When the organizers at Squamish Enduro theorized the five stage enduro race that would become The Gryphon, they knew they had to do it right, and maybe even raise the bar. Squamish is home to some of the world's most renowned singletrack and it wouldn't be right to have a race that didn't match that reputation. With the help of many volunteer and sponsor efforts, The Gryphon 2017 certainly looked to uphold that reputation.
Stop number two of the North American Enduro Tour landed in Squamish where the weather lined up perfectly, with a heavy downpour on the Thursday before the race, followed by a dry Friday. If you've ever ridden Squamish the day after rain, you know how impressively quick the trails dry out. It all equated to some of the most primo trail conditions imaginable; tacky, fast, and true to the world class dirt Squamish is known for. The SORCA trail crew has been hard at work through a hellacious spring of precipitation; buffing up trails, repairing culverts, and re-building bridges annihilated by fallen trees. Huge thanks to Jeff Norman and his hard working dirt slingers who go above and beyond to keep all the trails, and even some in The Gryphon, so fantastic.
One of the highlights of The Gryphon was Spruce Race Timing's seamless RFID timing system. The no tap, no fuss system allows riders to roll up to the start gate, countdown and go, without any action required by them. When riders finish the stage they can sprint past the finish timer without missing a pedal stroke. Spruce's portable system was backpacked into the various start/finish locations by the awesome volunteers who make The Gryphon possible. Another big shout out to the fellas at Spruce, Andrew Blair and Bruce Pomeroy, the latter of whom was expecting his (and Leah's) baby girl on race day (still TBA).The Course Racing
The Gryphon 2017 course was set to represent the best trails that Squamish has to offer, and it didn't disappoint. A downhill-centric course, on stage 1,2,4, and 5 was balanced out by a bit of a lung buster on stage 3. Stage 1: Cakewalk (Presented by Giro Sport Design) Stage 2: Angry Midget (Sponsored by Shimano)
Angry Midget is probably the best-known tech trail in Squamish, and it's always a rider favourite in The Gryphon. "Feedstation": The Nester's Market Squamish Una Cama Lounge
The endearing, and scandalous ladies from Hot On Your Heels—Women's Only Mountain Bike Race serve up some bubbly vibes at the feed zone. After crossing the Northside connector, an 8km haul from the Diamond Head area to the Alice Lake area, riders were greeted with this scene. It has become a staple of The Gryphon, and after two full on stages and a long pedal, it was a welcome refresh. Stage 3: Ed's Bypass » Manboobs
After two stages of all out technical descending, it was time to churn some lung butter on Stage 3. The longest stage times were recorded here and although there were a couple punchy uphills, the berms and high speed heads up singletrack kept riders on their toes. Stage 4 - Credit Line Stage 5: Crouching Squirrel, Hidden Monkey (Sponsored by OneUp Components)
Crouching begins with a straight shot descent over a mix of loam, rock, and gravel… loose. Flying Spirit Rentals, Norman Rudy's Pub, and Phillips Brewing decided to up the ante, offering one beer per km/h to the fastest non-pro male and female. Flying Spirit Rentals brought their Gorilla and recorded some blazing times. Carl Goldstraw of Team Tantalus picked up 55 brews, and Angie McKirdy snagged herself 49 cold ones. In the pro category, Yoann Barelli recorded the top speed of the day at 60km/h. Thanks to the speed zone volunteer team!Stage 6: The After Party at Norman Rudy's Pub
Why do we ride? Well, honestly it's often more about celebrating the ride than it is actually riding, and the folks at The Gryphon know how to throw down a celebration. After the race, riders followed the course to the finish and entered the new Norman Rudy's Pub patio. Giro Sport Designs was back with its famous caesar bar, Tantalus Bike Shop was pressing out grilled cheese sandwich's, accompanied by their house brand hot sauce, and Alice and Brohm's Real Fruit Ice Cream was spinning soft serve. Pair that with live music from local singer song writer Will Ross and you get an apres experience like no other. It didn't end there, Norman Rudy's served up a pig roast with all the fixin's, and Phillips Brewery covered a round of beers on the house. The medals were hung around the riders necks as the sun went down, and DJ Praiz kept the good times rolling until late.
Tantalus Bike Shop's grilled cheese station, Giro Sport Designs caesar bar, and Alice and Brohm's real fruit ice cream greeted riders as they crossed the line. Norman Rudy's Pub served a pig roast for dinner and the after party went into the early hours of the morning.
photo: Phil SzczepaniakResults Veteran Women
1. Cathy Zeglinski
2. Jane Gillie
3. Barb CookeVeteran Men
1. Carl Goldstraw
2. Don Van Eesteren
3. Steve ToddMasters Women
1. Meghan Illingworth
2. Annie Roy
3. Jaclyn JeffreyMasters Men
1. Matt Ryan
2. Greg Grant
3. Cesar GairinOpen Women
1. Fejola Stepanka Nestlerova
2. Angeline McKirdy
3. Rose Oakhill Open Men
1. Dylan Layzell
2. Robert Armstrong
3. Matt Bolton Junior Women
1. Julia Long
2. Ainhoa Ijurco
3. Bailey GoldstoneJunior Men
1. Kasper Woolley (note that Kasper would have finished 3rd in Pro Men)
2. Jacob Murray
3. Jacob TookePro Women
1. Leonie Picton
2. Laura Battista
3. Brittany Phelan
4. Amy Morrison
5. Jo PetersPro Men
1. Jesse Melamed
2. Remi Gauvin
3. Chris Johnston
4. Yoann Barelli
5. Brendon Edgar
Full results available at Spruce Race Timing
Shimano sponsored the annual twerk off, where Kelly Evans and Evan Power had the floor believing they were straight outta Atlanta. While OneUp Components offered up their new EDC tool to the first person to jump in the lake. Matt Ryan sprinted past a pack of children to take home the prize (to be fair, he was the only person to jump right in, and executed a beauty dive in the process).
Huge thanks to all the sponsors who helped make the event awesome, and all the amazing volunteers who make The Gryphon what it is. Proceeds from The Gryphon go to SORCA and Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Sea to Sky.
Thanks to the men behind the lenses; Caleb Smith, Elliot Smith, Brad Martyn, Jessie Mcauley, Phil Szczepaniak, and AJ Barlas.
For inquiries contact email@example.com or visit http://squamishenduro.com/