Virtual York 38 Special brings new challenges for competitors

Posted at 2:05 PM, Aug 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 08:34:10-04

Competitors in the annual York 38 Special event have until October 15, 2020 to complete the virtual ride. Competitors are tasked with completing the event with no aid stations, and more importantly, with no people around.

"As you ride the course, you'd see people from town that you know and people you ride with,” says Mark Schoenfeld, a competitor in the York 38 Special. 2020 marks his 12th year in the ride. “That's the best part of the race is to see all these people come out. So, the big difference is going to be that there's not going to be those people out there"

Mark brought along his family to serve as aid throughout the race. Another added challenge to the race this year is more weight. No aid stations means competitors are responsible for bringing their own food and other necessities.

"I don't normally wear a backpack on this ride,” says Darrel Stordahl, another competitor. “We just have a bottle holder and get [water] from station to station. So, this time we had to pack like three liters of water each."

2020 marks Darrel and Jerri’s 10th year competing in the York 38 Special as a couple. Even in a pandemic, the couple still had to finish their 10th ride.

"We had to get to 10 years. Maybe we can retire now," laughs Jerri Stordahl.

"It's different but it's been a great thing because you can get out and ride your bike to train and be away from people. So, biking has been a good thing through the pandemic," says Darrel Stordahl.

All proceeds go to the York Volunteer Fire Department. In 2020, they hope to raise about $40,000.

The York Volunteer Fire Department says they hope to use the money to fix one of their three, damaged engines. The Chief says the other two engines have to be completely replaced.

You can register for the York 38 Special here.