Not only can the weather in late October play a role, mud, ice, snow, rain, or sunshine and perfect conditions, this endurance race tests both your XC climbing legs and your Enduro descending skills.
With a literal shotgun start out of the corral, riders race up a paved then gravel road from the Bass River Resort parking lot to be first into the woods with the promise of fresh single track and numero uno is the winner of a sponsor driven prize package.
There are 4 checkpoints/aid stations along the way. Racers receive an orange drop sack with their check in package they can stuff and access at the halfway point, the Berryman Campground. This site doubles as an arena for spectators to watch as their favorite riders file through after their first twenty-five miles.
Some say up to the Berryman is the easy part as what comes after has known to make even the strongest of racers cringe. Just when racers feel as if they might be on the downhill to the last 20 miles, they are proven wrong when they have to climb “The Three Sisters”, three giant consecutive hills that have become a race landmark and test of endurance. Once riders make it past the iconic climbs, they will have one more checkpoint, extensive climbing, and a very narrow last 10-mile stretch, which offers limited passing opportunities. The finish has been extended from years past to give racers the chance to put their “pedals to the metal” and pass those unpassable on the single track.
The racers file in for hours, emotions high in all directions, wounds are taken care of, and first sips of the after-party beers are being sipped while cheering on fellow teammates and competitors alike.