Monday, May 22, 2017

Lake Raystown Triathlon 2017 Race Photos

Meili and I accompanied Spencer to Lake Raystown this past weekend, for his Olympic distance race at the Lake Raystown Triathlon. This event is put on by the good folks at Flat Tire Bike Co based in Greensburg and after four years, Ashley Reefer (the boss) announced that the event is not returning next year. Lack of volunteers and low registration numbers was one of the reasons - Lake Raystown is over 2 hours away from Pittsburgh and Greensburg and it's hard to get anyone out there. I'm still hopeful things will change. The Pittsburgh Triathlon didn't happen this year, and Joella Baker's Mighty Moraine Triathlon took out the half iron distance this year... so if this Lake Raystown Triathlon ends, there won't be any half iron distance triathlons within a reasonable distance of us anymore. 

Anyway, I was roped in as a last minute volunteer photographer and took close to 400 photos. The photos can be viewed on my Facebook Lake Raystown Triathlon 2017 photo album. Obviously I'm not a pro. I tried my best, but the swim exit pics came out all crooked! I think the Finisher pics came out okay though. Finish pics are my favourite, and my favourite of all time is of myself (ha) at the finish line at the Desaru International Triathlon back in in 2011. The pic was taken by a photographer friend, and I feel it captures how I felt crossing the finish line while battling autoimmune illness. 

Speaking of volunteers, I am getting excited for my favourite event of the year happening October 28th - the Harrison Hills Park 5K/10K Halloween Trail Run 2017. Registration will soon be available on In the meantime, check out some pics from last year's event. There's food, fun, a costumed run out on one of the most beautiful trails in Allegheny County, and all for a great cause. 


Monday, November 17, 2014

RACE DIRECTOR'S WIFE'S REPORT: Harrison Hills 5K/10K 'Hill of a Trail Run' Race

NOTE: The actual Race Director, Spencer Clark, was not inclined to produce a Race Report - understandable as he has way too long a 'Honey Do' list to work on. So I'm just going to type up a brief one from my perspective.

Spencer has been dreaming of organizing a trail running race at the Harrison Hills Park for *years*. Last year he put in the (substantial) paperwork applying to the Allegheny County Parks head to do the race. He didn't hear back from them for the longest time, and actually received the go ahead for the race less than two months prior to Race Day.

He had to scramble to get everything together. Most of the pre-race work was done by him alone as there wasn't time to ask around for volunteers for an organizing committee. He designed and printed race brochures, planned the race route, set up registration on, designed and ordered the finisher tee shirts, and about oh, a million other things that Race Directors do to make a race happen. I helped with publicity and Grace's Wok (that's me) sponsored the post-race hot meal for racers, plus about oh, a couple other little things that spouses of Race Directors do to make a race happen :)

Race route and Aid Stations
That was one of the biggies. We love running in the Park. IMO the trails are among the most scenic out there. Our favorite route is one that follows the perimeter of the Park - Red / Scout Trail - because it hits a few different natural habitats ie pond, old growth forest, open meadow, (lung busting) ridge line with gorgeous views of the Allegheny River and beyond. So that was our 5K route. To add a 10K to that 5K would have required many more hours of trail clearing and marking, volunteers to direct traffic/racers and so forth. Thus for this first year, Spencer planned on two loops of the 5K to make up the 10K.
Aid stations were available every 2.5 km, and stocked with water, gatorade and bananas. I think that was adequate. We did receive a complaint that there should have also been gels and oranges and more snacks provided, as many road races do nowadays. Same complainant also was unhappy about the lack of emergency medical service personnel at the event venue. o.O
Photo credit: Debi Nuttall

Trail work
Spencer did most of it with a leaf blower and weed whacker. He had great help from Ian Harell and Nick Barker. Probably about three days worth of trail work in all. Wood chips were dumped and spread over the muddy portions of the trail, which made for a clean, fast run. Directional signages were made and markers put out on the course the day before.

Sponsors are crucial to any successful fundraising event and given the limited time, the five sponsors we got really helped: Penn State New Kensington ($100), Grace’s Wok ($300 worth of hot meals for racers), Eric Shick Insurance (insurance worth $300), and $100 each from Sarver True Value , Don Goughler Executive Coaching, Dr Kathleen Hartford of Healthy Pyramid Longevity and Vitality Center. We hope to get more sponsors for next year for sure. Thank you sponsors!

