Race report by Paula Burks
The Fools Gold 50/100 is the first 100 mile race in GA. Set in the mountains of north Georgia near Dahlonega it promised to be fun and challenging in its inaugural year. With the race course being set up as a 50 mile loop of mixed jeep roads, double track and single track and 8000 plus feet of climbing I knew I was in for a long day. Due to my lack of preparation and will power I decided to opt for the 50 mile race. This was the right choice for sure especially after talking with those who set up the course. They were predicting 5-6 hours in the saddle for the “fast” riders.
The 50 mile race started at 7 am with about 100 participants ( mostly men with a handful of female riders). The first 15 miles of the race were on a jeep road with a long steady climb followed by a treacherous descent with water bars rattling your teeth and arms. After that the race combined sweet single track sections with heavily used equestrian / bike double track interspersed with short gravel road connectors. There were bobsled style descents with granny gear grunts as well as several spirit lifting creek crossings. The aid stations were fairly well stocked and the volunteers were friendly and encouraging.
The winner of the open men did it in 5:01 and I made just under the 6 hour mark at 5:57 to take the open women’s category.
Hats off to the 100 milers who were still riding when I left with a predicted time of around 10 hours for the open men and 10:45 for the women. You guys are sick!
All in all it was a very challenging event and should prove to be one for next year’s calendar (just maybe not in the middle of August).
Editor's Note: Paula you ROCK!! We are so proud of you...Congrats!