Maryhill Festival of Speed
Goldendale, Washington, USA
For the third straight year the Festival of Speed returns to Goldendale as the only World Cup race in North America.
Tuesday, September 1
I drove done to Maryhill. I was hoping to make it down in time for tech inspection, but I didn't leave until after lunch and ran into two repavement projects near Goldendale. I got to the course about 6 PM. Tech was already finished for the day, and they were almost done waiting for the course to be set up.
Wednesday, September 2
I love riding Maryhill, and would try to get in as many rides as possible.
There wasn't a lot to do, until we got an emergency vehicle. We sat around baking in the sun. About noon I got some lunch from the food vendor. A deal was made with the local hospital
Because we rode until late, it was real late by the time we went to dinner. There was plans to have a welcome drink at a new bar in town.
Thursday, September 3
Things actually got started on time today. I missed the first run as I arrived just as the truck was heading up the mountain. We rode all morning.
It was back in the truck after lunch.
There was an autograph session in town, but I missed it because I went to an early dinner.After dinner, I went out to the campsite, and watched some videos on the back of McIntyre's camper. Thanks to Busse this has become a Maryhill tradition.
Friday, September 4
I got up early enough to head over for some of the free pancake breakfast that was being provided to the atheletes at the campground.
Last year we practiced in the morning, then qualified in the evening. But we finished really late. So this year we started off with qualifying.I grabbed an early lunch, as we would not be taking a lunch break.
Standup finished just after noon and we went up for our warmup and qualifying.
After Qualifying we got a few practice runs in.
Dinner was at the Mexican restaurant.
Saturday, September 5
Just like yesterday, today we were starting off with standup qualifying. I didn't race to get to the course, and missed the morning race meeting. But things were a little late getting started. Yesterdays times were posted.
This moved a long a little faster than yesterday, which is a good thing, because the weather doesn't look all that great.
After qualifying a last chance race was run. Standup is going to be a 96 man race, so the top 92 qualifiers made it into the race. The next 48 were going to race off for 4 spots. We were supposed to also have free rides after each heat. I didn't know it at the time, but the free rides were canceled. I jumped on the truck to head up, and just after I got on the truck it started to rain. It was pouring by the time I got to the top!
It is amazing how much difference a day makes. Earlier in the week it was hot and we couldn't get enough shade and water, today we can't stay warm.
After the last chance race was the King of the Hill race. The top six luge qualifiers would race in a single heat, and the top six standup would race. Some preparation is necessary. Switzer decided to try to add some, uhm mud flaps to his board.
After the races there was a short awards ceremony.
Top Junior I Qualifier:
Top Female Qualifier:
King of the Hill Street Luge:
King of the Hill Standup:
There was an athelete dinner at the campgorund. The local church cooked a spaghetti dinner, and asked for donations only.
Sunday, September 6
I had to get up early today, classic would be the first race. The weather called for more rain, but it was hard to tell.
When we finish each heat we have to line up in finish order.
Then the weather turned wonky. It started to rain.
As we started to come up the hill for the luge race, it began to rain. I changed back to my rain wheels in the truck!
In my next heat I had Rogers, Dean and one of the Bobs. The road was a little drier than before, but it was still slippery. I got out in front of Bob and was tracking the other two down. I was getting closer to them as I came around one corner and my back end started sliding out. I quickly corrected it, but lost what little advantage I had, and Bob passed me. That was how we finished the race. I got to watch the next couple of heats from the finish.
It was time for the finals. I'm not sure if it was a good omen, but an incredible rainbow sprouted over the wind turbines.I started towards the back of the pack, but passed several people by out pushing them. I know that I needed to slow down for the corners, but you still need to get to the corner quickly. I was in third or fourth right behind Peer. I tried to pass him before a turn, with a lot of speed. Unfortunaely I didn't make it around him in time, so now I was heading for the outside of a turn, and couldn't hold on and slid out. I knew pretty much the entire pack was right behind me. So I took my time getting up. I figured either they would have already gone by, or I would be jumping out in front of them. So I slowly stood up, and then I saw two stragglers pass me. I decided I could overtake them, and didn't want to come in last. So I jumped back on the board, started to pass people. As I got closer to the bottom I saw a huge hole in the hay. As I went by it, I was thinking that maybe I should have gotten up faster, I would have passed whoever wrecked here. I went by someone else in Cowzers, and then just before the finish I passed Bones, who was barely moving. I managed to overtake everyone I was already in front of, and finished the race behind Peer! After Bones crossed the finish line, I asked if the hole in the hay was his handiwork. This was his first classic race, and he said he was trying to hang with the other guys, when they went in to the turn faster than he expeced, and he ended up taking out half the hay.
In the finals there was quite a bit of carnage, with almost everyone wrecking. Lally prevailed.
It was almost black out, and getting later. I was starving, and getting cold. But we still had the prize giving.
It was very late, and I was starving. As soon as the awards were given out, I hightailed it out of there. There was supposed to be a big thing going on at the Barred Rock, so that is where I went. Besides the food was good there. I don't think many people got the memo, plus with the late hour, not many of us showed up there. But they did feed us. After eating a fine dinner, I spent a few more hours hanging out with friends at the campground before finally calling it a night.
Maryhill was another fine event, marred only by the lack of paramedics on the first day. It would have also been nicer to have something other than the hot box uhauls. But it is a good even, and a fun road. Unfortunately we had a couple people dislocate their shoulders, and one person broke their leg.