Race registration, Fees and Publicity
Spencer decided to let handle the registration because he predicted (rightly) that he wouldn't have enough time to deal with checks and email registrations himself. That worked out well. 
To encourage people to sign up before the race, he set a very low $15 race fee. To encourage kids and youth to participate, he set their fee at $10. Even with the $25 race day registration fee, I think it was more than worth the money because that got you a race tee, hot meal, (likely) prize, plus a pristine trail run with aid stations. The only thing that didn't get you was a timing service (more on that later).
He designed a nice-looking race brochure that he handed out to coaches of the nearby cross-crountry school teams, Scouts groups, YMCAs and so forth. I posted the event on Facebook and other social media. The Friends of Harrison Hills mailer went out to about 500 folks on their mailing list. And we attended a few other running events to distribute our race brochures. 

Race Tee, Bib and Prizes
Spencer's creative side (usually not very apparent) came out in the design of the tee shirt. What a great tee. That took quite a bit of time, but not as much as when it came to trying to figure out how many shirts to order for the various sizes available. Oh man, that was challenging, particularly when he had very little idea how many racers were going to show up! In the end he decided on 60 tees, mostly sizes M and S, with a few youth sizes. 
RoadID gives up to 200 free numbered race bibs and Spencer took advantage of that. Very nice!
Prizes. Who knew these ribonned disks of metal would cost so much?! Spencer - frugal genius that he is - ended up ordering generic (but quality) 1st-3rd place medals and printing out labels for all the different age groups/categories that were affixed on the back of the medals. I think they looked decent!

Photo credit: Debi Nuttall

We cannot thank our volunteers enough for all of their time and effort. On race day, tons and tons of work was done by some really awesome volunteers. This race would not have happened without you. Thank you: Mardelle Kopnicky, Susan Goughler (registration /aid stations), Patrick Kopnicky, George Kurn, Benjamin Edwards, Brock Edwards (traffic control/aid stations), Denise Blackburn, Chris Nagy, Debi Nuttall, Mikayla Nuttall and Hunter Nuttall, Courtney Clark, James Jarvis, (food prep and service, post race clean up). 

Timing Service
Or lack of. With the $300-400 cost of a professional timing service, and not knowing how many participants we were going to get this first year, Spencer simply could not justify getting that timing service. He'd already taken on the risk of being in the hole by close to $1000 with the Race tees and Prizes. So he decided to use his laptop with a timing app to time racers, and as a backup, he would have the sequential tear off numbers from racers' race bibs. He did a few test runs of the app and it worked good. 
Then of course on race day, the app vanished from his laptop and was nowhere to be found... The laptop was rendered useless. Spencer ended up recording times going back and forth windows on his iPhone with its teeny screen. It was the Disaster of the Day and he took it very hard. The backup plan worked but was very tedious to record all the numbers as they came in, match up with the times and then identify the participant.
This epic fail, plus difficulty reconciling bib numbers and times for racers who had last minute  category switches (5K to 10K and back again, age groups), caused a delay of over 45 minutes for the Awards Ceremony. 
Never again. (see 'Moving Forward' below)

Post Race Food
As official sponsor of nutrition for athletes post-race, Grace's Wok (me), was totally overwhelmed that day. My little helper (baby Meili) went on strike. I had on the menu my usual fried rice, wontons and spring rolls. Plus, as I wanted to provide variety and concession type foods for athletes and families, I also planned for rigatoni, veg chili, naan bread with veg and chicken curries, hot choc and coffee, soda, cookies, sweet breads, and fries. Yes, fries. Fries were my downfall. I had only one fryer and that was occupied with fries for way too long, thus causing a backlog for wontons and spring rolls, which was of course what everyone wanted. The day's special was fried rice, one wontons and one spring roll for $5 - almost all the racers ordered that. We had order slips that seemed a mile long, and the line of folks waiting to order was 15 deep at one time. I think wait time was up to 20 minutes at one point. These were very patient folks. For that I am forever grateful.

