If you build it they will come!
As a kid growing up near the little town of Confluence, nestled in the Laurel Highlands of South Western Pennsylvania, I always took advantage of the wonderful outdoor opportunities that the area gave to me. From biking the local roads and rail trail, hiking, hunting, and rafting, I knew that it was a special place.
As an adult, I have stayed local to the area and still enjoy riding my bicycle from my home near Deep Creek Lake Maryland over to Confluence and the surrounding area. In 2017, I was out and about on one of these gravel roads near Confluence with a good friend of mine Fritz Kessler. We were getting ready for the upcoming Hilly Billy Roubaix. Fritz said to me, “Dan, this route would make for a great race course”. You know what? I agreed.
As the year went on, I continued to ponder this idea. I continually added more and more each time I went out. Google Map here, Google Map there, and WALA! I finally connected the dots. Okay, now what? We must get them here. How? Hmm! TADA! Facebook Event. Long story short, on an early October morning in 2017, fourteen guinea pigs showed up and the rest was history.
As for the rest of this story. It is still being written. 2018 was the inaugural race starting in Confluence, PA with 94 hearty souls racing a race I am sure they will not soon forget. In 2019 we had 163 line up for the start and both course records were shattered!
In 2020 we moved the race to Addison, PA because of the pandemic.
We out grew the Addison venue, so the 2022 race was moved to the Somerset County fairgrounds in Meyersdale, PA.
In 2023 Stefanie Sydlik dethroned Haley Wickstrom for the overall Women's top podium spot and Alec Ratzell won the Men's overall fastest time, making it his 3rd win in four years.
The name you ask? Just thought it made sense for this course. "Fast or not so fast". The podium you ask? Why not? "You're either on it or in it"!
* A special thank you goes out to my family and especially my lovely wife. Without them and all the wonderful volunteers, this race would not be possible!