Red River Gorge MTB 100

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Last month, Explore Kentucky set up a humble little aid station at Mile 78 of the Chris & Amanda Chaney of Ascensionist Events' Red River Gorge Mountain Bike 100—a gnarly upstart 100-mile mountain bike race. Bursting with snacks, water, & EKI Swag, we hunkered down for over 80 racers all day long. The first competitor flew by at 11:45 A.M with a smile on his face and determination in his voice, and our last visitor came through around 4:00 PM.

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Throughout the day, racers thanked us for volunteering. While I appreciate the sentiment, it always catches me off guard. Good volunteers and directors make the wheels turn, but supporting you, the racer, is what really matters to each of us. When I volunteer at a race, the first thing I say to finishers is "Hey, thanks for coming!" The race community in Kentucky is full of energy and positivity, but it wouldn’t even exist if not for the dedication and enthusiasm of its athletes. From the recreational Turkey Trotter to the seasoned triathlete, we want to thank you for making Kentucky's race culture the place to be. Here at Explore Kentucky, we believe Eastern Kentucky is facing a major transition on many fronts. Events like this race, combined with more investment in outdoor recreation, can uplift the region in a mighty way—along with the good that follows.

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If you missed us at Mile 78, don’t sweat it! The Red River Gorge Mountain Gorge MTB will be back on October 13th, 2018. Sign up to race, or run an aid station of your own! Also if you have coins to spare, donate them to the Cave Run-Red River Gorge Mountain Bike Alliance to help further their efforts to develop trails in the region!

Photos by Reed Mattison, Explore Kentucky Initiative Intern