Moving Forward
We have enough preliminary feedback that is positive, and we are planning to bring the race back next year - bigger and better.
Based on this year's numbers, we can hire a professional timing service without running a deficit. That's what we will do.
We want to continue encouraging early registration (it really helps planning for t-shirt orders, prizes and food), so plan to continue keeping the pre-registration fee low - possibly $15 for early bird, $20 for pre-reg, $30 for Race Day reg. What do you think?
We want to continue encouraging kids and youth to participate, so plan to keep the registration fee low for this group.
We want to keep this year's sponsors - including Eric Shick Insurance and Grace's Wok (ha!), and seek new sponsors too. Sponsors donate prizes, swag that goes into each racer's race packet, services, cash and etc. More sponsors mean better swag for racers and more of your race fees going towards the fundraising objective. Sponsors can also contribute to a better event experience by setting up booths for massage, chiropractic, runners apparel/accessories/shoes, and much more. Sponsoring $100 and up gets your name / or company name in print on the race tee, and it is contributing to a worthwhile cause. If you would like to be a sponsor in any way for next year's event, let us know!
The race route. We plan to add 5 km of new trails to the existing 5 km loop, so that we can offer a 10 km loop that will challenge and thrill any level of trail runner.
Volunteers - ah where would we be without volunteers - we will definitely need at least twice as many volunteers next year. Stay tuned for our call for volunteers!

Wife of Race Director Spencer Clark :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dash For Cash 2014 - New Installment - The Fun Continues at South Buffalo Firehall

Trail runners and Mountain Bikers, the Dash for Cash is back - mark your calendars for 31 May 2014! This year the Dash for Cash will kick off at the South Buffalo Firehall. 

The running race starts at 12 pm, and offers three distances to choose from: 5K, 10 mile and 17 mile.

The bike race starts at 2 pm. Take your pick of 10, 17 or 23 miles of mountain biking on some of the most gorgeously lung-busting terrain this part of PA. 

Want to do both the run AND bike? You certainly can. As long as you finish your run by the 2 pm bike start, you are welcome to continue your physical exertions on your bike. As added incentive - "Your Pain is Our Pleasure" - doing both nets you a $10 discount off registration! 

Pre-registration will get you an additional discount - keep checking back for the pre-registration form, it should be out soon. 

Race fees are (for day of event):
  • Run - $30
  • Bike - $30
  • Both - $50
Your registration fees includes a feast after the race, with loads of belly-sticking grub and *ahem* adult beverages. 

Non-racers (family, supporters, etc) pay $10 to partake of the feast together. Kids pay $5.

More information at The Awesome Dash for Cash Website

Monday, April 1, 2013

Yellow Creek SP Monthly Mountain Bike Race, March 2013

The first mountain bike race of our season WOOHOO!

(For all the pics GO HERE - sorry, my batteries died so I only managed the flag-off pics!)

The Yellow Creek race series returned this year with some key upgrades:

  1. The addition of a sweet 18 mile Expert loop, while retaining the usual 10 mile out-and-back Sport course. 
  2. MONEY prizes for the Expert riders in top 6 (starting at $60 for the Champ), while the top Sport rider gets the usual delish Pie.
After flagging off the 30 plus riders - most of whom opted for Expert - I had a chance to run a little of the course and oh my oh wow what a delightful job the YC trail maintenance crew have done with an already awesome route. 

Pulling all stops in pre-race trail prep, generous application of leaf-blowing apparatus-es ensured nary a leaf in sight. One result was a drier, faster ride with only a few slick mud spots. Another result - the cleanest post-race riders and bikes I've seen in a while. 

First Expert was Kevin Campbell while First Sport was Michelle Bietko, who narrowly beat out Brad Transue on a single speed (dude what were you thinking :p) by a mere nine seconds. For the rest of the results GO HERE

For next month's (April 21st) race, I think the warmer weather might be conducive to me providing some free sports massages (just in case riders weren't hurting enough after the race). And should I bring along some post-race nutrition (fried rice, watermelon, etc) also? :)

See y'all soon!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Kittanning YMCA Triathlon & Youth Tri 2013

The inaugural Kittanning YMCA triathlon and kids tri was held at the Richard G. Snyder YMCA Campus on 16-17 March, kick-starting the 2013 triathlon race calendar in our area.

(To skip right to the Photos CLICK HERE).

And oh what a kick-start it was, with the steeliest of souls - including three Ironmen finishers - toeing the start line in sub-freezing sleet-y conditions at 9 am on the 16th. The adult triathlon, for ages 15 and up, entailed a 5 km run loop on the Rails-to-Trails, followed by a 300 yard indoor-pool swim, and ending with a 10 km out-and-back bike on the Rails-to Trails.

