SANDPOINT — There were a lot of impressive numbers on Saturday during the 6th annual CHAFE 150 fundraising ride in Sandpoint.
A total of 246 riders took part in the event, coming from around the Northwest and beyond.
The temperature crept as high as 91 sweltering degrees during a long day in the saddle of a bicycle.
Svein Nostdahl and Jeff Perry completed the scenic 150 mile loop together in 7:35.18 to finish first overall, while Suzanne Kaplan was the top female finisher in 7:56.48.
Steven Tyson averaged 21.9 miles per hour to finish first in the 80-mile loop, clocking a tidy 3:39.44 to win by more than 20 minutes.
Impressive numbers, the lot of them, but the most important figure is still being calculated: How much money will be raised for students of the Lake Pend Oreille School District on the autism spectrum.
For the first year ever, Sandpoint Rotary put on the event and the beneficiary is local students and families affected by autism. Thanks to a bevy of local sponsors stepping up to help cover the costs of the event, organizers are expecting a big payday as pledges and donations raised by the riders continue to trickle in.
“We’ve exceeded all expectations. It’s been the best ride ever,” said Elana Westphal, a Sandpoint Rotarian and the PR chair for the ride. “It was exciting seeing the riders come in who had battled this great heat. People were in line to get food after riding 150 miles and they’re saying ‘thanks for helping these kids.’”
Ride originator Brad Williams believes more than $20,000 could eventually be donated to LPOSD, thanks in part to stellar community support. Williams also lauded the behind-the-scenes work of Westphal and Mel Dick, each of whom put in countless hours to make the event a success.
While the event is timed, Williams believes it is still far more of a ride than a race, with most people just out to enjoy themselves. Prizes are awarded to the top fundraisers, not the top finishers. Williams has ridden in five of the six events, and says it’s the scenic route — which winds through Troy, Montana, the Bull River Valley and then back through Clark Fork along the shores of Pend Oreille — that speaks most to him.
“It’s such a magical stretch of highway, there are not many other places on the planet like it,” said Williams, who is excited by the early returns on the money raised. “It’s going to be a big pot that’s going to the Lake Pend Oreille School District.”
Nostdahl, owner of Sandpoint Sports, teamed with Bruce Trejos, owner of Sports Plus, and the visiting Perry on Team Cycling, which won the team event. Nostdahl said good nutrition, sticking together and a solid plan were the keys to finishing first, sticking in a small group where different riders could take turns pulling up front to reserve strength.
Even though nobody is techically racing, natural competitive instincts can take over as the ride nears the finish line. Nostdahl knew last year’s winner, Wayne Pignolet, was close for most of the race.
“We kept looking back, we knew Wayne was coming for us,” said Nostdahl, who called the finish line a relief and said the last 30 miles are the toughest. “It’s easy until Clark Fork, and it really starts to get grueling. You start to ache all over and the legs start to cramp.”
The heat was definitely a factor, as many of the 246 riders failed to finish. Organizers are hoping the event continues to grow in the future.
For more information and complete results, or to make a donation, visit “www.chafe150.org.”
n Chafe 150 top 25 finishers
1 — Svein Nostdahl, Sandpoint, 7:35.18.
2 — Jeffrey Perry, Sandpoint, 7:35.18.
3 — Kris Stanton, Spokane, 7:43.36.
4 — Wayne Pignolet, Sandpoint, 7:43.37.
5 — Brian Elkins, Ketchum, 7:47.29.
6 — Bruce Trejos, Sandpoint, 7:53.39.
7 — David Archibald, Spokane, 7:55.02.
8 — Suzanne Kaplan, Sandpoint, 7:56.48.
9 — Jon Harding, Sandpoint, 7:57.31.
10 — Tim Henney, Park City, 8:01.00.
11 — Thomas Woodley, Walla Walla, 8:16.18.
12 — Stephen Meyer, Sandpoint, 8:17.06.
13 — Justin Jensen, Sandpoint, 8:17.17.
14 — Jason Elder, Garden City, 8:22.48.
15 — Paul Nowak, Mead, 8:38.03.
16 — Stephen Smith, Wideloads, 8:49.58.
17 — David Paskoff, Sandpoint, 9:03.23.
18 — Chris Gulick, Renton, 9:07.58
19 — Jay Buck, Sandpoint, 9:21.13.
20 — Stephen Nold, Calgary, 9:26.40.
21 — Adam Starkey, Moscow, 9:37.22.
22 — Jacob Styer, Sandpoint, 9:37.23.
23 — Jim Mellen, Sandpoint, 9:37.24.
24 — Brynn Williams, Sandpoint, 9:45.12.
25 — Mike Ohagan, Richland, 9:45.23.
n Half Chafe top 20 finishers
1 — Steven Tyson, Sandpoint, 3:39.34.
2 — Keith Robertson, Bothell, 4:03.54.
3 — Mike Schrankel, Hood River, 4:17.03.
4 — Ross Longhini, Sandpoint, 4:20.47.
5 — Katie Cox, Sandpoint, 4:20.50.
6 — Mitch Lamb, unknown, 4:20.50.
7 — Patrick Liddy, Montrose, 4:30.46.
8 — Andrew Schiller, Montrose, 4:30.47.
9 — Ken Mills, Cd’A, 4:32.12.
10 — Mark Hayden, Cd’A, 4:32.13.
11 — Carlo Pati, Sandpoint, 4:35.55.
12 — Erick Walker, Sagle, 4:40.58.
13 — Dean Kyriakos, Sandpoint, 4:44.11.
14 — James Howeth, unkown, 4:56.37.
15 — Kelly Haberman, Asotin, 4:59.41.
16 — Brad Lang, Sagle, 4:59.54.
17 — Dan Wanous, Cocolalla, 4:59.57.
18 — Beth Martin, Cd’A, 5:00.11.
19 — Robert Phillips, Sandpoint, 5:03.34.
20 — Julie Meyer, Sandpoint, 5:14.28.