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Results & Recap

Great job out there. The results are listed at Epic Race Timing’s site. We awarded top 3 in most categories. If you finished top 3 but were not around for the award ceremony, please email me and we’ll figure out how to get you your prize. If you need to dispute a result, please contact me by end of day Monday. Thanks to Epic for timing the race!

Survey Results
Are we going to waves next year? Is the Pope Catholic? Waves it is. Click on the survey results charts to enlarge. At least two clear benefits: 1) better and safer start, especially for those not at the front 2) allows us to increase the size of the field, pending permit. Expert Men & Women together based on past results, followed by age groups and other categories, alone or in groups depending on size, speed. Waves will likely go off every minute – just enough time to clear the first section of trail – so that it feels like a race, not a time trial, and so racers can still form groups once you hit gravel. Waves would also allow us to shorten the lead out and by cutting out the organizational campground loop and using it for parking, we can eliminate the short but dangerous two-way traffic section near the start. We’ll likely also have a better chance at increasing the cap if that loop can all be used for parking.

More racers means more energy, more $ for perks like trophies for all on podium and fun awards, and financial sustainability. A race with 250 racers at $45 with some heavy expenses (Deep Lake permit alone is $2,000) is not likely to have a long future.

We’ll stick with reverse flow next year and play it by ear in 2019. Ending with the epic Bassett Lake hill and a longer singletrack are reasons I’m leaning toward keeping it reverse most years. That hill is really doable under normal conditions but we’re practically in a drought. Maybe some year we’ll offer a long version; might even throw the Hammond Hill trail in the race…

94% of you gave the race a thumbs up. 4% rated it average. 1 person gave it a thumbs down (based on 70 responses). The mix of singletrack and gravel was mentioned by almost everyone as a highlight. Volunteers, sticking to the timeline, communication, laid-back vibe, mix of top racers and first-timers were other common kudos. Suggested improvements include the start (obviously), better sound system (easy fix), beer (there was a serious legal issue at a recent race but we’ll see if this was settled).

Finish Line Video
Check out your exciting or exhausting finish. Now up on your results page at Epic Race Timing.

Race Photography
The race photos are amazing. And reasonably priced. Grab one for your memory book/cloud and support Rob Meendering Photography at the same time. See them all here.

West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance
The race wasn’t very profitable but we’ll still send a few hundred dollars to the WMMBA for support. Thanks to Kevin Allen, Julie Whalen, Tom Szarowicz, Dave Heinz, Melissa Werkman (MMBA), Petra Taggart (MMBA/GRBC) and sorry if I missed anyone else.

Badassiest Racer
Our award for the badassiest racer goes to Renay Cislo. After much debate, practice, and attending the clinic, Renay decided to go for it and tackle the 26-mile race with virtually no experience. She ended up biking 32 miles due to a mix up with the arrow signs at the end (our fault), broke a rib and wrist during a crash on the final singletrack and still finished, last one in but first in my eyes. Free race for her next year. Congrats Renay – do come back and have a less eventful race in 2018!

Say hi if you will be up at the Marji Gesick  (and give me a hand if you see me curled up in a fetal position in Ishpeming at 2 a.m.). Good luck to those doing the Bear Claw and upcoming fall races.

Thanks again for a fun day!

Mark and Greg

Race Recap #1
You’re a great group. Thanks for trusting us to put on a good race and for good attitudes during some tricky riding in those first few miles. I want to recognize one small group in particular. There were 7-8 racers at the back of the pack who rode 32 miles due to the arrow signs mistakenly being taken down in front of them (our apologies; won’t happen again).They all had great attitudes despite the extra hard work they put in. We’re going to give them $5 for each extra mile they biked, so $30 off their next race (please email me so I can keep a record).

Thanks to:

Please complete our 2-minute survey. The best way to improve is to ask you what you experienced and what you would do differently. We want to reduce the early back-up, but we also want this to be a race, not a time trial. So provide your input on this issue and a few others.

Race Photos
Thanks to Rob Meendering Photography for taking photos. Here are a few. Many more to come.

Lost & Found
Email me if you lost something and I’ll check around for it.

Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder
The buzz is really good for this race on May 12, 2018. Touch Lake Huron, travel by gravel roads, two-tracks and seasonal roads to Ludington and touch Lake Michigan. 218 miles, but at least 125 will be really fast gravel. If that’s too much for you, try our 77-mile Peak to Coast, from Caberfae Peaks Resort to Ludington using the last section of Coast to Coast. Today’s overall winner, Matt Acker, co-designed it with me so some good racer and race director teamwork went into it. We’ll be test-driving and riding the final section the week after Saturday’s Marji Gesik 100 (if I have recovered) and will likely lock the route after that. Learn more here.

Our Fall 2017 Races

  • October 7  Michigan Adventure Race: ArtPrize Edition. Fun for couples, buddies or families. 2 OR 3-person teams. Bike 15-20 miles and run/hike/walk 5-8 miles. The on-foot section weaves through the largest public art competition in the world. Encounter Amazing Race-like challenges, many involving some aspect of art and ArtPrize, in popular downtown exhibits and beautiful green spaces beyond.
  • November 11  Dirty Duel trail race. The only trail race in the U.S. that offers racers a choice of courses. Join over 700 racers who will split off right after the start in a dueling dash back to the finish. Will it be the “easier” 6K course that speeds runners to a top finish or the shorter but brutal 5K “trail” that racers survive on their way to victory? Depending on the course chosen, you will face a sand dune, cornfield/maze, and off-trail sections. $34. Free buff/headware ($18 retail), donuts, and cider.

That was fun. So glad that we went ahead with the race when we only had 27 people on August 1!  Thanks especially to the guys at West MI Bike for encouraging me to stick with it. Pencil in September 15, 2018!

Thanks again for racing with us!

Mark, for Greg

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