The run-swim-bike race format differed from the traditional triathlon race format of swim-bike-run. Keeping the run and bike legs separate was the intention of the organizers, to avoid possible collisions between runners and cyclists on the somewhat narrow Rails-to-Trails. Transition times were excluded from the total race time so racers could take their time in transition to towel off and change after the swim, before heading out for the bike leg. Sweet!
Congratulations David Keith, overall champ!

First across the finish line and overall champ was 41 year-old David Keith of Pittsburgh with a time of 52:29. Following four minutes later was Edna Spang, 44, of Gibsonia, who wrested first place in the Women's overall category. Spencer Clark, 39, of Natrona Heights finished mere seconds behind to take second in the Men's overall category. (A heroic feat, I say, as this dude was severely weakened by fever, flu and jetlag, having returned to US soil from Malaysia just the day prior.) Half the participants were first timers, and I think this sprint triathlon was a good distance for them. Everyone went home with a prize!

The Youth Triathlon held on the 17th, had a turnout of 15 young triathletes - decent considering the sub-freezing temperature that day.

Brothers Mattithia and Malachi Burtt of Kittanning warming up and stretching before the run start

All the kids, from ages 6-14, blasted off the run start in an all-out sprint that lasted about 100 yards into the 1 mile run. (The kids were then to swim 100 yards and bike 5 km.) I grinned hugely as I snapped away - kids' events are my favorite to cover: cuteness factor through the roof, enthusiasm and energy at Mach 10 levels - what's not to love?

As the first runner, Jacob Lorigan, 14, crossed the timing mat at 6:45, I snapped a pic, and quickly realized that the timing mat set up by Run High was not working. As the Run High person tried to figure out what was wrong, more runners started coming in, and I made it a point to capture everyone's run finish (with time) just in case my photo record was needed later. As it turned out, photographs from Spencer and my iPhones were used to calculate the run and bike times for most of the racers because the Run High equipment refused to work properly. We couldn't imagine what chaos would have ensued or how the kids race results would have been determined if it hadn't been for the super-awesome photos that we took. Yay us hehe.

Rachel Birth, at 6 years of age was the youngest triathlete in the race. Well done Rachel!

The kid's tri was also high on the scare quotient, with one child overheating and almost passing out at the finish, and another losing her breakfast (a Hershey bar) midway during the bike leg. Possibly due to my bright yellow jacket, or perhaps my reassuring air of competence (ahem!), I was called upon to check on the overheated/faint girl. Fortunately, my First Aid and CPR capabilities were not required as she had quickly recovered.

The Biggest Smile Award goes to... Olivia Kovalosky, 10 of Kittanning PA!

Michelle Bauer, 13, took first place overall in the Girls Category with a total time of 22:18. Jacob Lorigan finished at 24:43 to grab first overall in the Boys Category, while Carver Clark (11 years) was second with a time of 25:10. The last to cross the finish at 49:38 was possibly - in my opinion, and probably in her family's eyes also - the spunkiest kid in the entire race. Andrea Krizmanich, 9, of Adrian PA, whose race was rudely derailed by an uncooperative tummy, was coaxed and cheered across the finish line by her family. Well done everyone!

Andrea Krizmanich surrounded by her most ardent supporters and biggest fans. You go girl!

Kudos to Bryce Kuhn and the race organizing committee, Richard G. Synder YMCA Campus for organizing this two-day event and to all the volunteers also. Look forward to seeing all of you again at the summer/fall Kittanning YMCA triathlon!


Some post-race thoughts (just my two cents :))

  • Having seen the Rails-to-Trails here, I do think it would be wide enough to accommodate both cyclists and runners if held in the traditional swim-bike-run format. 
  • Having the swim as the middle leg helped stagger the swimmers so the lanes in the lap pool remained sufficient.
  • Excluding the transition times was a good move as this removed the tendency for racers to rush between transition areas within the YMCA campus.
  • The timing chip system would be very good to have if this were a larger race and if following the swim-bike-run format as we could stagger the swim starts. I figure half the registration fees went to Run High. Further, the technical snafu in the time recording system was potentially a game spoiler.
  • The medics I spotted during the adults triathlon on the 16th were absent at the kid's triathlon on the 17th, which was when medical assistance would have been reassuring to anxious parents. 
  • The promotional flyers for the triathlon indicated 'post race refreshments'. Bottled water and breakfast bars were provided at registration, and continued to be available after the race, but at $50 and $30 (adults and kids race, respectively), should I have hoped for more, e.g., bananas, muffins, isotonic drinks, etc? 
  • Spencer and I love supporting YMCA events, particularly triathlons, and see great potential for growth in this area. The staff at this YMCA seem extremely motivated and dedicated to putting on good events and we look forward to attending/volunteering!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bike Stop, Swap and Save 2013, Maryland

This is not your ordinary bike swap.

