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Columbia County to Host Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships

7 Aug, 2014


USA Cycling Event to be Hosted in Georgia in 2015 and 2016

Columbia County has been selected to host the 2015 and 2016 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships.

"USA Cycling is excited about bringing our premier endurance mountain bike championship to the Southeastern United States," said Micah Rice, vice president of National Events for USA Cycling. "As a stand-alone event, the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships have never been east of the Mississippi River and the fantastic trails of Columbia County, Georgia will create a great venue for all of our participants."

The event will be staged out of Wildwood Park in Appling. The approximately 65-mile circuit will utilize the Bartram and Keg Creek Trails on a course that stretches from the West Dam Recreation Area to Mistletoe State Park. The race is expected to draw 400 competitors. Dates for the championships have not been set.  

"We're honored to have been chosen by USA Cycling to host this prestigious event," said Randy DuTeau, executive director of the Columbia County CVB. "In addition to attracting a significant number of visitors to the area, the high-profile nature of the championship will generate tremendous exposure for our county's great recreational resources."

The USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships will complete a two-year run in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 2014. That event is being held in conjunction with the Sun Valley Bike Festival. The Columbia County CVB plans to emulate that model by developing an outdoor festival that will include a trail-running race, mountain bike demos, and other activities to run in conjunction with the national championships. Local organizers plan to host a mountain bike race and trail run on the proposed championship course in 2014, which will serve as a "test run" for the nationals. That event date will be announced shortly.

"Columbia County is primed to become a major Southeastern destination for outdoor enthusiasts," said Mr. DuTeau. "Clarks Hill Lake, the Savannah River, excellent parks, and a multitude of mountain bike trails in the area give us a tremendous advantage in attracting active lifestyle visitors. The exposure generated by hosting such a prestigious event will provide an even greater platform for spreading the word. If you're looking for adventure in Columbia County, it's here!"

About the Columbia County CVB: The mission of the Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau is to promote Columbia County as a distinctive recreational, professional, and cultural destination in order to support and stimulate our local economy. To learn more, visit www.choosecolumbiacounty.com

About USA Cycling: Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling comprises 70,000+ licensees; 3,000 clubs and teams; and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,650 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org.

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