The team was represented by Tommy Jones, Joe Hathcock and Mark Hill at this classic mountain cookie ride… 103 miles… 13,000 feet of climbing… one of a kind.
First hand report indicates the start to be much slower than in years past with a large group of a couple hundred coming into Blowing Rock together. Each climb started weeding guys out. Groups would get away on the climbs and then some would re-form on the descents and flats. Still a pretty big group of 50-60 made the turn onto Meat Camp and on the way to Snake Mountain, but Snake always separates the contenders from the pretenders and unfortunately Joe and Mark didn’t have their climbing legs this day and Tommy flatted.
This ride is about survival regardless of how many teammates you have, so very little tactical strategy plays out here, other than mind games and talking to yourself. A wheel in front is always a beautiful thing unless it is coming back too. Many memories and many stories are made on Snake Mountain.
Proud of the guys for giving it a go and a 21st place for Joe at 5:05:39 and 44th for Tommy at 5:18:15 (ride time of 5:11). Mark pulled the plug to save some for another day.
There is always next year. Congrats to all that participated and to the Watauga Chapter of the American Red Cross for one of the best run mountain rides around.