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Bearscat 50 – Wawayanda State Park, New Jersey

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |July 29, 2014 12:27 AM
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Bearscat 50 Wawayanda State Park, New Jersey

Written by: Karen Potter


Perfect race conditions greeted racers Sunday morning for the 4th year of the Bearscat 50 miler held in Wawayanda State Park in New Jersey.  Clear skies and seasonable temps made for a fast race conditions.  The course is plentiful in rock gardens and roots so the dry conditions coming into race day meant for fast race times and fewer dnf's than typical.  Also, a 1.5 mile section of the 25 mile lap had to be cut out due to trail damage so race times were much faster than the previous years.

This year race directors changed the start to a mass start with racers staging based on their anticipated finish times versus separate starts for open men, open women, etc.  Many racers felt this change wouldn't work but for the majority of the racers, especially those in the top of their categories felt the change worked well for spreading the pack out and minimizing bunching up of riders trying to pass on long sections of tight, technical singletrack. Also, true to it's name, a few racers saw a mother bear with bearcubs on the course which prompted park officials to monitor the area and caution riders approaching in a fast section of the course. 

In the open women's category, Karen Potter (Epic Brewing/ took win handily in a time of 4:45 besting her nearest competitor by 45 minutes.  Jane Pearson (Canondale) came in 2nd in 5:15 with a roughly 1/2 hr gap to 3rd place finisher Ellen White who finished in 5:42 followed closely by Darlene Phillips a minute back.

Ryan Serbel took the open men's win in a scorching fast time 3:59.  Mike Jaworski held his wheel coming in through lap 1 but fell back to finish 4th overall in 4:15.  Leonard Cardone took 2nd in 4:12 followed by Robert Czepas a minute back at 4:13.

The masters men 45+ had a tight race to the finish with Paul Simoes (Bikeman) taking the win by a minute over Brian Kelly in 4:15.

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