Monday, March 9, 2009
SoCal MTB High School League Race #1
What a fun day. Sunday was the first ever SoCal High School Racing league race, NorCal has a very successful program, SoCal is now following that model and the first race was a big success. Vail Lake Resort (Temecula, CA) was a great venue complete with camping. Thank you Michael McClure for the first two pictures. . Great turnout for the first ever race, 75+ racers (only 6 girls though...). For more race info and pictures see the socaltrailriders post. I wore a Marshal's vest, carried a radio and rode the course during the race to verify all course marshals were okay and to transfer any information required due to intermittent radio contact. The course marshals were various kid's parents so it was cool to talk with them and to cheer their kids on. If there was a crash on the course someone would announce it on the radio (very professionally, "MP 7 reporting, rider down between MP7 and MP8") and if it was in my area I would ride to the crash and make sure they were okay. There was one channel for all course marshals and one person who was in touch with the race and medic crew who were on a different channel(s). It was all very well thought out and explained at the meeting. The meeting was complete with vests, radios, maps, marshal locations and a sheet of rules. The last rule was that you are relieved of your post when the last Sweep Rider comes by and tells you so, he had a race plate that said Last Sweep and was wearing a SoCal League jersey. I'm telling you they did such a good job. This was not an easy course, the racers really got a workout and tested their skills at speed in singletrack. No one was injured, one racer taco'd his wheel. I tried to straighten it, but didn't have much luck; it was good enough to roll to the finish, but that was about it. If a racer receives outside assistance they are penalized 5 minutes but may continue the race. I was impressed with the amount of preparation, attention to safety and awards (trophies, medals and nice leader's jerseys). This is a great thing, hopefully it will spread across the US.