The 3rd edition of the McDowell Mountain Frenzy comes to McDowell Mountain Regional Park this weekend, taking place mainly on the “competitive track” mountain bike courses first built in 1998. The competitive tracks feature rolling hills, narrow single track, banked turns, and several named “features” including “T-Bone Ridge” (the final climb in the 25 Km & 50 Km courses), “The Chunnel” (a horse tunnel/bridge featured in all races), “Double Dip” (two steep descents at the start of the race), and “Cactus Corner” (aid station on the far southwest corner of the 10 mile course).
The 5 Km race is the shortest in the DRT series and follows the Sport Loop, featuring a single loop around “T-Bone Ridge” before descending through the “Clay Pit” just before climbing back up to the finish. The 10 Mile is a combination of the Sport Loop, Technical and Long Loops, taking the outermost line around the entire competitive track. The 25 Km race begins with the 10 mile course and then continues on to an additional 5.5 mile loop made of the Sport and Technical Loops. The race finishes with a bone crunching climb over “T-Bone Ridge” and a final screaming descent into the finish.
50 Km runners will run the 25 Km course with the addition of a figure eight “spur” out into the main park trail system and the Dixie Mine on the far West side of the course. 50 Km runners will depart the 25 Km course at the Gate Aid Station at mile 4, run a service road out to the Pemberton Trail junction and head in the clockwise direction out towards the Coachwhip trail. After turning down Coachwhip and visiting the Dixie Mine itself (Aid Station with drop bags located here), return to the Pemberton Trail via the Dixie Mine trail and continue again in the clockwise direction to the Tonto Tank Trail. A quick trip down the Tonto Tank will return you to the Pemberton Trail where you will again go clockwise back to the service road and the Gate Aid Station.
50 Kilometer Race
This will be the largest 50 Km so far in the DRT Series (currently 56 registered runners) and a large increase from last year’s inaugural MMF 50K which had 33 finishers. Current course records are held by Don Helfer (4:30) and Paulette Zillmer (4:47). In the women’s race, all 3 women leading the DRT Ultra series are registered to run (Deb Hamberlin, Margaret Dehesse and Carin Schmidt). Tony Delogne of Sedona is the pre-race favorite for the men with a win at last year’s Pass Mountain 50K, but will be followed close by Flagstaff’s Scott Bajer who has been up near the front of this year’s CCT and PM runs. Expect Tamas Varga, Jordan McKnight and Jeremy Schmuki to be in the mix as well.
25 Kilometer Race
The 25 Km course will stay the same for the 3rd straight year, but the field continues to grow. There were 56 finishers last year and currently 80 entrants for this weekend’s race. Try not to curse the course designer too much as you climb the final hill over T-Bone Ridge! Watch for Lauren Besenfelder to run away with the women’s race as she steps up to the 25 Km distance from last year’s 2nd place in the MMF 10 Mile. The men’s race should be closer, with a solid Paul Kramer running against last year’s MMF 10 mile winner Brian Dunn. These guys better keep an eye out for out of stater Kevin Tuck from Salt Lake City, Utah who has won several events in Utah over the past few years including Moab’s Red Hot 33K and the Antelope Island Buffalo Run 25K.
10 Mile Race
The 10 mile race is a fast, rolling course with a winning time just under 1:10 last year! Lisa Raykowski and Melanie Zeese should be up at the front of the women’s race this year as both have run well at PM and CCT this year. Brian Wieck, founder and race director of the Pemberton 50K and last year’s MMF 10 mile runner up is the pre-race favorite in the 10 mile.
5 Kilometer Race
The 5 Km race is a bit small this year, likely due to the Sally Meyerhoff 5K sharing the same day, but will feature Tim Merritt who has run 1st and 2nd at the CCT 10 Km and PM 11 Km respectively.
Registration for all events will be available online through midnight on Tuesday, December 6, at packet pickup on Thursday, December 8 at iRun from 4-7PM or on race morning at McDowell Mountain Regional Park 6-8:15AM.
We’ll be hosting a live web cam of the finish line and instant results on race day through our Ultracast for family and friends back home.
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