Race Report: WORCA Epic Thriller/Chiller Race

Jul 10, 2019
by Dale Mikkelsen  

Race and Ride Epic presented by WORCA - Whistler Offroad Cycling Association

WORCA Epic Thriller/Chiller Race: - July 6, 2019

Race and Ride Report:
• Mud, Rain, and Reward - 30km of bliss

The day in a snapshot: It took the winner 2.5 hours. It took some over 4 hours. It was wet from start to finish. Greasy was the word most spoken during the day. But in the end, WORCA's first annual Dirty 30 was in the books and the riders have asked for a re-do. See you in 2020.

The first-ever WORCA Dirty 30 is done and dusted. Or should we say done and de-greased.

90 intrepid riders registered and braved the weather, the vertical, and the relentless fight against gravity that the slick roots provided. It was an epic battle and awesome to watch every single person survive.

This event was conceived as a celebration of 30 years of the Whistler Off Road Cycling Association - the trails chosen were specifically picked to celebrate the history of trail development in Whistler, and to showcase the diversity of terrain, forests, and trail-types that make up riding in Whistler. What wasn't chosen, was the weather. 2 days of hard rain, cool temperatures, and drizzle prepped the course to ensure that things would not be easy and would certainly be spicy.

Classic trails, rarely raced, were woven together into 2 unique courses - a "Chiller" for those wanting a sampling of the big terrain available off the famous epic ride, "Comfortably Numb", and a "Thriller", a 30km competitive ride eating up almost all of "Comfortably Numb" and several other area classics, finishing on the punishing "Foreplay" descent back to the hub of early mountain biking in Whistler - the "Zappa Trails". The Dirty 30 celebration was first conceived of by former WORCA president Tony Horn and then delivered by another former president Grant Lamont as a bit of an experiment in true trail ride racing.

Reviews were positive, and post-race banter from the participants told us that we should do it again. With more time and planning, WORCA may have a new locally crafted "epic trail race" in the legacy of previous WORCA epics. With the end of the NIMBY 50 this year, by our friends up in Pemberton, the Dirty 30 may fill that void for a multi-hour technical West Coast singletrack race and ride that for some will be a challenge set against the clock, and for others, a challenge to complete. The bonus is a "Chiller" course for those not ready to supersize their order and the full commitment to the pain cave.

Rider comments:

• "Endlessly exhaustingly awesome."
• "More physically demanding than the NIMBY."
• "Amazing terrain that I never would have thought of riding that way."
• "Horrible."

Cool stuff:

• Our winner completed the Thriller Course - over 30km - in 2.5 hours. Crazy.
• Our Junior Male winner posted a 2:44 and was 7th overall, riding a 31-pound enduro rig.
• We had 2 junior female winners that rode together and pushed each other and stood on the top step together.\
• Our top female was in the top 15 overall.

The full Thriller Course:

- Zappa Trails - Yummy Numby - Golden Door - Comfortably Numb - Young Lust - Sea2Sky - Wish You Were Here - Sasquatch Alley - Foreplay Descent - Zappa Trails.

The President of WORCA realising brakes are a bad choice at this moment.

Jon Decaigny still pushing hard after losing a battle to a greasy root earlier in the day.

Junior Nick Mikkelsen still charging at kilometre 25.

Layla d'Emanuele poking her nose into 5th place.

Anyway you can hydrate is good.

Open Men's winner, Patrick McNeeley, shying away from the flattery.

Open Women's winner, Michelle Chang, is going to be eating well on the hill this season.

Were you racing 30+km in the mud when you were 14? Junior women co-winners, Sophi and Ayva.


Open Men

1st. Patrick McNeeley

Open Women

1st. Michelle Chang

Junior Men

1st. Nick Mikkelsen

Junior Women

1st. Sophi Lawrence & Ayva Gaudet (tie)

If anyone wants to help to join an organizing group to make this bigger and better next year, drop us a line at events@worca.com - we'd love to hit 200 riders, an aid station where the Chill and Thrill meet, and a timed DH on Young Lust or Foreplay.

MENTIONS: This event would not have been possible without full support from Stonebridge at Whistler, Whistler Cooks, Coast Mountain Brewing, Whistler-Blackcomb, RMOW, and Live to Play Sports - @stonebridgewhistler @coastmountainbeer @whistlercooks @whistlerblackcomb @livetoplaysports @RMOW


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