This Stop, Swap and Save at Westminster, Maryland, is a one day event that is the largest indoor bicycle swap meet on the East Coast.

It has grown every year over the 16 years it has been held, and this year it covered the size of a football field (50,000 square feet). That's pretty big.

Yet, every inch of that space is jam packed with goodies laid out by more than 200 vendors. And crawling with bargain hunters from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington DC, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and beyond.

"Buy, sell, browse, shop, trade or just hang out with industry reps, individual vendors, bike shops, manufacturers and like-minded cyclists... everything cycling has to offer. Road bikes, mountain bikes, triathlon bikes, BMX bikes, clothing, bike parts, cycling accessories, vintage, new or used at Ridiculously Low Prices." (blurb from stopswapsave website).

Mark Dempster has made the annual pilgrimage to this event for 10 years. In his words "Every cyclist's Wet Dream"

This year Spencer and I tagged along to see what all the fuss was about.

Getting there. It was a 3 hour drive the day before - we stopped at a local bike shop, White's Bicycles, and Johannson's Dining House & Restaurant where many a pint of beer was consumed before retiring to Day's Inn.

White's Bicycles

The boys at Johannson's Dining House and Restaurant. 

Anyway, back to the Bike Swap.

We split the cost of a vendor's table ($50) five ways. Vendors are allowed in at 6 am while non-vendors are let in 9 am. Everyone pays a $5 admission fee. The guys were in at 6 am to set up their vendor's table, and - more importantly - to get first dibs on the goodies.

By 9 am, the line of people queuing to get in snaked all the way around the Ag Center building.

I scored six pairs of socks (Shimano, Zoot, DeFeet coolmax) for $20. And a Quintana Roo wetsuit for $10. And four SkirtSports running skirts and cycling tops for $30 (that retail for more than $160).

Everyone else bought a bunch of bike stuff, gear, and a few bikes. The van was loaded up pretty good!

This is what I have to say about the Bike Swap: It was WOW. Just WOW.

See you all again next year!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

StrongLand Off-Road Roaring Run Mountain Bike Race Report 2012

The 24th Annual Tour de Strongland kick-started its two-day festivities with an off-road mountain bike race on the Roaring Run Trail , Kiski Township yesterday.

The Warriors
The forecast of 80% chance of thunderstorms may have kept some people away. However 36 wheeled warriors - including three kids - showed up with undeterred to battle the elements. Experts (15 mile course) were flagged off at 9.15 am, Intermediate racers (11 miles) at 9.30 am and the Novice riders (3 miles, 9 -11 years of age) about 15 minutes later.

The Course
The first one mile was double track next to the Rails Trails, then cut out on to the Rails Trails and banked sharply right before the Bridge, to a tight hill-acious single track Loop. Then back to Rails Trails for a nice downhill finish. The Loop was planned to include an exciting splash across a shallow creek, but due to the rain and burgeoning creek, Novices were diverted around that section.

Crossing the Creek
The forecasted 9 am thunderstorm arrived prematurely and had depleted itself by race time. It was a gentle drizzle for the rest of the race. This made for a refreshing jog to the creek where I lay in wait to shoot passing riders with my waterproof lifeproof cased Iphone.

I also captured a photo of volunteer race marshalls helping make sure riders stay on course.

Helpful volunteer marshalls make sure riders stay on c-

Okay, sorry, wrong pic... Here's a better one.

"I think it's this way". :p
Race Strong
It was a good race. Excellent signage, plenty of race marshalls and volunteers, grill hot dogs (with donation) and a wet but very rideable course at the riders' chosen level. The $35 race reg fees come with a quality cotton t-shirt and a chance at winning a bike from sponsor Pro-Bike. Maybe a bit steep for the novice 3 mile race, which was basically a kids race.

