WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — With several major events canceling left and right due to COVID-19, many are wondering what lies ahead for the biggest event in Texoma that brings in thousands of cyclists from all over the world every year.
Officials with Hotter’N Hell said it will go on as planned, but with certain restrictions in place, it makes it difficult to train for this tough ride.
“I’ve been involved with the Hotter’N Hell for a long time,” Hotter’N Hell participant Mark Beauchamp said. “One way or another since it’s inception so I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ridden in it. Quite a few.”
In the past Mark Beauchamp would train by running, riding up to about 200 miles a week, and doing the elliptical at the gym. All in preparation for Hotte’N Hell Hundred. However, in light of COVID-19 and new shelter-in-place restrictions that have closed gyms, he’s forced to find other ways to train.
“Last Saturday I ran my very first virtual half marathon,” Beauchamp said. “It was considered the Irving half marathon but I ran it right here in Wichita Falls at the Circle Trail, solo. I used social media, I used the phone app to track my results and turn my results in.”
Founder of Hotter’N Hell Hundred Roby Christie said this widely anticipated event will go on as planned, But of course, that could change.
“We are reminded of a position that we’ve held for a number of years with our medical director that we make no decisions that deal with the health of our participants,” Christie said. “As it might apply to the heat, how hot it gets, the medical director can cancel the event. So, if there are conditions outside of our control and it has to do with medical decisions then it’s going to be our medical director and beyond him, of course, we are going to obey the law.”
For Beauchamp, he hasn’t considered not participating.
“We just adapt,” Beauchamp said. “Everybody is adapting to a new reality.”
Hotter’N Hell starts on Aug. 29, 2020. Early registration numbers show close to 1,300 which is around normal numbers, according to Christie.
The future of the ride will be decided 30 days prior to the event. Up until then, it will be business as usual. If you need to get gear or your bike repaired the bike stores in town are open.