The festival is always a hit, as these trails are only open this one weekend each year. Saturday morning was met very early with a half marathon trail running race, then a huge open riding and demo rig opportunity, kids races and skills area in the afternoon, and finally the inaugural Ohio High School race in the evening. Sunday saw the next xc race in the Ohio Power Series...whew, what a action packed weekend!
The demo area featured test rigs from Trek, Specialized, Giant, Niner, and eight independent bike shops featuring bikes from Felt, Cervelo, Jamis, Smiley, Capital Bikes, and a few more that I am lax in recalling. Despite the plethora of options, all the vendors reported sending out more demos during this event than even Sea Otter...a west coast event with 10,000+ participants. Clearly a sign that there is a hunger in our area for all that is good about cycling.
Our kids races featured events from training wheels to age 12, with over 140 kids participating. It is always a blast to see so many enthusiastic kids of all abilities enjoying a day in the sun on their bikes. Medals were provided to all kids as well as bags of home made caramel corn, courtesy of Grandma Rosy.
The inaugural high school race was probably the most rewarding event I've ever had the opportunity to promote and work. We had 27 athletes from 12 different schools from across Ohio toe the line. Ability ranged from an experienced Cat 1 road racer to kids who had never before ridden single track. Without exception, every one finished with a smile bigger than I've seen at any race before. This 5 race series will be one to watch as we lead to the State Championships at Vulture's Knob in October.
Nathan of Wooster High grunting out the final climb on the way to the finish at Manatoc...
Twelve high schools and 27 racers competed in the inaugural event...all smiles!
Series #2 saw us at the twisty, technical single track of Reagan Park in Medina Ohio. We had 3 less participants for this race but the level of competition has increased, with some fantastic battles on the final climb to the finish line. In addition to the individual points, we are also tracking team points to have a school champion at the end of the season. Holy Name of Parma is currently the leader with 7 points over Wooster High, should be a close competition as only the top three in Varsity and JV score.
The start of the Varsity race...Samantha Miranda sporting the #1 yellow plate to signify she leads the Varsity Girls competition.
Emily of Wooster charging the finish line to take 3rd in Varsity girls...