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Indiana XC Racing

IXCR Round 5 from the Black Diamond at Perfect North Slopes

IXCR Round 5 from the Black Diamond at Perfect North Slopes

IXCR Round 5 from the Black Diamond at Perfect North Slopes

IXCR Round 5 from the Black Diamond at Perfect North Slopes

IXCR Round 5 from the Black Diamond at Perfect North Slopes

Lawrenceburg, In (JUne 13, 2010) - Well, after months of preparation and speculation the Black Diamond XC went down on Sunday in Lawrenceburg, In.  And what an awesome event it was!  I was a little curious on why the name was chose as “Black Diamond XC” I’ve been skiing and I knew the Black Diamond was somewhere that I just needed to stay away from!  But when you throw the XC in behind it that’s a different story.  That made me want to be there to see just how tough it could actually be.  Here’s what I found out about the term Black Diamond in the skiing world.

A ski slope with a black diamond rating is said to be one of the more difficult slopes relative to others around it. When considering ski run categories, the black diamond has traditionally been the most difficult, though in recent years a double black diamond designation has been implemented. No matter if it is a single or double black diamond, it will still be one of the more difficult trails at a particular resort.

Okay, so now I get the reason for the name of the event, but really, Indiana can it be that tough?  Mother Nature did her part of making it rough that’s for sure!  I got a text Saturday morning saying the parking lot had Six Feet of water in it.  Yeah, I said SIX FEET!  So I’m thinking that the “race is canceled” text is soon to follow, but I was wrong.  So we loaded up and headed south for the weekend.  We could see where the course was suppose to be based on the arrows that appeared to be floating when we arrived, but they were actually on the normal steaks the water had just came up so high you couldn’t see the steaks.  So I was really worried.  But after walking the first, I don’t know maybe 1/10 mile of the course I could tell we were going to go up a lot of hills that I didn’t want to walk up.  So I went back to chill out in the lodge.  Eat some pizza from the concession stand, and use the restroom in a toilet that actually flushes.  A few times I had to pinch myself to be sure this was actually happening at an XC race.  So for those of you who are reading this and you didn’t go, you really missed out!  The place was amazing!!!!!  There was a huge spectator showing as well as an awesome vendor row with everything from a rock climbing wall and the National Guard, to a brand new Corvette, or a brand new boat, all the way to goggles and tires being sold by series sponsors.  Not to mention pitting on pavement which was a luxury I’ve never got to experience.

We did get some more rain on Saturday night so I knew that would keep a few racers away but not many could have stayed home because the showing was huge!  With 287 total bike riders and 195 quads that is a total of 482 riders and the largest turn out ever for an IXCR event!

The youth bikes had 36 entries and the top three riders were Austin Walton, Braden Browning, and Garrett Kirby.  Next up was Youth ATV’s where we had a showing of 24 entries.  Thomas Hufferd was the fastest Mini on the course with Charlie Welch coming in 5 seconds behind him for 2nd overall and AJ Clark took home third.

Adult bikes were up next and the showing was absolutely amazing!  251 entered this race.  I now take you back to the very beginning of this write up where we discovered what the terminology behind Black Diamond is in Skiing.  Apparently the same holds true for XC racing.  Finishing one lap at this even was a huge accomplishment.  With several DNF’s it apparent that the slopes of Perfect North are plenty challenging for everyone from the Pro’s all the way to the first year racer.  On this day, after a few adjustments, Chris Douglas was the winner and took home a check for a whopping $1,000.  John Maschino was able to tame the steep hills and took home second overall and Andrew Shea grabbed the final podium spot.  I know I heard several riders talking about a nasty ravine and a horribly steep downhill.  But at this point, I’m thinking they were just so blown away by racing with 250 other guys it just seemed bad.  Little did I know what was waiting for the 171 adult quads that hit the slopes.  With only 15 seconds between each row and a live engine start it made things get interesting real quick.  The course had to be rerouted due to a few places that became un-passable for the bikes.  So if a dirt bike can’t get thru there is very little hope for a quad to even stand a chance.  So the ATV course was a little different but the downhill that will be remembered by everyone who raced this event was still in the course.  If you didn’t see this hill it’s hard to describe and pictures just won’t due it justice.  All’s I can say is WOW!  Donnie Ockerman won the overall and took home the cold hard cash with Walker Fowler on his heals.  Josh Beavers rounded out the podium on KTM and dedicated his podium performance to his brother who was recently injured at work.

The rest of this tough course went up and down the slopes around some flat grass track sections, over the creek jump, then up on the pavement, and finally thru the special test section which was right in front of the lodge.  With hundreds of spectators overlooking the tires and logs this was your chance to show up or shut up!

Overall with the conditions that we had, I thought the race was a total blast and I would go again if it was ever offered at this location.  I could see the Black Diamond being IXCR’s version of “The Last Man Standing”.  This property has a lot to offer and from what I heard we were only able to hit a portion of it due to the wet conditions.  So my hat is off to the IXCR crew for working with what they had and putting on a great event.  Next round is being held just up the road from Perfect North Slopes in Aurora, In on July 18th at Circle Ridge Farms.  So everyone start to enjoy the summer and stay safe.

Until next time, keep it between the trees!
Garon Davis

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