Monday, October 11, 2010
Race Report: Inaugural American Gothic Gravel Invitational
Editor's Note: Once in a while we hear about a gravel event after the fact. This one is a case in point. The reasons for this will be part of an upcoming editorial on Gravel Grinder news, but for now, let's just stick to the point here! Following is the press release we received.....
Inaugural American Gothic Gravel Invitational presented by PowerBar® won by international cycling upstart
Marion, Iowa – October 9, 2010 - Mario Czarnomski of Poland won the inaugural American Gothic Gravel Invitational presented by PowerBar. From its start/finish line near Marion’s Linn-Mar High School, the 60-mile bike race took riders into the countryside utilizing only the gravel byways and B-roads of Linn County in the heart of Iowa’s Grant Wood country.
Unique in today’s environment of high entry fees, large prize purses and extensive promotion, the American Gothic Gravel Invitational was non-sanctioned and free of charge to all participants, with all supplies, prizes and giveaways (including Goodness Jam) provided by sponsors PowerBar and The Crucible Gym.
“There’s an overriding opinion that quality events need to be priced high,” said race organizer and PowerBar Team Elite athlete and Free Fitness Movement proponent , Peter Ylvisaker. “We opted to put on an event without all the hype, fees and nonsense, while still maintaining the highest level of competition. We brought together some of the area’s best athletes in an underground format, athlete’s who compete at very high levels both nationally and internationally, to race for bragging rights and nothing more.”
Race participants included former members of Team USA in their chosen sports, veterans of the Ironman Hawaii World Championships, finishers of the Double and Triple Ironman Championships, qualifiers for and racers in the Boston Marathon and RAAM (Race Across America), and finishers of hundreds of other local, national and international events.
“All I can say is ‘Awesome!’ And I thought Ironman Wisconsin was going to be my ‘A’ race of the season,” said second-place finisher, Barry Breffle of Marion, who recently re-qualified for the Ironman® World Championships. Third place went to Chris Lintecum, also of Marion.
The women’s division went to steeplechaser-turned-cyclist Tiffany Czarnomski, who hails from the cowboy state of Wyoming, sealing the double for the Czarnomski family (and you should see them polish off calzones!).
In the event of a tie, race leaders were to participate in a 1-mile run-off at the Linn-Mar track adjacent to the finish line. Czarnomski, however, with his strong push to the finish, left no doubt as to the identity of the day’s champion. With his victory in a time of 3:49:52, Czarnomski rode home (after a stop at the local garage to pick up his ailing Honda) with a prize package courtesy of PowerBar, The Crucible and Hamm’s Beer (from the land of sky blue waters), and the right to gloat for another year.
In an act of solidarity, Czarnomski accepted his awards and then turned around to share his Hamm’s with his fellow racers… then the contingent moved on to celebrate the day at Zoey’s pizzeria in downtown Marion, Iowa. Until next year…
Thanks to the event organizers for forwarding this report. Look for another installment of the "American Gothic Gravel Invitational" next year!