Friday, May 7, 2010

Trail Run - Saturday 5.8.10

A couple of us are going to do a trail run around Pass Mountain in the morning beginning about o545. Park fee is $6 per vehicle so plan on meeting off site at Zaharis at 0530 to carpool into the park. We'll head into the park at 0540 and would like to be on the trail by 0545. Plan on about 1:30 - 1:45 to complete the run. Call Mike if you have questions.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Planning for the Usery Mountain Madness event started in October 2009. As a team, we could not have imagined the twists and turns in the road ahead of us. We met amazing people from organizations who supported this event and we made new friends along the way.

Proceeds from the UMM fund the mission of the 100 Club of Arizona which provides financial assistance to families of police officers and firefighters who are seriously injured or killed in the line-of-duty. The 2010 Usery Mountain Madness Adventure Duathlon is dedicated to the memory of Officer Chris Marano - Department of Public Safety and Lieutenant Eric Shuhandler - Gilbert Police Department.

April 17th was a typical Arizona spring day which is perfect for a race. The sky was blue and temperatures were forecasted to reach 90 degrees. There was the customary pre event hustle and bustle of registering racers and passing out swag. In the end 62 individuals comprising 31 teams were on hand for the inaugural running of the UMM.

Both the Insane and Sane courses were kicked off with stirring renditions of the Star Spangled Banner performed by Country Music Star Doni Flanigan. Doni was in town for the Country Thunder Concert in Florence. As an avid supporter of public safety and the 100 Club, we were glad to have Doni as part of this event.

With the words, "Runners take your mark... Get set... Go!" the racers were off. The sprint style start required teams to travel on foot for a half of a mile. At the transition area they picked up their mountain bikes and hit the trail. Long coursers rode 10 miles and short coursers 6.5 miles of fast single track and jeep trails. Along the way teams participated in the first of four mystery events - the Blind Ball Toss.

After completing the first bike leg, racers returned to the transition area for a shot at the second mystery event - the Mad Mad Model. This event proved to be difficult and could be more aptly named Model Mayhem.

Back on foot, teams were required to trek to the third mystery event. Long coursers took the high road over Pass Mountain and out to the scenic Sunset Vista, where they faced the Mind Trap. The short coursers took the low road on a pristine desert trail that led back to the staging area where they also faced the Mind Trap. All teams continued to the transition area where racers pick up their bikes for the final leg of the event.

Although the racers were familiar with the bike course, the final ride proved to be difficult. As riders churned out the final miles of the course, a pit stop at the fourth mystery event challenged teams to devise a tennis ball catapult. There were many creative solutions to launching a tennis ball, some more successful than others. On final approach, racers bypassed the transition area for a dramatic dash to the finish line.

With a majority of racer completing the course, the awards ceremony commenced. Door prizes, finisher ribbons and the charity raffle were the order of the afternoon. The grand prize for the raffle was a full build mountain bike valued at over $1000 dollars. The bike was generously donated by Travis Jones, owner of the local bike shop Two Wheel Jones. Anticipation was high as the time for the raffle drew near. The ticket was drawn and everyone hoped to be the lucky one. The winner of the grand prize was a soldier who recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. He was excited to win the bike and very deserving of this good fortune.

After considering the message our team wants to convey to everyone involved with this event, it comes down to this... THANKS!

Thanks for a great team effort - whether you're a regular on our crew or an event volunteer, every bit of time and effort supporting the UMM mattered and was appreciated.

Thanks to the sponsors - solid companies owned and operated by solid individuals who are very deserving of your business and referrals.

Finally, thanks to the participants - your drive to compete and willingness to support this cause made this event happen. By all accounts, the 2010 Usery Mountain Madness Adventure Duathlon was a success. We hope you enjoyed the day. Make plans to join us again next year. It just goes to prove...

It's not bad to be a little mad!