Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

May 4, 2014

Wakeley wins third straight Mud, Sweat and Beers title

TRAVERSE CITY — Jorden Wakeley is the king of the mountain.

Mt. Holiday, that is.

Wakeley was the first to cross the finish line at the fifth annual Mud, Sweat and Beers on Saturday, winning his third straight Pro/Elite men's crown on a cold, wet and muddy course.

The women's race saw a reversal of the top two finishers from the year before as Bridgett Widrig beat Hagerty Racing teammate and defending champion Laurie Brockmiller for her first win in the Pro/Elite division of the race to benefit Mt. Holiday.

Wakeley's time of 1:21:11 was about 10 minutes slower than last year's as organizers tweaked the course and riders also had to battle with a tougher race due to consistent, and at times, heavy rain that made the track a quagmire in some spots.

"It was a tough one," Wakeley said of the course. "It was like a slip and slide out there. Lot of nasty, slick corners out there on the single track."

Wakeley, from Grayling, said it was a good feeling to win his third title in a row.

"I like this race. I like the cause. It's kind of like a hometown race for me. It's not too far from home. Got a lot of friends over here," said Wakeley.

As he had planned, Wakeley stormed out of the gates on the climb up Mt. Holiday. Matt Acker joined Wakeley in the early going until Wakeley created some space between the two as they reached the single track.

"I hit the single track off the pavement first and put the hammer down," said Wakeley. "I gapped Matt right away and just kept the pressure on and never saw him after that."

Acker, who was third in 2013, tried to make up some ground after he lost sight of Wakeley but was unable to close in, though he managed to stay closer than any competitor did at last year's race, when Wakeley torched the field by four minutes. Acker was second in 1:23.16.

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