Bearscat 50 – Wawayanda
State Park, New Jersey
Written by: Karen Potter
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/MTBRaceNews.com) 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.
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.