|[ August 10, 2022 – Pinkham Notch, N.H.]
Heat and high humidity was a challenging factor at the Moat Mountain 24 Hours of Great Glen at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road on Saturday and Sunday, August 6th and 7th.
Temperatures soared into the high 80s with a heat index into the 90s as over 400 endurance racers rode their mountain bikes around the Great Glen Trails system on a 9 mile loop. Competitors challenged themselves as either a solo rider, or a team of two, four, or five on the course throughout the Great Glen Trails network of carriage roads and technical singletrack.
Participants hailed from all New England states, and attracted those from around the country, including DC, Colorado, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, and Virginia.
Families and supporters gathered at this event themed around Peter Pan, a fictional character who never grows up and who can fly, created by Scottish novelist J. M. Barrie. “Peter”, was joined by race staff Wendy, Michael, Tinker Bell and of course nemesis Captain Hook and boatswain Smee. Racers had the option to “Ride the Plank”—the infamous floating bridge over the Glen pond that shortcuts the course.
The 24 Hour Race, that also features a 12 Hour option, was held annually starting in 1996, and after a five-year hiatus (plus another year due to COVID), Moat Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery became the title sponsor and enabled race organizers to bring this beloved race back to the Glen in 2021. This year, Moat Mountain continued its sponsorship while celebrating 22 years of operation, and issued a special edition double-IPA “22 in 22” beer and label commemorating the race.
Barker Mountain Bikes out of Bethel, Maine, along with national brand Specialized Bikes were the presenting sponsors and were on-site at the event to offer wrenching, service, bike shop gear, and demos.
Long time volunteers, Great Glen staff, and former staff all pitched in to make it a safe and successful weekend. Former events director at the Auto Road and Great Glen Trails Mary Power served as the campground host to the delight of many racers who remembered her from her tenure at the Glen. Mary remarked that it was incredible to be part of the fun of the race, and it was great to see so many familiar faces and their families still racing.
“The 2022 Moat Mountain 24 Hours of Great Glen presented by Barker Mountain Bikes and Specialized Bikes was a HUGE success again this year,” said Nate Harvey, Program Director at Great Glen Trails and co-director of the race. “I’d like to personally thank all the hard working staff, volunteers, local sponsors and of course the bike racing community for making this race such a highlight of my summer.” He said, “the kids games, the bagpiper, the Friday night party…oh and the 9 mile course! The rugged course w bumps, 90 degree heat, roots, berms, and a floating bridge rode so fast and so tight for the entire event.”
Harvey goaded, “I’m hoping to pack this gear away for a short winter’s nap and pull it all out again for our 23rd anniversary … Anybody with me?”
Participants camped at the base of the Auto Road from Friday night through Sunday night, and some camps featured impressive set-ups for their teams and solo riders. Adding to the festivities was the Friday night party featuring live music by local band Shark Martin, as well as food trucks My Tin Can Co, and Crescent City Kitchen. And not to be missed was the “24 Minutes of Great Glen” for kids on strider bikes to ages 12. They were treated to themed prizes donated by Zeb’s General Store and Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf.
While there are many ways to participate in this event with the festivities, the athlete’s endurance and fortitude are truly what make this event spectacular.
Local bike enthusiast and racer Jeremiah Macrae-Hawkins took the top male solo spot with 24 laps (216 miles) in 24 hours and 11:38 minutes. Top female solo rider Jessica Nankman from Hellertown, PA rode an impressive 16 laps (144 miles) in 22 hours 8 minutes.
The 4-person Male Expert category was the most fiercely competitive—the top two teams both finished with 34 laps and “Velocislow” only besting the “NEYC All-Stars” by a mere 15 minutes. Incredibly, NEYC All-Stars and Team West Hill Shop, who came in 3rd, were all young enough to compete in the Junior category but raced as adults. Junior racers present throughout the race in both the 12 and 24 hour categories and are a testament to the future of mountain bike racing.
For full results and information about riders, visit the race website:
Other sponsors who helped to ensure the success of this event were: Mountain Flyer bike journal, New England Youth Cycling (NEYC), The Glen House Hotel, Kona Bicycles, Element Machine Tools, Settlers Crossing North Conway, Pepsi, Pirates Cove Mini Golf, White Mountain Footwear Group, and Honey Stinger.
Race organizers will be working over the coming months to decide the potential of continuing this annual esteemed race. Participants as well as volunteers will eagerly await any announcement, and like Peter Pan, refuse to grow up!
Photos of the weekend can be found on Joe Viger’s website, the official race photographer: https://www.jvsportsphoto.com/p1826399