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Off-Road Assault on Mount Mitchell - Old Fort, NC

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |July 26, 2010 8:05 PM
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Written by: Matt Williams

Thomas Turner (Colivita/Sutter-Home) won the Off Road Assault on Mt. Mitchell for the second year in a row—besting his course record by close to three minutes. Carey Lowery (The Outdoor Store) won the women’s race. 

The Off-Road Assault of Mt. Mitchell (ORAMM), now in its 11th year, has become a staple on the Southeastern endurance racing circuit, offering up over 11,000 feet of climbing in 63 miles over five major climbs. The course features some of Pisgah’s best singletrack descending, including the famed Heartbreak Ridge and Kitsuma trails, interspersed with leg crushing climbs like Curtis Creek. And with a sizeable cash bonus for anyone who beats the course record attracting fast locals and out-of-town contenders alike, the race continues to grow in stature, with 2010 proving to be the fastest edition yet.           

With what local legend Wes Dickson called some of the hardest conditions in years and a heat index topping out at nearly 104 degrees, the weather was going to be a factor—leaving racers to scramble to add more bottles to their aid station drop bags and contemplate ways to stay cooled off while trying to race for 63 miles.           

After a quick parade lap through Old Fort, NC the race hit the first climb to the top of Kitsuma peak. Turner led much of the climb, witling the race down to an elite trio of riders including Turner, Cameron Cogburn (CCB), and former winner Sam Koerber (Gary Fisher 29er Crew). As they entered the singletrack Turner continued to turn the screws, and by the bottom of the highly technical Kitsuma descent he had established a gap that would hold for the rest of the race. Behind Turner, Cogburn and Koerber tried to put together a chase, while just behind them a third group containing Josh Fix, Matt Williams, and Nathan Wyatt (Carolina Fatz) were working to bring the race back together.           

The race’s second climb up Star Gap featured some of the only extended singletrack climbing on the course, and Fix used it to his advantage, putting in a big effort to bridge up to the leaders. Fix would continue to work his way up to Koerber and Cogburn, eventually passing both en route to a second place finish.           

At the finish Turner was able to cruise through in a new course record time of 4:49:50. Behind Turner, Josh Fix was able to hang on for second, while Cameron Cogburn used a scary fast climb up Curtis Creek as a springboard for third. Sam Koerber won the sprint for fourth, with Charlie Storm slotting into fifth.            

In the women’s race, Carie Lowery rode steadily to a winning time of 6:33:25. Behind her Paula Burks, Alison Granger, Andrea Wilson and Laura Gleason rounded out the women’s podium.           

In the singlespeed race local Will Black crushed the field en route to a top ten overall finish. Behind Black, Robert Jameson took second on a fully rigid 29er with V-brakes, while Greg Leister came through in third. Eric Hagarty and Kelly Klett completed the podium.


Men’s Overall:

1.Thomas Turner (Colivita/Sutter Home) 4:49:53

2. Josh Fix 5:23:55

3. Cameron Cogburn (CCB) 5:28:00

4. Sam Koerber (Gary Fisher 29er Crew) 5:37:42

5. Charlie Storm 5:37:53

6.Greg Kuhn 5:43:56

7. Will Black 5:44:19

8. Matt Williams (iRide Adventures/ 5:46:06

9. James Wiant 5:48:57

10. Garth Prosser 5:49:34

11. Jacob McGahey

12. Andy Applegate

13. Nathan Wyatt (Carolina Fatz)

14. Eddie O’Dea (Topeak/Ergon)

15. Bradley Cobb


Women’s Overall:

1. Carey Lowery (The Outdoor Store) 6:33:25

2. Paula Banks 7:01:29

3. Alison Grainger 7:54:45

4. Andrea Wilson 8:09:27

5. Laura Gleason 8:38:19

6. Alison Forkner

7. Nina Elliott

8. Katie Miller

9. Theresa Dawson

10. Karen Malogorski

11. Melissa Cooper

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