Foot power: YAMBA geared up for cycling season



It is easy for this column to lean toward running, simply because there are so many runners and races in this region to write about. However, Footpower was never intended to be biased. Diversity is welcomed and encouraged.


So with that in mind, today let’s talk about something else, since spring is not just a rebirth of the running season. It’s also a time to break out those bikes, pump up the tires, check the brakes, and hit the roads and trails.


For those who don’t know, we do have a mountain biking organization here in York County, and if you are a rider, they are seeking you.


YAMBA is that organization, and the acronym stands for York Area Mountain Biking Association. It was founded on Dec. 21, 2000, with just three founding members. Since then, it has grown to over 500 members.


According to the YAMBA Website at, it is an affiliate of the International Mountain Bike Association and is currently the second-largest IMBA affiliated club in Pennsylvania.


YAMBA offers riders a chance to get together on group rides and other functions, but its mission statement is to promote the conservation of the trail systems within the York County Parks to ensure the longevity of trail access for all trail users. To accomplish that goal, YAMBA works with the York County Parks system to help maintain trails and educate all trail users.


The group was hard at work in the past two months to help clean up the trails that were hit hard by this long, difficult winter. The ice storms, in particular, took a heavy toll on the local trails.


YAMBA spent the bulk of its time at Rocky Ridge County Park and William Kain County Park, with the latter hit the hardest, club president Dan Walko said.


“YAMBA is very proud of the contributions we made to clean up the trails,” Walko added. “There were literally hundreds of downed trees and branches blocking just about every trail in William Kain Park. Rocky Ridge was slightly less severe but still had damage that required walking every trail with a chain saw.


“YAMBA volunteers spent over 450 hours clearing trails at the two parks. We are happy to announce that all trails in both parks are now passable. Although we have thanked our volunteers multiple times already, we just wanted to pass on another thank you to everyone who assisted in this unprecedented mess on the trails at the county parks.”


Walko also said that YAMBA is not done yet. The group will be planning more work sessions this spring and summer to repair areas of trails that were damaged by uprooted trees.


Of course, all work and no play would not draw many new members. So besides providing an invaluable community service, YAMBA does offer some fun activities to its members as well.


For example, it has partnered with Gung Ho Bikes in York to offer beginner rides every Wednesday at 6 p.m. Anyone is welcome to attend, no one is left behind and all rides have a leader.


Advanced rides will be offered at least every other week with additional group rides scheduled on weekends, weather permitting.


Meanwhile, Gung Ho Bikes is hosting a Specialized demo day at Rocky Ridge on May 7 from 4 to 7 p.m.


You can follow YAMBA’s activities on Facebook or check out for more details. If interested in becoming a member, the fee is $20 for an individual and $30 for a family. Contact Walko at 434-3409 or for more information.

Around the roads


Movie Madness >> This unique half-marathon took place April 19 at the Northeastern High/Middle School complex.


The race started with “Lights, Camera, Action,” and movies were the theme throughout. Many runners dressed up in movie-themed costumes for a chance to win a Movie Madness “Oscar-style” trophy. They crossed the red carpet like a movie star at the finish line.


Ned Einsig took top honors, finishing in 1:26:36, not far in front of runner-up Mike Sawyer, who came in at 1:26:55. Devin Moyer was third in 1:32:45.


On the ladies’ side, things were not as close, as York’s Brenda Hodge cruised to the victory in 1:33:40. Jennifer Buffington was second in 1:37:13, and Kelsey Green placed third in 1:37:25.



New shoes >> In the months ahead, U.S. Road Running will be hosting the Shoe House 5-Miler Series again, with races on June 14, July 12 and Aug. 6. The Pirate Half-Marathon is slated for Oct. 25. Check out for more information.



Track officials needed >> The White Rose Chapter of Track & Field Officials is in need of new blood. The group is seeking interested people that are available at 3:30 p.m. weekdays to work at local high schools for dual meets. The pay ranges from $65-150 per meet, depending on the job and the meet.


