By Mike “Riot” Tourond
How is the Kingston Trophy like a Major League Baseball superstar? It just keeps hitting that proverbial ball out of the park! The fourth and championship round of the Ontario XCMarathon Challenge – run entirely on private property – features one of the most unique courses of any race in the province. This year’s 39-km loop course (two laps for the Full Marathon and one lap for the Half Marathon), took riders through a barn, onto a pump track, across corn and soybean fields, over moto-cross track, along seemingly endless twisty single track, and over 15 bridges and numerous rock gardens.
More than 175 racers took on the challenge this year, which has become known as one of the most fun, yet satisfyingly technical, courses in Marathon XC mountain bike racing, testing even the most seasoned of mountain bikers. Ognjen Sokolovich, a veteran of the provincial mountain bike race scene noted that this was one of the toughest courses he has encountered.
Tom Beck, who came second in the Single Speed category for the Half Marathon and first overall in that category for the series said, “Congratulations to all who did the Full Marathon. I would have only wanted to do a second lap ON A MOTORCYCLE! Congratulation to Dan and all the volunteers who make these races happen. The race was well organized and the veggie burger was delicious, the prizes much appreciated. But being handed that cookie was priceless for me.“ (A giant homemade cookie is awarded to series winners and is a very sought after prize.)
Adam Hill, who took first place in the race and won the overall series in the Full Marathon Men’s 35-49, said, “Amazing series and great event at Kingston. Dan Marshall, thank you for all the countless hours of work to put all of this together. The best part was the jump off into the pool!” Yes, this race features the only swim-up podium in Ontario mountain bike racing!
David Vigneault, third in the Full Marathon Men’s 35-49 category, summed up the general consensus: “Thanks to MTB Kingston for hosting this event and to Dan and his team for the organization of this great event. See you next year!”
Of course, an essential part of the event’s success is hard work of the volunteers, including the members of MTB Kingston, especially Rob Sangers, TeamVanGo, and countless individuals. And all of the participants appreciated the wide variety and quality of prizes, handed out to both the race champions and draw-prize winners. Thanks to Pearl Izumi, Amsterdam Brewery, and Cycle Solutions for the great sponsorship!
The creativity of Substance Projects continues to amaze mountain bikers seeking a combination of challenge and fun. So, how will they top the success of this race, and the XC Marathon series as a whole? I guess we will find out on October 15, when Substance Projects puts on the Sausage Suit ITT, a mountain bike time trial race, in Mansfield, Ontario.
We hope to see you there!