The best run race occurred this past weekend up in Wyoming at Curt Gowdy, about 1 hour 15 from Fort Collins. What makes it the best? It was a cumulation of so many things that made this race incredible.
Let's start with the price. An 8-hour race that cost only $45. Compare that to a 20 minute race with the Mountain States Cup (MSC) series for the same price. With that, each racer also received a t-shirt. And not a white t-shirt either, a nice looking earth color quality t-shirt. They even had smalls and extra-smalls available! I think they even had a couple of female-cuts too.
The race starts with a LeMans style of running down the parking lot to pick up your bike before heading up an off-road track to get to the single track. With a limit of 99 riders max (not teams, riders), the field easily spread out on the 8.2 mile course with about 1,500' climbing per lap. The course was an awesome selection of technical singletrack, challenging even the best riders up and over rock formations and over tree roots. There was also plenty of room to pass in most sections between the technical areas.
At the staging area, there was a full smorgasboard of food and drink available: Gaterade, Heed, fruit roll bars, nut bars, 3 types of Hammer bars, donuts, those little fish crackers, graham crackers, bagels and cream cheese and two types of homemade soup! Yes - free soup! And later in the race came the hamburgers, hotdogs, and veggie burgers along with soda, beer, chips, cookies, and brownies. This was one race that's worth not doing solo simply to enjoy the amenities at the staging area!
And there's more - awards. Although they only give official awards to the top person/team in each category, that can be forgiven based on the limited number of racers accepted into the race. But then the shwag give-away began. They cut up each person's name into a bag and continually picked names to win shwag: from hats and socks to chains, air pumps, tires, bike stands, and a full wheel set. Probably 90% of those who stuck around for the awards walked away with something.
And the best part - the friendliness of everyone there! Mingling with racers and staff and volunteers throughout the day gave the sense of family gathering for a wonderful event. Kudos to the race directors for putting on such an amazing event, and kudos to Todd and staff for building such amazing trails at Curt Gowdy!
The Team Cuteness gives this race an A+ - the full report card for this race is available at: http://teamcuteness.com/wordpress/?page_id=234
1st Single-speed - 9 laps Anthony Mannina
2nd Single-speed - 8 laps Clint Knapp
3rd Single-speed - 8 laps Chad Nelson
1st Solo Male - 9 laps Michael Schoenly
2nd Solo Male - 9 laps Andy Leifer
3rd Solo Male - 9 laps John Hughes
1st Solo Female - 8 laps Natalie Ryan
2nd Solo Female - 7 laps Julia Kintsch
3rd Solo Female - 6 laps Amy Robillard
1st Coed - 9 laps Pro Cycling (Dan and Kara Durland)
2nd Coed - 9 laps Wright Stuff (Dave and Coreen Wright)
3rd Coed - 8 laps Team Stern (Tim and Roslyn Stern)
1st Male - 10 laps Trek Co-op/Yard-bird (Jason Haney and Tyson Kaman)
2nd Male - 10 laps NoCoSoWy (Evan O'Toole and Steven Stefko)
3rd Male - 10 laps Oskar Blues Brewery (Chad Melis and Jeremy Rudulf)
Full results at: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AkKnDX26zeBkdGlpTVhEY1FZZWlzbF9hU3ZsTDIyc1E&hl=en#
and the details for the race at: http://laramieenduro.org/st8/
GPS info from Natalie Ryan: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/50570121?sms_ss=google