There's still time to sign up for the Orecrusher mountain bike race this Saturday, May 14 - the first Sea to Sky epic ride/race of the season and the first event in the Hell of a Series.
This year the race is a little different with competitors doing three laps of a much longer course (13 kilometres) through the Cheekeye Fan trails across from Don Ross Secondary, where the race starts and finishes. Organizers have also decided to skip the usual running "Le Mans" start and do a rolling start similar to the Test of Metal where you seed yourself based on how fast you think you'll finish the 40 km route.
While the race is still relatively flat compared to other races, more of the route is on singletrack than before and there's nowhere to rest.
Because it's still a lap event, riders will pass through the start area twice, which is a good opportunity to pick up food and water bottles and do any minor repairs - an element that race director Armand Hurford wanted to keep as the first race of the season. "It's still the only lap race in the Hell of a Series, and it's a good intro to that kind of marathon racing because you're not out in the middle of nowhere, you're in a contained environment where you pass through the same area a few times... and it's a little less intimidating."
Registration is available online at www.orecrusher.ca for $40. Day of race registration is available at Don Ross Secondary from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., with an 11 a.m. start. The number of entries is limited to 250.
All proceeds from the race will be split between the Outdoor Leadership program at Don Ross and Team Squamish.
Team Whistler rider take on Fondos
The Italian term "GranFondo" literally translates to "big ride" and Team Whistler riders took on several different big rides recently.
In the Gran Fondo Moab, Whistler's John Blok completed the 100 km ride - which included 1,800 metres of climbing - in 3:44, followed by Todd Allison in 3:51, Mike Rogerson in 3:55 and Brenda Baker in 4:05.
Other Whistler riders in the group include Pete Stace Smith in 4:15 and Grace Blok in 4:45. Elizabeth Rogerson and Gary Baker both had trouble in the race, a flat tire and stomach cramping respectively, but both made it to the finish before the time expired.
On the other side of the U.S., Team Whistler's Tony Routley finished the Gran Fondo New York in 5:15 and won his category, despite taking a wrong turn that added 10 minutes to his time. His result qualifies him for the Giro category in the Whistler race in September.