By Sue George
Round six of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series will head to the mountains of northern Georgia this Saturday, August 16. The second-year Fool's Gold 100 will see racers tackle two loops of a 50 mile course.
In the men's race, Jeff Schalk and Jeremiah Bishop (both Trek / VW) are the two favorites although Tinker Juarez (MonaVie Cannondale) may also make an appearance. Schalk has already won four NUE rounds this season and is well on his way to an overall series win while Bishop won both the US National marathon and short track championships in July. Local Thomas Turner is expected to challenge Schalk and Bishop.
The race will be without 24 hour solo champion Chris Eatough (Trek / VW) and past NUE Series winner Harlan Price. Price recently broke his wrist and will likely also miss the Shenandoah Mountain 100 in two weeks.
In the women's race, Cheryl Sornson is the favorite, but she will face last year's winner Trish Stevenson and Namrita O'Dea.
"We are really excited to be hosting such a talented field of riders for both the 50 & 100 milers," said promoter Eddie O'Dea. "Cheryl Sornson will no doubt be challenged by Trish Stevenson and Namrita O'Dea. Bishop & Schalk could be very surprised by Turner's abilities."
The 50 mile race is expected to draw 200+ racers and more will be on hand to participate in the weekend's festival, which is doubling as a fundraiser for local trails.
"We are stoked about raising funds to help IMBA-SORBA and the US Forest Service build more trails and improve the ones we have. If all goes well, I'll even get join in on one of the festival rides on Sunday!" said Eddie O'Dea.
The O'Deas reported that the weather is likely to be much milder than the inaugural edition in 2007. Forecasted temperatures are for 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a very slight chance of rain.