This past weekend, was the Spring Epic 8hr hosted by Chico Racing, held at the Mansfield Outdoor Center. As always, it is an amazing event, great atmosphere, and using some fantastic trails.
Team Van Go had 4 teams entered into the event, plus Solo Lee. Everyone had a great time, but for the race report, it will be focused on the team of Tyler, Johnny, Chris and Heather, mainly because that was my focus over the course of the day.
Out first for us was Mr. Chris, who was our speedster, and laid down an awesome lap to put us in contention right off the start. The first lap is always the toughest, you get a lot of traffic, and a lot of bottle necking in the single track, but if you are like Chris, you can get out front early, to avoid some of the headaches. Heather was next out, followed by Johnny, then Tyler as the anchor.
Now you are probably thinking, 8hrs of racing must be a long time, but the time flies by so fast, that after you finish your lap and get settled, you are almost having to get ready to go again. The lap length was roughly 9.5km, and we were averaging 30min laps, which for us made it really easy to figure out when the person came in and when the next person needed to get ready to go. The course layout was similar to years past, starting with the climb from the outdoor center up the double track, that everyone dreads. Then a little bit more double track, then the fun begins on some fast flowing singletrack. The course was set up so nicely, that the first 5-6km seemed like nothing, it went by so fast, but then, dun dun dun, you get to the solo pit area, knowing what was up ahead. The Kijiji kilometer, then the punchy singletrack climbs… Surprisingly though, it could have been the off season training, or knowing what was coming, but it didn’t feel that bad at all this year. Sure the legs were screaming, the lungs were burning, you were cursing yourself, but it seemed to be okay. Then the final decent, down to the start finish, down Exit wound. A really fun, switchback descend, that makes sure you stay on your toes. All in all I personally would have to say it was one of the most fun 8hr courses there has been, so again a huge thank you to Adam Ruppel and the Chico Racing folks for doing what they do best!!!!
What is nice about these races is you get the chance to see familiar faces and have chats with people along the trail. Some crazy folks out there doing solo, such as Team Colin, who was rocking a geared bike for half then a single speed for the second half of his solo effort. That man is an awesome machine!!!!! Check out his website, I’m 99.999% sure he will have an awesome write-up coming soon. https://teamcolinblog.wordpress.com/
Other crazy solo riders, were Mark McIssac from Bike Zone, who was always smiling and having a great time! Then if lucky enough some of the other Team Van Go riders you would catch or see on course. Always fun to come up behind someone you know, it gives you that extra bit of energy that you needed!
At the end of the day our team had completed 16 laps in 8hrs 15min and 45sec, which was good enough to place us 2nd in our category out of 20 teams. Not going to lie, it felt really good to do that well! All 4 of us were pretty close in laps times, and everyone stayed very consistent, and other than Chris having a slight mishap with a tree breaking a brake, we all survived and smiles all around.
Overall, the team van go teams did amazing!
Team Van Go awesome: 14 laps, 11th Place out of 27, 8hrs, 12 min – Chris, Andrew, Tyler, Craig
Wolf Pack: 14 laps, 9th Place out of 20, 8hrs 16min – Monika, Scott, Taylor, Andy
Team Van go EVST: 14 laps, 10th Place out of 20, 8hrs, 25min – Eric, Vince, Shawna, Dan
All results are posted: