60 Mile race, June 9 near Lake Chelan; and the Capitol Forest 50/100 Mile Endurance race, Aug. 25 in Olympia. Michel expects to add a fourth race to the series next year.


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