This is a little different race report because this week I traded my helmet for a headset. On this first weekend in July, I volunteered to help with the first of three races in the Clif Enduro East – Enduro World Series Qualifiers. If you have never volunteered for an event of this magnitude, it’s an eye opener. The mastermind behind these events is George Ulmer. What I got to see was months and years of work come together over a weekend. I can only imagine the communication, time and effort with sponsors, venues, and staff to make this all work, and work it did!
I spent most of Friday at the Green Mountain Trails at Riverside Farms. What a spectacular location. The trails are natural and challenging and the transfers relentless.
Friday night there was a buffet style feast at the Snowshed Lodge at Killington. Riders getting in from some final training sessions, were treated to some excellent beverages and fine food not to mention live music. Yes this was another “perk” of racing!
Saturday morning started pretty smooth. All of the staff and volunteers were briefed as to our jobs and the riders meeting was held. I got to my location and just as we started the first racers, the rain began to fall. I’ve heard that upwards of two inches of lovely liquid fell on us through the day, but organizationally, none of us missed a beat, and riders toughed it out through 4 technically challenging stages. I saw one women cry upon arrival to stage 4. Not because she was hurt, or that she was upset but because she had dug so deep to get to where she was and she was conquering the day. She could be the poster girl for a bad ass! This is EWS! I saw people I normally race with working their tails off, and dam it gives you goose bumps to see them successful whether that meant stepping on the podium or just to cross the finish.
At the end of the race day the competitors were once again treated to a BBQ meal at the Lookout tavern where Enduro East posted the first days stage results, drew for what seemed like an endless amount of swag prizes and the stories from day 1 set the stage for the final 4 runs on day two at Killington.
Sunday morning we were greeted with bright sun! Near perfect weather was the order of the day. Classes were tightly contested as expected. The final 4 stages were expected to be fast, steep, and techy. Looking at a few of the racers strava feeds, it looks like the entire race covered nearly 40 miles and almost 14,000 feet of climbing. The entire race ran virtually seamlessly. Full results can be found on roots an rain website.
This was a really cool experience! As a racer I show up, the venues and courses are set, I practice, take care of my gear, race and go home. This behinds the scenes look at what George and his staff do almost every weekend to make sure we have these awesome gravity events to compete in, was humbling. The days are long, nights are short. Stress is high because the ultimate goal is to make sure we as participants, have a great experience. Thanks for letting me part of it! I’m looking forward to the next DH race so I can get some rest.