Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tomlinson Run XC MTB Recap

Part II of the ABRA mountain bike series had taken us to the tip of WV's northern panhandle for the Tomlinson Run XC MTB race on July 7th.   This race has been recorded in the history books as the hottest, most humid mountain bike race ever!  Upon arriving at Tomlinson Run State Park, the vehicle thermometer read 99degrees at 11am.   By the start of the race, the temperature had hit 102degrees.

James Braswell and I, 1st and 2nd
into the woods at the start
The race consisted a 200-300ft road sprint before the bottleneck into tight, swoopy singletrack trails that were interspersed with short sections of asphalt roads as it winded itself around the park's lake.  There were plenty of steep climbs and descents which, due to the drought, had obviously become loose and sketchy.  The trails were fairly smooth with an occasional section of root, but nothing too technical.  

Any other day these trails would be very fast.  However, the general concern of most racers focused on preventing dehydration and other heat-related illnesses.  This seemed to have brought the potential speed of the Sport class down a bit.  The two lap course with a feed zone would allow those racing without hydration backpacks to reload on fluids.   JR also added a water station mid-lap that turned into  a cold-water dowsing for most racers, as well as a creek crossing three-quarters into the lap to keep their core temperatures under control.



The most technical section, but the coolest shade of the race.
Despite record-high temperatures, Tomlinson Run would prove to be a great trail system and an even better race.  Although, I'm probably a little biased since I was able to finally take first place in one of JR's races.

Next up, the  White Park XC Throwdown this coming weekend.  JR has put a lot of work into some new and old trails to stage a fantastic, series-finally race.

Thanks to all of the 2012 Dynamic Physical Therapy Cycling Team p/b Pathfinder WV sponsors.