Well I can’t say EVERYTHING went perfect, but I can say that it was an excellent race even with a few glitches.
So let me see if I can tell you the story of tracks n treads in less than 100 pages. Oh, quit moaning, I will keep it short.
As you know the weather this year has been more than crazy, we don’t know from day to day if it’s going to rain, sleet, snow, or be hot enough to jump in the pool. So as we were just 3 weeks out from the race, and we ended up with 12 inches of snow, I was more than a little worried about anyone showing up to race. Just a week before race day, we only had about 50 entrants, but then the weather got nice and by the closing of online registration, just two days before the race, we had 105 entries. After race day registration, we had 159 entrants. I guess I need to thank mother nature for that. The weather was perfect, in the low 60’s at start time and the trails both run and bike were in perfect condition.
In the past we have always gotten a lot more trail runners than biathlon, but this year was different, which makes me believe that the word is getting out to the mountain biking community that this is a great race. So here are the stats for the race.
Biathlon - 82 Male, 19 Female, 12 Team Male, 12 Team Co-ed
Trail Run - 10 Male, 12 Female
There are even more stats, which I love, but most people don’t so I won’t bore you with them. Thanks to Randy from Metro Milers for leading the timing team and getting me the stats.
Now that you have the stats let me tell you a little about the day. We had great volunteers that helped mark the course and setup the transition and finish line.
Wade did a great job making the finish line interesting with a hill and a cyclocross barrier to cross, and with red bike sculptures along the finish chute. I bet there is no other race that you can get an art exhibit with your race at no extra charge.
The barrier gave spectators plenty of entertainment, watching the variety of ways people crossed the barrier. This guy in particular was very cool.
|Cool Dude jumping the barrier|
All the pre-race setup was finished on Friday and on Saturday we just had to pull the race off. We started the day with late coming information about a 5K race starting and running on some of the same course as our bikers and the race start time was about the same time as our bikers would be coming through. Lucky for us Mike was able to reach the race director and workout a safety plan just before the race. We also found out about a canoe race so there were spectators all over the course. We adapted to the change and no one was hurt.
Racers showed up and got registered, picking up a very cool custom printed Camelbak water bottle and KIND bars.
The volunteers worked overtime getting everyone checked in. There were a couple bib number mix ups due to changes from trail run to biathlon, but other than that, everything went extremely smooth. Soon we had everyone in place and after some pre-race comments, we were ready to go. Oh wait, I have one story to tell at this point.
My daughter China and her friend Jordyn had one important job to do, it was to stand at the top of Whiteside hill with the police and make sure that no cars came through as the runners crossed the road. So Jeff, the Run Course Lead took them to their post and tells them what to do. Well as they stand there, they have a great idea to run to the car and get a blanket because it was kind of windy and they were cold. Being teenagers, they didn’t think to check the time, so they headed back to the car and Jorydn starts to cross the street out of the cross walk, China tells her not to J walk because you can get a ticket. They get to the overpass and see the runners take off, so they turn and start running as fast as they can to get back to their post, Jordyn is running for the cross walk and China yells “just J walk” so they cross the street and are only yards in front of the first runner, they barely make it to their post as the runners pass by.
|The Race has started|
They are so out of breath that they had no idea if there were cars coming or not, it’s just a good thing the police were there. They did go back and hand out water though, at least they were good at that.
|The volunteers that almost missed the race|
So as you can see, the race took off at a fast pace with Travis Redden and Garrett Fulkerson running neck and neck most of the run.
|Travis followed by Garrett|
Travis finished the run first and went through the finish chute, but then we noticed he was on a team, so he just ran about 200 meters out of his way and had to run over and tag his teammate. Russ quickly ran down to the tunnel to direct the runners to make sure that didn’t happen a second time. Garrett Fulkerson came in winning the trail run, with Renee Wilcox winning the female division of the trail run. Garrett ran a time of 27:07, while Renee finished in a smoking fast 30:52. These were both super fast times for the difficulty of the course.
More and more people headed out on bikes while trail runners finished the race, there was an incredible race going between the 1st and 2nd place overall all men, Anthony Dust and Matt Fulbright were racing it out for 1st overall with Anthony taking first in a time of 1:05:24 with Matt coming in just over a minute behind him. Melisa Lemus took 1st place for the women in a time of 1:10:22.
Another notable finish was our club president, Mike Wever. He competed in tracks n treads for the first time and had a pretty good finish for an old guy, but he couldn’t beat Pat or Keith, which means they will never let him live it down.
|Mike at the finish|
Soon it was time for the awards and other then one competitor’s time getting lost, due to a missing bib tag, all went well. Winners took home a really cool acrylic leaf.
We had several people taking photos and they can be found on the Team Godzilla website, along with the full results.
I want to take time to thank everyone involved with this race, the Cyclery and Fitness for coming out and helping with bike needs, Wild Tracks for loaning us their cyclocross barrier, Metro Milers for doing the race timing, SIUE for allowing us to hold this race on their beautiful campus and providing police protection, KIND for donating the very tasty and nutritious bars, that everyone loved, and of course GORC for building and maintaining great trails for us to ride and run on.
A special shout out goes to all those behind the scenes that do the work no one ever sees, thanks Jeff S, Mike W, Russ D, Mike H, Andrea M, Andrea W. And lets not forget the 40+ volunteers who were out there on race day.
2014 will be our 5th year for this event and we hope to make it our biggest and most memorable yet. I hope to see you next year.