by Jonathan Coy
This race is historically known for cold temps and wet weather but this year presented great conditions for racing. The team came out in full force and many riders, including myself, raced this course for the first time.
The race starts with an uphill climb on a paved road followed by a 90 degree turn onto singletrack approximately 1/2 mile into the race. Immediately following the turn is a steep technical climb where riders fight for position and often dismount during the climb. If you are not in good position at this juncture you can easily lose 30-60 seconds on the leaders.
Overall, the upper section of the course is flowy with small berms, short climbs and descents, some roots and large rocks to look out for, but nothing too technical. Passing can be challenging at times due to the single track but call out your passes and most will let you by.
The course changes significantly as you descend and get down by the river later in the race. There are several very technical sections of roots and rock gardens where it is not uncommon to “hike a bike.” There are additional sections were dismounting is required due to having to go through a fence and also cross over a wetland area where logs have been laid down for pedestrian traffic.
The course was very scenic but also poorly marked in several locations (a theme for this race that goes back many years). Many team members made wrong turns on the course as did others I spoke to after the race.
I recommend the race for those who are interested next year just be prepared to position yourself well at the front heading into the turn and be aware of the technical riding late in the race and that even the best of riders are likely dismounting some sections.
The course is friendly to all bikes depending on your preference. 29″ wheels will help your roll faster, and a full suspension will add some comfort but a hard tail is also completely fine.
We had a crew of 20 come out for the race and Cinco de Mayo afterparty! As usual, the ladies squad took home the most hardware! Congrats on the great placings and to everyone for completing a tough course!
- Julie O’Brien: 3rd Cat 1 Women
- Pierce Martin: 2nd Cat 2 Men 19-39
- Terry Mallon: 2nd Cat 2 Men 60+
- Taylor Kennedy: 1st Cat 2 Women 19-39
- Valerie Nussbaumer: 3rd Cat 2 Women 19-39
- Megan Barton: 1st Cat 2 Women 40-49 (Her first MTB race and the first lady across the line in all categories!)
- Lora Melkonian: 1st Cat 2 Women 50+
- Ian Stromquist: 2nd Novice Men 40-49
- Shawn Summersett: 1st Novice Men 50+ (first race!)
- Danny Schwarz: 3rd Clydesdale
- Holly LaRue 1st Singlespeed Women (needs more competition)
- Full Results
Race photos courtesy of Edward Knight