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"Yeah, the way we had the trail planned would have been constant downhill or flat, but because of endangered plant life we had to add some uphill sections to divert around them." I flatted 1/3rd of the way down my first run, and had the time to talk with one of the builders on my hike to the bottom. Then I got stung by a bee, and of course I'm allergic. My racing was over. But, I always enjoy getting those little bits of knowledge for when complaints come rolling out regarding aspects of a race weekend. Ride your bike, have fun, give 110%; because the people working to pull this event off are giving their all for nothing but the hope of having a great event. To my surprise everyone really thought the course was great, and it was. Having been a driving force behind the Big Creek Quick Six enduro, I have a good grasp of what it takes just to pull an event off. Hours upon hours, volunteers, great sponsors, and a core crew to get the thing planned out to the letter. The crew at Raccoon Mtn. in Chattanooga TN. did a great job planning and executing, and I'm not writing this to take anything away from that, the race ran like a well oiled drivetrain. However, using stopwatches involves the possibility of error just as any electronic system can, mistakes happen. On this particular weekend too many times were incorrect. Chaos ensued upon the junior class. What parent doesn't want their kid to win? As we grow up we learn, "thats not fair," is part of life. This could have been a perfect situation for youngsters to learn, accept, grow, and have minimal repercussions to their career aspirations, as the event is not part of a series. Instead the juniors podium was canceled. There were murmurings regarding times in other classes and they went to the podium as recorded, why not the juniors? I don't know, I just have this scene in my head of the kids and organizers working it out; they are going to have to learn to at some point. "Deal with it," "What about a class re-run," "let's do a goofy group photo," something needed to happen. Having an organizer admit, "we screwed up," does not happen often (or ever?) and I get it.  People pay to race, and in this day in age it seems we have to get what we pay for. But people will come back next year and race. Disappointment is part of life, it's how we learn to deal with it that really defines who we become as a rider, competitor, and person. To the organizers, riders, parents, and all involved, keep your heads up, you are all class act people in my book. 

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