Sunday, April 11, 1999 -- Babcock State Park
9th Annual Babcock Spring Challenge
[Results by Class]
It's not gonna rain...
Babcock State Park was alive on Sunday, April 11th, with mountain bike
racers from across the mid-Atlantic region. This was the first
point series race of the season, and many found out if
the off-season training they were supposed
to be doing would
have paid off. The course was a 12 mile loop that started below the
scenic gristmill right beside Mann's creek. This gradual uphill gave
way to a steeper climb along dirt roads until the top was
gained. After reaching the plateau, rolling dirt roads were covered
with just enough mud and slick rocks to make every pedal stroke an
effort. Just when you might think that a downhill would bring a much
needed breather, reality laughed and handed the racers a steep
downhill littered with slick rocks, bone-jarring boulders, and plenty
of rain-soaked limbs and small trees.
The ever-popular log induced dismount
The most trying time for many, it seemed, was the remainder of the
course. From the bottom of the downhill, which was almost within
throwing distance of the New river, the riders slowly snaked back up
along Mann's creek toward the gristmill... for 5 miles. All beginner
classes were required to do one loop, but everyone else had to face
the long grinding uphill twice.
The fastest rider on the course this day was Gunnar
Shogren(1:52:29). Shogren had a 30 second lead over Jason
Beckley(1:54:41) at the end of the first lap, with a steady crew
of riders following close to Beckley, but Shogren slowly pulled
further away to win the Mens Pro-Expert class. Beckley finished
second, and Mike Bowen(1:56:24) used a well timed uphill charge
to take third place overall.
The pack spreads on the first uphill
In the Womens Pro-Expert class, Sue Haywood
again proved the most adroit female on the track. She took the lead
early and maintained her strong pace the whole race in order to
capture 1st place and to finish 22nd overall. Kelly
(2:27:47) finished a solid second with Sarah
(2:28:54) close behind in third.
Impressive finish times were scattered throughout all the
classes. Perhaps a member of the "expert-elect" class, Jason
Laxton(1:58:46), racing the Mens Sport class, finished 15 minutes
ahead of second place rider Nate Ferguson(2:13:45). Laxton
finished 6th overall out of the field of over 100 riders.
1st time racer Colleen Laffey havin' fun
In the Womens Sport class, Mora Kistler
(2:34:36)was able to
tap into her seemingly endless amounts of energy and finished 22
minutes ahead of second place Mandi
(2:55:33). Tim Willis
(2:04:09) took 1st in the
impressively fast Male Vet Expert class, while Jonathon
(2:01:56) finished 11 minutes ahead of second place to take
the win for the Male Junior Expert class.
No matter how hard it rained at the beginning, it was sunny and
beautiful at the end, and the only people that could be seen without a
smile on their face were the ones devouring the pizza donated by
Dominos. All this fun, and the season is just starting.