It was 4:00 am and I am laying in my sleeping bag staring at the ceiling. Dawn is about to break on race day for the darkhorse 40. I can hear George wandering around his kitchen as I lay there and try to come to terms with what’s in store for us. Thankfully the pitter patter that I hear is the sweet sweet blue mountain Jamaican coffee brewing and not rain hitting the roof. We had some storms roll thru the day before but they seemed to have helped take the dust off while doing only a minor injustice to the ridiculously fast course conditions.
We had completed most of the heavy lifting the day before with the help of our crew and Jason from Pivot cycles. Its amazing what a bike company rep will do for free beer!! We had sorted out some last minute details over delicious veggie chili and tried to call it an early night. No late night course inspection needed this time around. Maybe we had learned our lesson from previous adventures!
We opened the gate at about 5:30 and already had a few people hanging around looking to get in. By 7:30 it was full on parking mayhem. The cars just kept rolling in. We handled it well but the stress level does begin to rise as start time creeps closer and the cars keep stacking up in line to park.
9:05 and we have everybody on the line. Few announcements and their off! Hooray! Now we just have to hope that everybody stays safe out there. Thankfully, most did. There were plenty of mechanicals, lots of flats, and a few injuries. But considering the fact that 400 people took to the 20 mile loop I think things went off fairly smooth.
We had hoped to try to get awards going at 2:00. We thought that would give us enough time to get the majority of racers in and at least preliminary awards tabulated. We were wrong. Sorry if you planned around that and had to split early. As it was awards were late but most seemed to be having fun eating chicken, having an ice pop or two and enjoying a couple cold beverages.
As we locked up the gate at 7:30 I couldn’t help reflect on the amount of work that goes in to this event each year and how fast the day goes by. We have to send out a huge thank you to all of our volunteers! These guys and gals come out and give their blood, sweat and tears to help make the 40 what it is. There is no way we could do it without them!!! Thanks to all!!! First off have to thank our official/scoring ladies. They do a great job making sure that all the racers are accounted for. Gotta send out a huge thank you to our kitchen crew! Brian keeps the boys in line and makes sure that things get cooking on time and keep rolling smooth! The bbq rocked again! Thanks guys and gals! I would be remiss if I didn’t send out a huge thank you to our EMT crew! These guys and gals treat all sorts of injuries all day and do it with great care and concern. Thank you!! We couldn’t have the race without them and we always hope that they will come out and have a nice relaxing day!
Of course there wouldn’t be any point to any of this if the racers didn’t come out. We appreciate you guys coming out to support our event and hope that you all enjoyed yourself. It makes it worth it when somebody says they had a blast out there on our course. We have always been in this for the racers. To give back a little something to the mountain bike scene that we really enjoy. You guys come out and bring such a great vibe that we just feed off of it. thanks!!!
So another darkhorse 40 is in the books! We always keep trying to improve and make it a little better and a little more interesting. So we will wait till about thanksgiving and then start scheming some new stuff for next year. By then the poison ivy should be gone and George should be a little less cranky. Ok maybe not!
Thanks again! See you next year!
As always we welcome your questions and comments so don’t hesitate to get in touch!