MRA Honors Its 2023 Champions At Their 50th Anniversary Awards Banquet.
Denver, CO – The Motorcycle Roadracing Association (MRA) held its 2023 annual awards banquet at the Olinger Cemetery Chapel, in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday, November 11th. Since this was the MRA’s 50th anniversary season, the club wanted to do something special for its members. The theme for this year’s event was a masquerade ball, which saw many racers, families, and friends embrace the theme by wearing exquisite masks and attire which added to the allure of the event.
For 2023, the MRA hosted and welcomed a full house of racers, staff, family, and friends to enjoy a nicely catered dinner from Rocky Mountain Catering & Events. The MRA is an organization that focuses on fostering strong relationships among friends and family, and tonight was no different. The evening’s program was filled with uplifting speeches, contagious laughter, humorous banter, and heartfelt expressions of congratulations that created an unforgettable and joyous atmosphere. Though recognition to all the top place holders is justly deserved, we would do the premier class (Race of the Rockies) a disservice if we did not note the passing of a torch. Ray Thornton, of Edgewood, New Mexico, took the crown away from Mike Applegate to claim the #1 plate for the 2024 season. Congratulations to Ray!
In addition to honoring the top 5 of each class, the MRA has special awards for extraordinary contribution and service. Chris Nami was awarded the Bob Heaton Distinguished Service award for his long and continuing dedication to the MRA. For the past 3 seasons, Chris has admirably served as the club’s president, but his dedication spans over 20 remarkable years, during which he has played an invaluable role in shaping the MRA into the exceptional organization it is today. Tirelessly devoting countless hours, Chris has consistently coached and guided new riders, mentored previous and current board members, and wonderfully represented the world of motorcycle racing as our esteemed ambassador. As Chris concludes his tenure as president, we cannot express enough gratitude for his selfless service and unparalleled leadership. Thank you Chris!
Sportsman of the Year went to James Wilkerson, who also was recognized as RoR #5 for 2023. Rookie of the Year was awarded to Holcom Stewart, and the Katherine Burke Memorial Cornerstone Award was presented to Angela Wilkerson for her actions and unique contributions that demonstrate her commitment to the MRA. Finally, The Carl Sorensen Memorial Award was presented to Dennis Stowers. The Carl Sorensen Memorial Award is given to the winner of the Thunderbike class each year. Created in 2015 by former MRA President Jim Wilson and the Sorensen Family, it honors Carl’s contribution to the club and his enthusiasm for the class. Congratulations to James, Holcomb, Angela, and Dennis.
Finally, the MRA would be remiss if we did recognize and honor the passing of our founder Woody Witte during this prestigious event. An avid racer and fierce competitor, Woody founded the Motorcycle Road Racing Association shortly after moving to Colorado in 1973. His goal was to create a safer environment for racers, and through his hard work and dedication, the MRA has had 50 years of success. We would like to honor and thank Woody for his contribution to The MRA and the motorcycle racing world.
The Motorcycle Roadracing Association is dedicated to promoting safe and competitive motorcycle road racing events for enthusiasts in Colorado and the surrounding area. For more information go to http://www.mra-racing.org/.