I left Albion Hills yesterday evening in darkness and returned this morning at first light. I felt a little nostalgic for the snow we had before last year's Star Tracks Mountain Bike Adventure. Today I put out the final controls in torrential rain, knowing we'd lose some participants when they woke up to see the weather.
Impressively, almost every registered participant showed up! And we had 4 people show up to register on race day, which wasn't great but better than I'd expected. Never doubt the hardiness of adventure athletes! We had a 50% increase in registrations over last year with especially good growth in our Family team division and our age 60+ category. Great to see so many AR and orienteering friends and sorry that my race duties prevented good catch-up conversations.
Things went about as smoothly as we could have hoped, other than the rain. Participants had a great attitude about it and seemed really proud of their mud-splattered finish line photos. Fortunately, nobody got seriously hurt on the slick trails - they probably hydroplaned if they fell. The rain stopped early in the race so we were able to stand around the campfire in clean clothes afterward, roasting marshmallows and baking German-style campfire bread (thanks, Heidi!) Some of us made it to The Church Pub in Palgrave eventually, although it took awhile to get the final racers in and collect all the controls.
Thanks to my co-conspirators Mick and Laura, our mapper Nick and our race day volunteers Heidi & Hanna, Ilona & Peter and 'Bent. Thanks also to Coach LD, Arthurd and Veinbuster for helping us by picking up controls, and to Tom Koster of Velofix Halton for bringing his mobile bike repair van to support Star Tracks.
Photos are available on Facebook in a public album so you don't need to be on FB to see them.
Ilona Dobos also posted some terrific photos on Flickr.