It takes some work to host events like the 5K. We do it for a number of reasons. We always like to bring people together to celebrate the sport, and we enjoy the chance to say thanks for all the trail work contributions (although you have to be a special kind of person to see the 5K as a thank-you).
Also, once the route for an event is set, the trails that are included get cleaned and upgraded. The new bridge on Ace – courtesy of Michael Inbody – is a great example. The entire system benefits as a result.
In addition, I like getting people on trails they might not otherwise see. Double Down, Ace of Spades, the Third Lower KMA, and the Secret Garden – which were on the 5K route – are great trails but don’t get ridden much. And yes, more wheels on those trails means fewer maintenance problems.
I have only attended a couple of formal races. They didn’t match my vision of what a mountain biking race should be. I prefer something that truly tests riders’ stamina and bike-handling skills. Most people who participated in the 5K agreed that it accomplished that.
We only had sprinkles through most of the day. Near the end, we got rained on for about 20 minutes. By then, no one cared . . . The new Big Wow had some standing water but was in good shape. The sketchiest spots were near the bottom of Rush and on that benched down on the Upper KMA. There was carnage elsewhere but those areas had the most . . . Best tread – Legacy, the Secret Garden, Double Down, Ace of Spades, and SNB.
Adam Faren referred to the 5K as The Punisher. Very appropriate . . . Vincent and I were certain we had the course marked so well that even the Three Blind Mice wouldn’t take a bad turn. Wrong. Adam Faren ended up climbing A-Bomb on his first lap. Lizzy Fitch and Russ Speirn saw the arrow on the down line where the Upper KMA crosses the road to the First Lower KMA and followed it. Did they somehow lose their minds and think they’d already reached the top?
Talk about training. Vincent lost 20 pounds preparing to run the 5K . . . Jon Jennings also deserves a shout-out for his hard work. It paid off. He finished in the top five with a 4:14.
Kevin Templeton (4:00), Dave Bisers (3:51), and Jason Crago (4:48) proved their strength, riding single-speeds and ringing up excellent times . . . Braden Nicholson finished in 4:16 – on a fixie!
Thanks to Ted Dodd and NWTA for the beer and gel packs.
I experimented with a new them – Better Living Through Pharmaceuticals. To combat back pain, I took a vicodin at the top of Legacy on my first lap. For about 30 minutes, I felt like Hunter S. on the drive to Vegas. Fortunately, there were no bats. The pain returned but, overall, I think I seemed happier for the remainder of the ride.
This was my 12th 5K. Dave, Susan Martin, and Rob Larsen have completed 10. Not sure how many more I have. Every time I finish one it makes me realize what a stud Vaughn Martin is for completing a 5K at 79.