Friday, April 4, 2014

God's Country Report

The off-road season around here has started in earnest.  Plenty of events to satisfy most fat tire lovers.
The God's Country Fat Tire Festival got things started.  By the looks of the full transition off-road multi-sport could have a future. A record number of entries for the 12th annual event.  A small amount of snow fell the night before the big event but this did not stop most from coming out and taking on the challenge. 
I was actually very surprised at the turnout for the mornings off-road duathlon.  Last year we had snow before the MTB race and turnout was only about 30% of normal.   Runners are hard core.
The run course was changed up a little and routed separately to keep them off the bike course for the second run.  Basically it was 1 mile of single track and 1 mile of levee.  I would have liked 100% single track, but I think it worked out o.k.

Course conditions for the cycling legs were awesome for the all the short course racers.  Some said it was a little icy in sections.  I was very bummed that I could not race.  I love those type of conditions.  I just wish there were more events held during the winter and early spring, especially multi-sport events like off-road duathlon.  

 Art King enjoys the rewards of the day........A big Thank You to the Lawrence Mountain Bike Club and all the volunteers that came out the week prior to the event to help restore the trails. 

How I wanted to earn a bottle of champagne.  Duties prevented that, but plenty of others got to take home some cool awards.  I always struggle to try and come up with prizes/awards.  Hopefully those that did earn an award liked them. 
I did not think we would need sides on the tent, but mother nature proved me wrong once again.  It was very cold on race morning and having a heated area for signup was a life saver for our signup crew.  Thank you to Roger Harrison for the heat once again.

Hopefully no one needed to visit Cliff Jones and the Lawrence Mountain Bike Patrol on this day.

 The big winners of the day.  Renee Thierry won the overall long course in 2:25 and Tige Lamb back on top with a 1:55.

The second event of our fat tire festival was the mountain bike time trial.  After last years poor turnout for the traditional cross country race I was not even going to have a MTB race.  There was just not enough resources nor volunteers for a two day event.  I then thought of what type of event we could have after the duathlon.  The only two events that I could think of was a short track or time trial.  I decided on the TT mainly because I like racing against the clock and the other is we could crown the King and Queen of the Lawrence River trails.  Forget all the Strava crap, the "Race of Truth" is the only way to find out your best time. 
I only expected about 50 riders to signup for the TT.  To my disbelief we actually had 126 register.  Due to the snow in the morning, cold temps and some duathletes who decided they would not try to double up,  we ended up 99 finishers in the mountain bike time trial.  After some hard negotiation on my part we ended up with sending riders off in 30 second intervals.  Overall I think the format worked out well. 
The Kings and Queen of the Lawrence River Trails.  Garet Steinmetz laid down the fastest time of the day covering the entire 10 mile Lawrence River Trail system (with new sand section) in 35:24.  That is a super fast time my friends and is the new official record time on the LRT.  Jason Knight took second in 37:55 and Kent McNeil made the trip down from Nebraska pay off with third place in 38:00.  The Queen of the LRT is non other than Karen Brocket in a time of 47:25.

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