Hunter Williams’ Snowshoe GNCC Race Report

My very first Snowshoe GNCC was by far one of the coolest race weekends that I have ever had. We headed up to Snowshoe Friday afternoon and got there around 2am Saturday morning. We found a small spot in the second corner, next to our hotel, and crammed the van in. When I got out I was amazed to see the finish line area and lights at night, and the party was still going! All day Saturday Justin “Bird Dog” Sode and I ran around the whole place checking everything out on the course and the ATV race, including the huge mud bog at the 1 mile marker. And also checking out the “scenery”.

Sunday morning it was on! The start was unlike anything I have ever done. It was almost like an enduro start but way more intense. It was pretty much a live engine rolling start in rows of five every ten seconds. I was on row 22 and the other Top 5 guys in my class were on 21. Still not sure why that happened but oh well.

When they took off all I knew was that I had to catch up. The whole first mile was a huge dust bowl. You literally could not see 20 feet out in front of you. When we got to the 1 mile marker mud hole I had already picked out a line. I went straight for it, and from what I could tell I was in the lead after getting around the bad parts. The whole track was covered in slick roots and rocks. I tried to settle down and keep a good pace and I did for a while but Teddy Mullins and Adam Bonneur were not far off my pace! Chris Douglas was right there for a while too. They seemed to be better through the roots and some of the uphills, but I seemed a little faster through the rocky technical sections.

We swapped the lead a few times on the course, but I held the lead through scoring the first 4 laps. Adam passed me on the 5th lap through the really rooty sections and held on for the lead on Lap 5. Something unfortunately happened to Teddy. I’m not exactly sure what but that left it to me and Adam to battle it out through the next few sections. We were so tired after coming out of the really tough sections that we would almost be fast-cruising side by side down the road sections trying to get our breath back. I gapped Adam on the 6th lap, which was the South loop, but made a mistake in the last rock section before the finish. From talking to him after the race we were both thinking we had a final lap on the North loop, and he passed me hauling up the hill and took the checkered. But I had kept the hammer going and was just a few bike lengths off crossing the line. With the 10 second row difference I had won by 5 seconds!

It was an incredible experience winning that race for my first time up there! Thanks to everyone that helped me get ready for the race, and some key advice, and thanks to all of my sponsors!

Braaap!

Speck

Hunter Williams Racing

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