Home Mountain Bike Race Weekend 10/10-11/2015

The home mountain bike race is arguably the most looked-forward-to event of the season because of the huge turnout from our team, and the home course advantages. This year was no different. This weekend a total of 22 racers from App State attended, which is the most of any race so far. Saturday we had our cross country race up on Beech Mountain at Emerald Outback, with the highest elevation trails on the east coast. These trails were full of roots and the course was split up with a long gravel road climb each lap. 

The day was so foggy that it was hard to see fifteen feet away, and the rain made the course slick and muddy (although this made for some good photos). Mens C and Womens B riders rode 5 miles, Mens B and Womens A rode 10, and Mens A decided to ride an extra lap for a grueling 20 miles. Despite the conditions, the racers swept the podiums and about half the Mens A field was made up of App State riders, who dominated the course. Both Maryann Riley and Annie Pharr won their race categories, and Mason Hawkins and Matt Jones got 2nd and 3rd for Mens C.

Sunday on the other hand, couldn’t have had better weather. The race was held at Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, which has fast trails, technical rock gardens, and fun berms. The day started with an uphill time trial, where racers went one by one as hard as they could up the mountain, including a difficult rock section that slowed many riders down. Alex Jerome and Miles Hubbard took first and second for Mens A, while Eric Burton got second for Mens B. Annie Pharr and Maryann Riley both won the Womens A and B races, and Charlie Shufford and Matt Jones took second and third for Mens C.

After the time trial, the short track race began at the trails by the powerlines. This course was short and spectator friendly, with several jumps and some tough hills. The Mens C race was about 20 minutes, the Mens B and Womens A race was 25, and the Mens A race was 30 minutes. Matt Jones took 2nd and Charlie Shuford took 4th for Mens C, while Eric Burton and Ryan Chet took 3rd and 4th for Mens B. In Mens A, Byron Rice and Matt Moosa came in 2nd and 3rd places, and Annie Pharr took 2nd for Womens A. 

The final race of the weekend was the Super D, a gravity style event where racers ride down two miles of technical trail as fast as possible. There were one minute gaps between each rider, and the racers were sent down a rough rock garden and around tight switchbacks. Alex Jerome had the fastest time for Mens A, flying down the mountain in only 3 minutes 51 seconds, with Levi Rose not far behind in 3rd place, with a time of 4:04. In Mens B, Ryan Chet and Francesco Marafino took 2nd and 3rd, while Sean Hildebrandt and Jacob Richard got 1st and 3rd for Mens C. Maryann Riley came in 2nd for Womens C, and Annie Pharr won Womens A. 

The weekend was a team effort to put on, with volunteers helping tape the course, leaf blow the trails, run registration, course marshal, and take photographs. It was another great set of races, and good training for Conference Championships at Virginia Tech this coming weekend.