Wildwood Games to feature Mountain Bike National Championship
29 Apr, 2015
The 2015 USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships will be the anchor race for the expanded Wildwood Games presented by Zaxby’s sports festival when the second edition of the Columbia County, Georgia, event takes place the weekend of May 2 and 3. In addition to the mountain bike race and trail running events from the inaugural edition, disc golf and open water swimming have been added to the competition schedule this year.
Wildwood Games competition will kick-off on Saturday, May 2, with the USA Cycling event, which is making its first visit east of the Mississippi River. Age group riders will begin in waves starting at 8am. Race starts for the pro and elite riders will begin at 1:30pm. USA Cycling officials are anticipating around 200 riders, up significantly from the 66 riders for the inaugural Wildwood Games.
Riders will have plenty to see on the course that measures approximately 60 miles. The first half of the course which begins in Wildwood Park will take the riders east along the Bartram Trail on fast groomed trails with little elevation change. After the first loop, the riders will pass back through Wildwood Park before beginning the more challenging second loop of the race that will include the twisty and slick Keg Creek Trail and the challenging trails at Mistletoe State Park.
“On paper, the course profile looks deceptively easy”, said DuTeau. “Riders looking for the elevation and climbs of Sun Valley will not find it here. Energy management will be vital as the course doesn’t offer long descents down a mountain for recovery. Riders will need to resist the urge to go out too hard on the fast first circuit. The technical nature of the second half of the course and the course’s long distance are expected to take their toll on riders.”
Saturday will also see the introduction of two new sports to the Wildwood Games. Disc Golf makes its debut at the International Disc Golf Center. The PDGA sanctioned and managed tournament will feature three rounds of disc golf over two days. “We are very excited to partner with our friends at the PDGA”, said DuTeau. “Disc golf at the International Disc Golf Center makes so much sense for a festival that celebrates silent sports and utilizes nature’s resources for a competition venue.”
3 mile and 1.5 mile open water swimming races will also take place Saturday in Clarks Hill Lake. The endurance swimming competition will start and finish at the Wildwood Park fishing ramps. The 3 mile race will begin at 10am and the 1.5 mile race will start at 10:15am. “Open water swimming is really taking off in this area. Wildwood Park will provide a stunning setting for this inaugural race.”
Wildwood Games competition will conclude on Sunday, May 3, with the final round of disc golf, as well as a series of trail running races on the Bartram Trail. The trail races will start at 7am and feature 50K ultra-marathon, 26.2 mile, 13.1 mile, and 10K options. According to DuTeau, “the trail races are very athlete friendly. The courses are not overly technical, and with several distance options, there is a race for every level of runner.”
Wildwood Games competition is open to the public. USA Cycling Championship requires a one year USA Cycling license. All entrants will receive a t-shirt, participants medal, lunch, and other items. Registration for the Wildwood Games presented by Zaxby’s competition will be open through May 1. Additional information can be found at WildwoodGames.com. Volunteer opportunities are available.
Saturday, May 2
USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships
8:00am – 8:26am – Age Group Categories
1:30pm – Pro and Elite Men and Women
Disc Golf at International Disc Golf Center
10:00am – opening round
2:00pm (approximate – round 2)
Open Water Swimming
10:00am – 3 mile swim start
10:15am – 1.5 mile swim start
Sunday, May 3
Trail Running Races
7:00am – 50K and Marathon start
7:15am – Half Marathon and 10K start
10:00am – Round 3
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