Race PICs!
View the rest of the pics HERE. (Most of the creek stake-out pics turned out blur. Sigh! I couldn't risk getting my Panasonic Lumix wet so had to make do with the iPhone)

Three kids, three proud winners!

xo Gracie 

P.S. It would be AWESOME if you could click on any ad here - my sponsors give me a few cents per click. Thanks for supporting my blog!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Xterra Appalachia 2012 Video and Report Part 2

People! As promised here is the second part of my Xterra Appalachia 2012 race report, with VIDEO! (Part 1 HERE with links to 500 pics)

Thanks to all of you who left comments or messages (I love hearing from you!) and who helped tag some of the pics I posted on Facebook. That was certainly an encouragement for me to hunker down and get the video edited! This will be my first video produced on my brand spanking new Mac, so I am definitely learning as I go. It has been laborious, but I think you'll like the end result. If you don't, you can still appreciate the effort I put into it! :p

Just some thoughts about the Xterra Appalachia. Looking at the results, about 17% of the 65 racers who toed the start line, did not finish the race. This DNF rate is higher than some of the Ironman races I've followed. The Xterra Appalachia covers somewhere between a Sprint (short) and Olympic (long) distance course, with its 800 m swim, 13 mile mountain bike, and 4 mile trail run. The distances are 'sprint', but the exertion level feels 'olympic' - thanks to the mountain bike portion. Adding rain as a factor, ramped up the difficulty level for mountain bike course to 9.5 out of 10 for non-mountainbikers. Fellow-non-mountain-biker, Briana Dawson found the mountain-biking 'super-challenging'. Briana is a runner who regularly runs 5 and 10 K distances and has completed a few half marathons, but she had 'no idea it would be so intense/extreme!' She and her friend Jaci, who signed up for the race as a fun way to celebrate their birthdays, successfully finished the swim and bike course after three gruelling hours, and will be back to tame the run course next time. Hats off to these indomitable girls!
Hats off, and Happy Birthday girls!

And also, a shout out to the Fans and Supporters of the Xterra Appalachia 2012 racers:

The entire family turned out to cheer on #53 Jesse Matheson

This multiple Hawaii Ironman returns after a 4 year hiatus, to attempt this Xterra

Loyal fans give encouragement to racers Briana and Jaci in the swim-bike transition
Lara Cilo (and Rich Riley, not pictured) kept runners
And the award for most hardcore fans of the Xterra 2012 goes to: Katie and Julianne!

I really think more people should sign up for this top-notch event. For starters, this is the only off-road triathlon this side of PA. Yellow Creek State Park is only 1.5 hours from Pittsburgh where 1000 triathletes recently competed in the Pittsburgh Triathlon 2012. The organization and execution of the event (by Doug Crytzer and team at American Adventure Sports) is, as always, stellar. The course is gorgeous. The difficulty, although high, is manageable for most anyone with a decent level of fitness. You don't need to be superman to complete the course. You do however, need to be able to maintain a moderate level of physical exertion for up to 4 or 5 hours. If you have completed an olympic distance triathlon before, you are definitely in good shape to finish the Xterra Appalachia.

Check out the Xterra Appalachia 2012 Video HERE!

How did the Xterra go for you? Would love to hear your experience!

xo Gracie 

P.S. It would be AWESOME if you could click on any ad here - my sponsors give me a few cents per click. Thanks for supporting my blog!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Xterra Appalachia Race Report 2012: Part 1

One word describes the Xterra Appalachia - TOUGH. This year it was ToughER.

(You can skip the report and go directly to the 500 race pics on GOOGLE PLUS or on Facebook)

The 2012 edition of Xterra Appalachia was one of the wettest ever for the 65 participants (and hordes of fans ) who came from as far as New York and Georgia to pit themselves against the race course at Yellow Creek State Park. Racers comprised a mix of seasoned off-road triathletes, triathletes new to the terrors of mountain biking, and totally unsuspecting first-timers.

Transition area with racked bikes

The swim started out pleasant enough with warm sunshine, blue skies, and dead calm water. Swimmers assembled on the beach for the running start, different from the water start of previous years.

I'd mooted the run start to Doug Crytzer, Race Director earlier, the conversation going something like this:

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Shannock Valley Mountain Bike Race Report 2012

The Shannock Valley 15th Annual Mountain Bike Race certainly had a lot in store for the 82 riders lined up at the Start this morning. The forecast '30% chance of rain' turned out to be a 100% heavens-wide-open deluge that turned the trails into a mud fest, albeit surprisingly rideable one.

(Note: you can skip the entire report and get right to the 300 Race Pics HERE)

Mark Liti, a satisfied survivor of the mud fest

Except maybe, for the hills.