Written by Rob Price Tuesday, 27 April 2021 00:00
Rattling Creek MTB marathon
Long Course- 32 miles, 3k vert
Early morning rain showers,
Warm, foggy/mist during race
I woke up to the sound of rain hitting my roof. Thankfully as the morning wore on, and parking lot filled up the rain slowly diminished.
Home to my favorite trail system, Rattling Creek is spread out among Weiser State Forest- Haldemen Tract. The trails were constructed some twenty years ago by a few dedicated locals, and it was awarded IMBA Epic status in 2012.
The race started out in waves by category with a long 1.5 mile forest road climb to sort everyone out. Soon four of us went clear over the top, and into singletrack. Despite the slippery conditions we were flying down RC trail (it's worth mentioning the dirt road sections were wetter than the singletrack- rocky trails perk well).
The pace never let up, and when we hit a long dirt road section one rider attacked. We reeled him in only to be attacked again, and again. A cross of wheels caused one chaser to crash- he never caught back on. The attacks kept coming until we entered Wolf Pond, a series of rock gardens. I passed 2nd place when he dabbed, and could see the leader in the distance. Back on forest road I closed the gap to 1st, we then entered Fawn Kill with my opponent following (3rd place was now out of sight).
The next 3 miles of singletrack is no joke especially when slick, but we pretty much stayed together. More attacking on the next dirt road section (this time by me). My opponent followed on Doc Smith trail, then back up RC trail. When we emerged on the upper end he passed me, saw that I was in trouble then rode away. I was hurting at that point, and nothing I could do. Next up Rocks Ridge, (self explanatory) I had a clean run through even though there was plenty of traffic from the short course riders finishing up. Now it felt great to be in the home stretch, and I got an added boost knowing the finish was so close. One last look over my shoulder to make sure an upset wasn't lurking, a bit more road section then a bomber descent down the mtn to cross the line!
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