Potential positions available include throwing events, jumping events, and finish line timing and starter. If interested, the White Rose Chapter will help you become a PIAA official. Contact Ron Shiding (764-3671 or or Lynn VanHouwe (852.9269 or for more details.



SPRRC Summer Series >> The South Penn Road Runners will start its Summer Series May 6 with a 4.9-mile handicapped run at Long Arm Dam. Runners will meet at 7 p.m. at the parking lot near the end of Beck Mill Road.


Each series event is open to anyone, and every race is handicapped in some manner to give everyone a chance to win. Details on the series are available at


The club also announced the date for its annual Trails 4 Tails 40-mile run and relay. This year it will be held on Sept. 20. Details are available at


Contact club president Kev Hawn at if you have any questions about any of these events.



Torch Run >> This 5K race is slated for Saturday at John Rudy Park in York. Race time is 9:30 a.m. Contact Hal Darr at for more details.



Walk for Life >> Human Life Services will be hosting this event on May 17 at Cousler Park in Manchester Township. There will be a 5K run or a walk for participants to choose from. For more details, call 854-7615, ext. 29.



Boston Marathon >> One runner was missed in the results from this race in last week’s column. Tyler Dye from McSherrystown finished Boston in 2:44:57.

Upcoming events


CerebRun Mid-Atlantic Challenge >> This unique event is slated for May 10 at Grimmel Farms in Delta. The CerebRun is an event that combines running with other physical challenges. The race is anywhere from 6-8 miles, and it includes 15 different obstacles and eight route-altering puzzles. The answer to each puzzle or problem determines the distance and the difficulty of a CerebRunner’s race.


For more details, or to register, check out the official website at Organizers are offering Footpower readers a $10 off coupon: Just type in “FootPower2014.”



Pink in the Park >> This is a Breast Cancer Awareness Walk and it is scheduled for May 10 at John Rudy Park. It is the eighth annual walk. Registration starts at 9:30 a.m. Contact Tina Dunlap at 793-4245 or for more details.



Relay for Life >> This 24-hour event to support the American Cancer Society will start at 4 p.m. on May 16-17 at Oakside Community Park in Biglerville. There is also a Survivor/Caregiver Ceremony on May 17 at 10 a.m.


People can contribute in many ways. You can join the Relay for Life Committee, be a volunteer, form a team, become a sponsor, and/or join the Survivor’s celebration. For more information or to volunteer, contact Jenna Klunk at or at 846-2561.



Run for the Bullies >> This 5K run will take place June 7 at John Rudy County Park. Race time is 9 a.m., and this event is a benefit for the dogs, literally, as it benefits the York County SPCA. Contact Summer Kunkel at or go to for more details.



Gold’s Gym 5K >> Golds Gym of Hanover will be hosting a 5K to benefit the American Red Cross on June 8. Race time is 8 a.m. at the Golds Gym at 1665 Broadway in Hanover. There will be prize money to the top finishers, and early entry ends on May 1. Only preregistered runners will get a shirt. Call 752-0079 for more details, or email Mike Rabine at



Ladies’ Sprint Triathlon >> The YWCA is gearing up for the ninth annual running of the Ladies’ Sprint Triathlon on June 29. This year, race director Tara Neff reports that there will be even more options for women to enjoy.


The main event is the Sprint Triathlon, which is comprised of a 500-yard swim, a 15-mile bike leg, and a 5K run. For athletes who want a tougher test, there is the Super Sprint, which has the same length swim and run, but includes a 24-mile bike loop.


There is also a duathlon option, which sandwiches a pair of 5K runs around a 15-mile bike leg. Finally, for those women who only want to run, there will be a stand-alone 5K race for the first time.


“Swim Strong” classes are currently held at the YWCA on Tuesday evenings for interested triathletes. The workout is designed to improve stroke conditioning and efficiency.


For more info or to register, head to the YWCA site at, or contact Tara Neff at or 845-2631 (ext. 131).


M.C. Besecker covers local running and biking. Email him at

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