WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Thousands of cyclists were at the starting line on Scott Avenue this morning preparing for the take off for Hotter’N Hell Hundred.
The support of riders and the help from volunteers go hand-in-hand to make this event a success.
As Hotter’N Hell Weekend gets under way, many cyclists like Sanna Younger, who finished first in the Category 1 Women’s 100 mile race, are happy to be back for another year.
“I feel fantastic,” Younger said. “That’s kind of a dream, I think, always that you can breakaway and cross the finish line all by yourself, so that’s always the goal.”
Although Covid had a big impact on the number of races Younger was able to participate in last year, it didn’t affect her performance in Saturday’s 100 mile race one bit.
“2020 — the beginning, I did two races, but then [the] pandemic happened, so basically 2020 there were no races,” Younger said. “So this year — 2021 — was my first year that I raced all season, so it has been a lot of fun.”
Curtis Ross, a Hotter’N Hell participant for the past ten years, shares the same feeling.
“Missed it last year; it is something that I look forward to do every year, and when we couldn’t do it last year, it was sort of like an empty feeling because normally this is what you gear up for,” Ross said. “The excitement is here, the people are here and I’m thankful to be here.”
While the riders have the main spotlight, those working behind the scenes like Dale Lavender are vital to the success of Hotter’N Hell Hundred Weekend, too.
“What Terry and I do, along with others, we have motorcycles, and we provide security for the guys that go out and ride the 100km or the 130km, and we provide a safety shield against oncoming traffic and things like that,” Lavender said.
Both riders and volunteers say between the additions of new races and volunteer opportunities, the outreach of the Hotter’N Hell Hundred has grown over the years.
“Each and every year I’ve came, we’ve had more and more diversity here, and it’s something that is very encouraging,” Ross said. “I like to see my brothers and sisters out here as well as everybody else, so its been very enjoyable.”
Ross and others want to thank the volunteers for all that they’ve done to make the 40th year of Hotter’N Hell Hundred possible.
“If it wasn’t for the volunteers, we wouldn’t have this,” Lavender said. “All the volunteers inside giving out the packets, providing security inside the building and around; if it wasn’t for all the volunteers that do it, it wouldn’t happen.”
If you ask these riders what their favorite part of the weekend was, they’ll tell you that it is….
“Finishing,” Curtis Ross said.