With two weeks to go before the 24 Hours of Adrenalin returns to Whistler, athlete registration is ahead of last year especially in the World Solo Championships, where almost 200 athletes have already signed up.
"We had 165 solos last year, and were expecting well over 200 this year as the word gets out that there are more than pro categories in this race, that there are 10 to 12 different age categories to compete in," said Mike Britten, the marketing manager for the 24 Hours of Adrenalin series.
"Anyone can sign up and ride alongside the top riders in the world, like Tinker Juarez and Chris Eatough." said Britten.
The team events should attract another 400 to 500 riders, which is on par with last year. The organizers are disappointed that the turnout isnt better this year, with other 24 Hours races attracting 2,000 to 3,000 racers.
So far the field includes riders from Alberta, Washington, and the Lower Mainland, but only a few riders from Whistler and the Sea to Sky corridor have signed up, says Britten.
"We did expect more locals to take part in this, but theres still lots of time for people to sign up," he added. "Were hoping to get a lot of last minute registrations in this year.
"Were seeing a lot of growth at all of our events, and a lot of people are starting to plan their vacations around it, which is kind of cool.
"The great thing about this race is that you can take it as seriously as you want to, but you dont have to take it seriously at all. Some people just enjoy the camaraderie of these events, hanging out at the base between laps. Its a great place to socialize with fellow riders, get a bit of riding in, and do a few awesome night rides as well," said Britten.
You can register as a solo or team right up until the start of the race at noon on Sept. 4. There are categories for teams of four, teams of five (same sex and mixed), and corporate teams, which can have up to 10 riders.
The 24 hour race takes place on the same course as last year, with a few minor changes. Riders will have lots of time to pre-ride the course, with the organizers flying in next week to mark the course and do a little pruning and maintenance.
Base II will once again be the base of operations, with the start/finish area, rider support tents (maintenance, first aid, light charging, food and water) and a camping area.
The organizers are hopeful that the race wont be affected by a fire ban, and that some rain will take care of the dust.
"You always hope for good weather, but one of the great things about this race is that we are at the mercy of the weather, but everybody rides it anyway," said Britten.
For race details, and online registration and light rentals, visit www.24hoursofadrenaline.com.