This year the collaborated effort by the Rock Island Riders made this event possible.
“The Rock Island Riders is whoever comes together here to help with the event,” said Ed Ung, coordinator of the Mauna Kea 200. “We have no board of directors, no officers. It is a collaborative effort of guys who just love to ride. Through the love of the sport we have become good friends over the years. A lot of us here are regular family men, some of us are retired, some of us are handicapped even.”
Once the race gear and helmets are off you finally get to see the faces of the riders of the island’s premier dirt bike event and you may be amazed to see such diversity in the age of the riders, from under 18 to over 68 years old, men and women, all trying to conquer the mountain and forest trails. Many riders came over with trailers full of bikes from around the state and a handful from the mainland to do this prestigious and spiritual ride.
“The race was good, everybody came back safely, nobody broke down, and nobody ran out of gas…it was a good turnout,” said Alika Adrick, a racer from Oahu’s North Shore, who came over with 15 of his friends. “There were a few crashes but nothing major. It was great and wonderful scenery. I think the best view is when you reach the top of the other side of the mountain because you can see everything. When you get higher up you are racing above the clouds and that was pretty cool, literally.”
One of the main concerns about the race was by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which was on hand for most of the day making sure that they abided to the laws of their permit. Many of the pu’u on Mauna Kea are sacred sites and have signs to make sure people that do use the trails regularly do not ride upon them.
“We put sign up, but people shoot the signs or they just disobey the signs and go right on up. DLNR cannot be out here all of the time, we are just too short-handed, we really need the help of the community, the riders of the community to help us police this mountain,” said Irving Kawashima from the DLNR. “There are tracks going up and down the pu’u, which is very sacred to the Hawaiian people. There is just too much cross country travel and the mountain is just becoming more and more scared up.”
Kawashima was pleased with the how well the race was run and had no problems with any of the racers in the Mauna Kea 200. There were many divisions for the racers to choose from but the main prize is the overall win with the combined times of the forest and mountain trails. Robledo, 18, won the overall prize this year riding the No. 12 dirt bike.
“It felt pretty good this year,” Robledo said. “I passed everybody that was in front of me (smiling). I have been training every Sunday riding, I hit the gym three days a week and have been eating healthy and staying healthy. Mark Morrison sponsored me with my gear this year, my two sets. Many thanks to everyone that helped me through the year to get here.”
A job well done for the young speedster leaving everyone else in the fine mountain dust. No. 31, Chris Powell, was stoked to have been able to participate.
“I just really wanted to extend our aloha to the people of the Big Island for extending their aloha to us, especially Rock Island Riders,” Powell said. “The job that they did putting this event together is mind-boggling because of how much work it is. We really appreciate them and it was really a great experience. I know that they have been cutting trails really hard this year and it was just beautiful.”
Mauna Kea 200 results
1st: Ian Robledo – 6:34:20
2nd: Joshua Lau – 6:57:12
3rd: Erickson Hinano – 7:13:45
1st: Mark Holta – 6:21:03
2nd: John Bega – 6:21:28
3rd: Gary Scott Simmons – 6:28:45
1st: Ian Robledo – 1:29:27
2nd: Brandon Gellert – 1:34:54
3rd: Cinco Young – 1:38:20
1st: Gary Scott Simmons – 1:46:34
2nd: Gerald Iwankiu – 1:47:09
3rd: Russ Joforth – 1:49:09
1st: Kea Sasaki – 2:03:33
ATV A Class
1st: Kevin Gardner – 1:30:38
2nd: Gary Duarte – 1:31:50
3rd: Chad Yamamoto – 1:41:15
1st: Apryl Sasaki – 2:11:46
2nd: Jennifer Henderson – 2:27:34
A Class: Ian Robledo – 8:04:07
B Class: Gary Scott Simmons – 8:15:19
Al Stiglemeier: 9:50:03
The race this year was a two-day event, which started early May 23 at the newly cut trailhead in Glenwood. This year the forest section of the race, solely designated for dirt bikers, was extended, harder and even more devastating for the racers. More competitors failed to finish the race compared to all of the other years because of the forest portion of the course. Day two, it was up to the mountain where the races started early at Mauna Kea State Park. Here the more versatile ATVs were also able to race. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as riders took their mark and revved off into the dusty mountainside of the giant volcano. The dust settled as they headed around the twisty trails of the summit hoping for a win or at least a finish.