5 Time Champ Marland Whaley passes away unexpectedly!
Go HERE to listen to a recent interview with Marland about his life.
Marland L Whaley
Marland Whaley, 60 passed away June 27, 2019 at his home in Hamilton Montana of a cardiac arrest.
He was born July 3, 1958 in San Diego, CA the son of the late Marland E Whaley of Santee, California and the late Joan Myers of San Diego California.
Marland was an inspiration to many and larger than life. He was a hardworking and dedicated man who was always willing to help others. He lived every day with a purpose and goal. Marland started racing motorcycles at a young age, first with motocross, then motorcycle trials. He was a five time AMA Trials Champion in the years 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979 and 1980. Marland placed ninth in the 1979 world championships, his highest placing in the series.
Always moving forward, Marland left the sport while he was on top in 1980. He ran marathons, competed in a triathlon, and in his Montana years, mountain biked, hunted, backpacked, snowboarded, and cross country skied. His passion for mountain biking and competition led him to engage in many ultra-endurance and endurance races around the nation. Marland won the majority of the masters class races he entered, as well as placing in the top 10-20 overall. He won overall titles for the 12 Hours of Disco and Lolo 12 Hour races when he was still in his 50’s, outcompeting younger men. He won the masters class in both the 2013 National Ultra Endurance Series and 2018 Northwest Epic Series. He won the Epic Series after having back surgery the previous January.
Marland become a general contractor in California and quickly learned the trade as he did everything, becoming a successful builder. When his wife Dawn once asked him why he chose that trade he said “if being a carpenter was good enough for Jesus, it was good enough for me”. His attention to detail was to perfection, and nothing less. He retired from the trade in 2017.
In 1999 Marland and Dawn found each other at Calvary Chapel in Hamilton. From their first date they were inseparable. He offered to go to Coeur ‘D Alene and get married shortly after they met, but she needed a little time to get to know him. They were engaged 5 months later and were married April 8, 2000. It was the most perfect day in her memory, she was so happy to marry him that she cried all the way down the aisle. They wasted no time having adventures, starting with hiking and backpacking, hunting, and snowboarding, cross country skiing and always, dog walks. Then he bought her a mountain bike and was amazingly patient teaching her to ride. After few years, mountain biking became the primary sport they shared and loved, with too many wonderful ride memories to even put on paper. They couldn’t wait to get home from work just so they could see each other, walk the dogs, and ride. When they both retired, it was just a gift to each other so much every day, even with a few hours of separation from training rides. They would fist bump and say “retirement” and grin constantly. He loved his time riding, and then at home with Dawn, where their two favorite times of day were coffee time in the morning and family time in the evenings, where they would watch Youtube for anything cycling related. Not very many days went by in the past couple of years where Marland wasn’t listening to a cycling podcast, whether it was about racing, training, or nutrition. Many times Dawn would see him listening to a podcast on his phone while simultaneously looking at Strava or reading a cycling article on his laptop, with a bike race on Youtube playing on tv.
Marland was a devoted, self sacrificing, and proud husband, father and grandfather. He loved his daughters Kendra and Kiah very much and was so proud of their accomplishments. He had their photos everywhere and spoke with them both constantly. He teamed up with Kendra for the Lake Como Triathlon and teamed up with Kiah for the Glacier Challenge. He hiked, backpacked and rode with them, loving every minute he spent with his girls. He let everyone know that Kiah received her Master’s degree in teaching and Kendra fought her way back from Leukemia and was working on her degree as well. He treasured the time with his grandchildren and was always thinking of fun activities to do with them.
Marland was great son to his parents. He called them weekly until they both passed away, and especially enjoyed talking to his father. They would grumble about the state of the world, solve the world’s problems together and then say goodbye for the week. He had many things in common with his father, who taught him to ride a motorcycle at an early age and accompanied him to many motorcycle trials races in the US.
Marland is survived and loved by his wife Dawn of Hamilton, his daughters Kendra and husband Josh Fledderman, granddaughter Chasey and grandson Cade Fledderman of Snoqualmie WA, daughter Kiah and husband Joe Nisly , granddaughters Kiera and McKayl Nisly of Hamilton MT, Step-son Daniel Griffiths-Whaley and his wife Shiela of Corvallis MT, his Uncle John and Aunt Phyllis Achuff of El Cajon CA, cousins Tommy and his wife Jessica and daughter Cora Achuff of San Diego, CA, cousin Johnny Achuff of Florida, cousin Isla and her husband Cliff Hall of Aptos, CA, sisters Melissa and husband Scott Thomas of California, Margaret Weakly of San Diego CA and his beloved dog Uno of Hamilton.
A memorial service will be held Saturday August 24 at 10:30 a.m. at Red Barn Bicycles with Pastor Julian Lopez officiating. A reception will be immediately following the service. Guys, please feel free to wear shorts in honor of Marland.
The family suggests in lieu of flowers memorials to: Bitterroot Buckaneers MTB Team 874 Promise Lane Corvallis MT 59828, Team B Strong Leukemia & Lymphoma Light the Night Walk https://pages.lightthenight.org/sd/SanDiego19/Teambstrong, the Bitterroot Humane Association 262 Fairgrounds Rd, Hamilton MT.