Yet again, the MVP Health Care Bitter Pill was an amazing race through some great Vermont terrain.
Recreation Area on Friday night. Whether camping or staying in the cozy B&B rooms, racers grabbed what sleep they could and gathered at 4:30 the next morning for the pre-race briefing.
Course designers were tempted to make teams swim yet again, but figured everyone’s socks were wet enough already.
Let’s take another look at that gorgeous tyrolean… one view from below, one from above!
After the tyrolean, racers found a delightful uphill hike to a CP on the water tower, then a run along the silver lake pipeline back to TA3.
Grabbing their bikes again, they hit Chandler Ridge for some fantastic technical single-track. A bit more elevation gain, two on-trail checkpoints, and a steep descent to TA4 rounded out the biking leg.
If you’re a mountain biker, it’s worth a trip to the Moosalamoo just to ride the Chandler Ridge trail… I think a bunch of racers are going to come back just to see that stretch again. Then again, for some racers it was a
5-mile hike-a-bike with a broken chain, so maybe not everyone will be back.
A huge thanks to everyone who shared a tube, a chain segment, or general bike repair skills. A lot of racers would have had a lousy day from this point if it weren’t for general racer kindness.
Checkpoint Zero/Tech4o was hot on their heels, finishing in 8:04, and the Mercators (back for their 9th GMARA race!) took third place in 10:40. All three top teams got all the bonus points, putting their official times at 4:39, 5:04, and 7:40. Maybe the course ran a little fast.
In the men’s division, the NH Trail Vets finished first with a time on course of 8:54 and all three bonuses. They’ve posted a good writeup as always. Newcomers Sink, Trip, Crash took second in 9:50, again with all the bonus points, and they have some course notes too. In the women’s division, HTFU took the win in 10:55.
A huge thanks goes to the volunteers who made this happen. Pictured are Chris, Scot, Colin, myself, DJ, Bert, Brenda, David, Lindsay, and John. Graham, Karin, Ryan, Sarah, Scott, Kristin, Laurie and Kate all helped as well, and even Tim went out on Sunday and retrieved a few bonus points (with the help of a GPS). A special thanks to my wife, Meg, for giving me endless hours to organize, design, communicate, and hike very slowly.
None of us get paid for this, we do it because we love to see racers having a good time. If you’ve ever wanted to peek behind the curtain, please speak up – there’s a good chance that you can help plan a GMARA race, a day of
climbing, a night hike, a bike tuning clinic… this is a volunteer-run non-profit, and we all benefit if you volunteer too. We even toss out the occasional race discount for repeat volunteers!
Lastly, thanks to all of our sponsors. MVP Health Care makes it possible to put on great races like this year after year. Things like the ropes and the great meal can’t happen without their contribution.
EMS is always there with discounts, prizes, and rental gear.
Blueberry Hill Inn and the Moosalamoo Association gave us a great base of operations and rooms at a steep discount.
Catamount provided winter passes to our local champions, and Bevo gave us a great meal at a price nobody else could match.
Our newest sponsors, Julbo and Ski Vermont, both made this prize pool one to remember. Julbo provided some of their very best eyewear to the top teams. If you haven’t tried on a pair yet, take a trip to your local EMS and spend
a few minutes. Some of the options are really amazing. They’ve also given us a discount code to mail out to members, so look for that in your email soon.
Ski Vermont solved the problem of “what do you get for the team that has everything?” by showering us with lift tickets and golf passes. I know a few racers that are looking forward to relaxing at VT resorts this
fall and winter, and you can bet that our next winter race will be taking place at a Ski VT member resort.
If you have the opportunity to thank these sponsors for their support, “like” them on facebook, shop at their stores or promote their gear, please do. They support GMARA because they’re awesome, but they also like the publicity.
As usual, all the photos are on SmugMug.
If you have photos or a race writeup, please send them to us – firstname.lastname@example.org – and we’ll post them here or add them to the gallery.
Thanks again for racing, and see you next year!
– Shawn & the GMARA crew