A rainy Headwaters 100
By Sarah Smith
Nearly 400 cyclists braved cold driving rains Saturday as the Headwaters 100 event rolled through the soggy countryside.
Riders from nine states and two Canadian provinces came to ride one of three routes consisting of 42, 75 and 100 miles.
Shannon Barnett, an event organizer with Itascatur, said that people were still excited to ride Saturday morning. Some cyclists were waiting at the door before 6 a.m.
The granddaddy, century race, saw the most decline in participation, but riders were unfailingly cheery out on the routes and 100 riders finished the long route.
“Is the rain bothering you?”
“It actually feels good!” said one rider.
Some admitted to quitting early so they could go back to their motel rooms, have a hot shower, dry off and warm up.
Rider Kari Osmondson blogged, “A Century Ride Ruined!”
“It literally rained pretty much all morning and afternoon,” Osmondson wrote. “I decided the 42- mile option would be best for me as I wasn’t going to force myself to be miserable all day trying to do 100 miles in the rain. Boy, did I make the right decision. The first rest stop was 16 miles in and it was downhill from there as I became very cold, wet, and just plain tired of the rain beating down on me!”
She still had a good time in Park Rapids, though.
“Regardless of the weather the weekend was a blast with tons of laughs,” she added.
Another rider praised the volunteers for an excellent ride.
“Thank you guys for the AMAZING job you did at organizing this event!” said Moneer Rifai on Itascatur’s Facebook page. “This is my first Itasca 100 and it was a blast! I would do it again even if the weather was much worse because that only makes it more memorable and gives you a better sense of accomplishment. I was blown away by how perfectly and smoothly everything went. A big big thank you for all the volunteers and everyone that helped and donated their time and energy. Definitely coming back next year.”
Other riders were stoic about the conditions, having ridden in many scenic, colorful events in past years when they wished for cooler conditions.
It was nearly a peak weekend for leaves changing colors, and many riders took note of the scenery that wound from Itasca State Park through Lake George, Akeley, Nevis and Park Rapids, Dorset and Emmaville.