By Will Beeker, Americorps member and Hub Cycle Coordinator at Partners for Active Living
This past weekend I had the privilege of helping host the 19th annual XC mountain bike race, Stumpjump at Camp Croft. It’s held every year sometime between the end of spring, and beginning of summer, and has traditionally been put on by the Spartanburg County Parks and Rec Department. However this past year parks and rec decided to hand over the event to our local mountain bike club, SAMBA.
As a relatively new club, we’ve only been around for 2 years, this was a pretty huge undertaking to make sure this storied event went off without a hitch and was everything it could be. We’ve worked hard all year to clean up the trails, talk to sponsors, bring in community partners, and ensure that we were running a quality event. Though we are a small voice we had lots of community buy-in that helped us host possibly the best Stumpjump yet. I’m always impressed and humbled with camaraderie, support, and sense of community that Spartanburg brings to the table when it’s asked to step up.
All the community partners’ support was great, but this race couldn’t have gone on without the huge amounts of effort put in by our club. I’ve never been more proud to say that I’m a part of an all volunteer organization that put on this stunning event with almost no funding, and through sheer determination and hard work. All the hours spent working on the trails, prepping bags, talking to sponsors, setting up, stressing over all the tiniest details, and late night conversations was very evident on the day of.
We were showered with compliments from riders that came from all over the southeast region to race here. One participant who has been racing mountain bikes since 1992 let me know more than once that this was the best race he’s ever been to. Another said she was considering moving to the area just because our trails were awesome, and our community seems even greater.
So once again a massive, absolutely huge thank you to everyone that helped in anyway, big or small. This was definitely the most fun and exciting mountain biking event I’ve been to in a long time. Thank you to the community for their support. We hope to show you what our small, but loud voiced club can do next year for the 20th anniversary event, we have some very special things planned. So stay tuned, and get excited, because this next year you’re in for a treat.
For more about Partners for Active Living, visit www.active-living.org