The photographer, A.E. Landes Photography was great too. Abe put together a slide show each evening of the day’s stage. Mike and Ray had some great schwag for prizes for everyone who finished as well as for daily stage winners. I hope they can continue to secure good sponsorship for this race, which I imagine they will be able too since it seemed to be a big hit this inaugural year.
The TSE was a great first stage race for me to enter into this new format of racing. Granted, half way through, I was thinking I wasn’t going to survive, but that had nothing to do with how the race was put on. It was tough but doable and with some really fun stages to boot.
Finishing out the week, I’d say maybe, just maybe, it was a tad short, although that’s because I am done now and at home looking at a couple of nice rest weeks before my next 100 miler. But I really don’t feel ‘wrecked’ like I anticipated feeling finishing this race. There was good variety in the stages, although, I wasn’t particularly keen on the long ‘roady’ day, but it was a break from the rocky, rough terrain of PA. And unfortunately my most tired day, Stage 4 at Raystown, was some of the most fun, fastest trail riding I’ve done in a while – smooth, giant pump track like terrain. It was sweet. I would love to go back there to ride those trails on fresh legs.
There are some wonderful trail systems in PA. We got to ride lots of them in this race and hopefully even more of them next year. I won’t lie – it is rocky, but mostly it’s just purely true mountain biking in my book. And my competition was pretty tough but I was pleased to hang in there in 2nd place with some really experienced endurance racers, and make lots of new riding friends.