Henry Dashes to Davos record
VAIL “Jay Henry had everyone talking after Wednesday’s Davos Dash.
In the 24th edition of the race, part of the Vail-Beaver Creek Mountain Biking Series, Henry not only obliterated 17-minute mark, but smashed the old record of 17, minutes, 17 seconds, with a scorching 16:46.
“I wanted to break the record, but I didn’t think I would be under 17 minutes,” Henry said.
The previous mark had stood for 13 years, set by Paul Willerton, who was on the U.S. National Team for five years during the 1990s.
“I felt good. I’ve actually been able to rest all week,” Henry said. “The last few years, I’ve had adventure races the weekends previous to Davos, so I’ve been pretty wrecked. I was fresh. I figured if there was a year to break the record, this would be the one.”
In addition to rest, Henry said that good trail conditions and a calm wind helped his cause.
“That’s the most ridiculous time. I can’t imagine that. I can’t imagine making it up that mountain in 16 minutes,” said Billy Poole, who won the Men’s Sport competition in 20:43. “Four minutes faster, and I was going as hard as I could.”
Henry doesn’t think that his mark will last 13 years, as Willerton’s did.
“It will be less than 13 years before Christian (Kloser) breaks it,” he joked. “I’m thinking like three.”
The Davos Dash is only 3.52 miles long, but it’s 1,321 feet up during that short span.
“You’ve just got to keep at it,” said Women’s Beginner rider Beth Johnston. “Look 2 feet ahead and just keep going. Don’t look further than that.”
While the run is physically draining, Poole said the race is a mental competition as well.
“You can say, ‘Drink a lot of water. Eat a bunch of carbohydrates and make sure you’re body’s ready.’ But I think a lot of it’s mental too,” he said. “A lot of people come out here and have done the race a lot. They know what they expect themselves to do. I think that the majority of things in life is overcoming things mentally. That way, you can step it up a minute or two.”
The reward of the race comes with its completion and the view from the top of Davos Trail.
“It’s beautiful up there,” Johnston said. “It’s definitely worth going up. You can see all the way downvalley.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Davos Dash winners
Men’s Pro: Jay Henry 16:46
Women’s Pro: Gretchen Reeves 22:07
Men’s Expert: Sean Malloy 19:48
Women’s Expert: Toni Axelrod 24:24
Men’s Vet Expert: Adam Plummer 20:31
Women’s Vet Expert: Paisley Frisccholz 25:16
Men’s Vet Sport: Mike Bradley 22:35
Men’s Masters: Peter Davis 20:59
Men’s Sport: Billy Poole 20:43
Women’s Sport: Johauna Healy 24:25
Men’s Beginner: Kirk Johnston 23:42
Women’s Beginner: Annemarie Wall 25:35
Men’s Singlespeed: Mike Skellion 19:24
Junior: Christian Kloser 23:15
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