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Behind Bars with Evan Plews - Holidaze Marathon

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |January 24, 2013 12:21 AM
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Holidaze marathon--Uhl Tidings

 Written by: Evan Plews

It has been a wonderful season for me so with only fumes left in my tank and pennies in my bank I was able to make one last trip to Texas for the Holidaze Marathon. This was stop number two of the TMBRA marathon series and took place at Camp Eagle, an amazing venue just a couple hours west of San Antonio. As we rolled in under sunny skies, I could tell this was going to be a great event as the place was beautiful and everyone had a smile with early holiday cheer in their eye. 

Holidaze Marathon is a relatively small race by Texas standards, but is promoted by the folks from Hill Country Bicycle Works for www.awareawakealive.org a non-profit organization to prevent alcohol poisoning. Aware, Awake Alive was founded after a local mountain bike racer passed away tragically at a college fraternity party. Carson Starkey's last race was at Camp Eagle so this event just one day shy of the fourth anniversary of his tragic death was very special to many who were there. 

I was able to meet Carson's parents and I tried to imagine their loss while listening as the spoke about his him and the events that led to his passing. I also remembered similar parties I attended and how like so many things in life, they could have gone so horribly wrong like that night did in California. I thought of the Holidays or Holidaze as they could be called and how very possible a similar tragedy could happen again this time of year and wanted to spread the world about them and their noble cause. Please take some time to visit their website, make a donation if you can, or at least follow them on social media. If it prevents just one senseless death, the world will be a better, happier place!

Camp Eagle was originally developed as a corporate retreat but now is a Christian destination for folks of all ages. A huge fresh water spring feeds a lazy river that runs through the property year around providing refreshing water activities while several zip lines and an enormous fort/play structure provide thrills of a higher order. They have also developed a wonderful network of purpose built single track that is positively RAD! Many of these trails comprised the 17-mile course.

The race began with Tristan Uhl taking the initiative and never looking back. I was in fourth place as we dropped into the first technical trail, but quickly passed the two riders between us and was able to solidify my position by the end of the first of the three smaller loops that made up the larger lap. Tristan was gone so I settled into what would be fun ride and while a made a few costly mistakes the first time around, I was able to improve my performance with each subsequent effort and was able to ride negative splits but it was never enough to bring the local strongman back. 

Regardless, the challenging limestone climbs and smile-inducing descents coupled with fantastic "winter" weather made for a wonderful day. New friends and smooth travel will leave me with lastly fond memories as we head into next season. If you have a chance, check out this event or the Camp Eagle Classic MTB festival next September. You won't be sorry you made the trip out and this fantastic place www. campeagle.comwill provide a great time for the whole family!

Thanks for reading and hope you all have Happy and SAFE Holidays and a fabulous New Year!

 

Results:

Open Men

1,

Tristan Uhl

ATC Racing

4.04.23

2,

Evan Plews

Ibis/REALL

4.09.41

3,

Rick Wetherald

Athletes on Track

4.37.05

4,

Matthew Barkley

Orange Seal Cycling

4.41.01

5,

Joshua de Boisblanc

Bicycle Sport Shop

4.52.56

 

Open Women

1,

Sarah Shanks

Soundpony

5.44.24

2,

Jennifer Taylor

Bicycle Sport Shop

5.54.19

3,

Amy Parkinson

Austin Bikes

6.03.01

 

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