Singletrack Samurai’s up to challenge 

You didn’t have to be crazy to take part in the first annual Samurai of Singletrack last weekend, but it helped.

When the day ended – and it couldn’t end soon enough for some participants – an astonishing 91 of the 96 mountain bikers who took part made it to the finish line. The course was 19 of Whistler’s cross-country trails, including some of the most technical trails in the valley.

"The weather was amazing," says organizer Tony Horn. "I don’t think if it had been raining or if the trails were a little wetter that nearly as many people would have made it. It was incredible so many did."

Lucas Curran posted the fastest time of the day, coming in at three hours and 49 minutes. Nikki Kassel was the top woman in approximately five and a half hours.

Times were not as important, however, as finishing the race. Everybody who made it got to take part in a special Samurai ceremony at Teppan Village.

"The stories were amazing," says Horn.

Vic Delbosco, 61, was the oldest competitor to finish, riding a heavy Santa Cruz Bullet.

Anne Kennedy broke her bike on Thrill Me Kill Me, hitchhiked back to the village to borrow a bike, then hitchhiked back to the trail to pick up where she left off.

Dave Pilling was the last guy to cross the line in 8:53 after suffering four flats and seven tumbles. When he made it to the finish, his large chain ring was strapped to his back, bent out of shape after a run-in with a rock.

It was that kind of race.

"Everybody can’t wait for next year. We’ll be back again, probably with a new course – you can only change it so much, but it would be good to make each year a little different," says Horn.

From Function Junction, riders went up the Flank Trail and came down Industrial Disease, then moved on to Lower Sproat, 99er, Danimal, Beaver Pass and Whip Me, Snip Me. After that it’s a brief return to the Flank Trail, before heading off to Binty’s, Rebob, Mel’s Dilemma, the Alpine X-Cut, Shit Happens, Big Kahuna, Section 102, and Thrill Me Kill Me. Riders then made their way back to the village via the Green Lake Loop, Poler’s Road, Mainline and Rolo Coaster.

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