Local Motion - New Brunswick

Welcome to Local Motion where we celebrate hiking, biking, camping, paddling, skiing, and exploring in Southern New Brunswick.

October 3, 2010

Elgin 80 - A Success Under the Influence of Mud!

Riders getting ready to leave for the 40 km race
I was at the Tour of Elgin Mountain Bike Race on Saturday to help out and got to watch as riders came back covered head to toe in thick mud. Despite the wet weather in the morning, there was a really good turn out for each of the three races.

The tropical rain that had been hanging around all week culminated into 24 hours of periodic downpours. It was like a monsoon on Friday. The kind of rain that soaks you right to the underwear in the time it takes to run from your house to your car. The storm lost its fury by Saturday morning but the ground was still flooded by the assault.

The Pollett River, that runs through Elgin was raging like I'd never seen before. As the river twisted into the tight canyon at Gibson its power turned the brown water white while it roared like a freight train.

The Pollett River crashes through the Canyon

The race course, composed of backroads, ATV and snowmobile trails, and some single track had lots of mud and puddles. Riders talked about one puddle that was up to their thigh! Riders coming into the finish line where indistinguishable by the mud they wore.

So much Mud.
The first place rider finished the 80 km course in about 4 hours! That's an average of 20km/h over steep hills on a soggy track. I can hardly maintain that speed on my road bike! These racers are truly elite athletes. To finish the 80 km course is an accomplishment in itself.  And it wasn't just the 80 km racers, who make training their lifestyle, the 40 km and 20 km riders faced a challenging course and were out there giving it everything they had.

It was inspiring to watch these riders pushing their limits while have a good time doing it. Races may be competitive but it was clear that at the end of the day all these bikers were out there doing what they loved surrounded by friends and peers.
The Pollett River had calmed considerably by the afternoon. This is looking upstream from the Bridge at the Champagne Pools which are deep under water
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