By Laura Keil
The Canadian Enduro League wrapped up their latest race in Valemount on Sunday.
Sean Kelly, the high school Phys. Ed teacher and one of the only local riders, says it was a very fun day, despite the amount of pedalling – approx. 35km of distance and 1300m of elevation gain.
Enduro races involve multiple stages, and racers are only timed on the “down” portion of the race, but are required to pedal between stages in a certain time frame. At the end, all the stages are added up to a final time which decides the winner.
Kelly says the first stage – the longest and probably the hardest – had them climb to top of Munday Grind near Turducken, descending via Stinger to Andreas’ downhill. The second stage took them to the Swift Mountain side of the trail network. There were five stages in all.
Kelly says it was a really good atmosphere and most people were there for their own self-betterment, not necessarily to win.
“A lot of people just love to travel, and race and compete and have goals to work towards.”
He says this is reflected in the fact the bigger categories are the older categories – not a lot in the pro level category.
This is Kelly’s first race in a while, but he still came in 10th in the 40-49 category.
“It was a super fun atmosphere. You’re riding with people between stages and chatting with people and it’s really friendly.”
Since it was his first race in quite a while, he took it easy, especially at the beginning, in order to manage his energy levels.
“You really have to practice going fast to go fast.”
The fastest overall time in the Valemount Enduro was 17:21.1 by Jonathan Helly in the Men’s Pro category. Jennifer McHugh cinched the title in the Pro women’s category with a time of 20:39.4.