The early registration for corridor residents wishing to participate in the 2008 Test of Metal sold out all 200 spots in just two and a half hours after going live on Dec. 1. The first 100 spots went in the first 12 minutes after registration opened at 6 p.m.
Squamish riders scooped most of the spots, with 153 locals signing on, as well as 26 riders from Whistler. The remaining 21 spots were divided between Furry Creek, Britannia Beach and Pemberton.
There are 800 spots remaining to be filled, which will go on sale on Jan. 1 at 6 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.
Organizers are overselling the Test by 200 spots this year, but are doing away with the waitlist. Anyone who drops out will not be replaced.
There are also no refunds, but according to organizers this way everybody knows they’re racing more than six months in advance and can train accordingly. Under the wait list, riders would sometimes be accepted days or weeks away from the race, and would decide not to race because they are unprepared. Managing the waitlist was also creating headaches for organizers.
The event has sold out for several years, but the rate has been accelerating. In 2007 the Test of Metal sold out all 800 spots in just 48 minutes, or about five times faster than the year before when registration closed after four hours, 19 minutes. In 2005 it took a full five days to fill the roster, while the 2004 race sold out more than three months after it went on sale.
Once again Pro Elite carded racers do not have to register for Jan. 1, but can join the race up to the day of the event.
This year’s Test of Metal will take place on June 14, following a 67 km route around Squamish. More than half of the course is singletrack.
With the decision to drop the Rat Race in Roberts Creek last year, the Test of Metal is no longer part of the Hell Of A Series triple crown.
However, a new event is being created in Brackendale to replace the Rat Race that will take place on May 10. The Ore Crusher (40 km), the Test of Metal (67 km) and the July 23 Gearjammer (46 km) are now part of the newly created Squamish Triple Challenge. The races get more technical as the summer progresses, with the Gearjammer taking place almost entirely on singletrack.