Eighth annual BUMP and Grind held at Oak Mountain
Jason Sager and Mary Grigson took the top podium spots in the Pro fields at the eighth annual BUMP and Grind race at Oak Mountain.
Sager added a little heat to an already hot day to put separation between second place finisher Ryan Trebun and Tinker Juarez.
Sager won the event in 1999 when the course was expanded to match the current track of two 17-mile loops, and was runner-up last year.
&uot;It was hard, and these guys keep getting faster,&uot; stated Sager pointing to the podium talent beside him.
Mary Grigson debuted on the course and was challenged by Mary McConneloug and last year’s winner Melissa Thomas.
More than 600 racers competed for nearly $12,000 in cash and prizes in 51 categories.
The 17-mile loop was nearly perfect after rain earlier in the week.
Oak Mountain’s Red Trail is considered one of the finest in the Southeast.
The BUMP and Grind had several local riders, but being a local does not guarantee a win.
Eric Murphy of Apoka, Fla. won the Expert Senior Men and not a single local rider was in the top 10.
However, in the Master Men 30-39 things changed.
Birmingham residents Will Hibberts and Mike Hurley would secure first and second, respectively.
Birmingham’s Ellen English (40+) would find herself caught up in Woodstock.
Woodstock, Ga., that is.
Loretta Simpson of Woodstock finished first in the Expert Women with Ellen just 15 seconds behind, but ahead of Woodstock’s Lisa Ropke.
&uot;I May Be Old But My Mountain Bike Doesn’t Know That&uot; decorates a license plate in the parking lot.
It would surely apply to the riders in the new 50-99 Sport group with 16 registered riders.
How about Gene Kennedy taking fourth place at 63 years young.
In addition to the very experienced riders, several newcomers raced.
Sarah Jane Brock experienced her first race and won the Beginner Women 19-29, but missed her spot on the podium as she watched her dad Jim en route to a first place finish in the Expert 45+ men.
The largest Sport field to date is a testimonial to the course and its challenges. More than 40 percent of the field was Sport class, but the single speeders would show the one-lap category who was king.
Chris Wyatt of Birmingham would turn the loop in an impressive 1:12:05 beating all geared-sport rider times.
James Tindill of Birmingham, Scott Roberson of Destin, Fla. and Greg Gilbert of Atlanta, Ga. would take home the medals in the event’s largest field, Sport Men 30-34 with 64 riders.
Many beginners found the cooler morning temperatures helpful in the 3-mile climb up Peavine Falls Road.
Timothy Hammock of Covington, La. would take first place in one of the &uot;bigger&uot; fields, Beginner Clydesdale.
The group featured 17 riders from all across the Southeast.
Josh Crashy was able to fend off his namesake and win the Beginner Men 19-24.
The Junior Olympics was special for Meridith Alexander of the 12-and-under group.
She won the race and a new jersey during the door prize giveaways.
The Junior Olympics looks for aspiring young athletes, but keep your eyes on the very, very young starters.
Clad with bright paint and bar streamers, Eli Clarke, Caroline Collins, Ethan Clarke, and Allyson Beldon all competed in the Shimano Youth Series Training Wheel Division. The Youth Series participants race a much shorter version of the same course used by the pros.
More than 20 others would compete in eight additional Youth Series categories.
A well-deserved applause was heard at the awards ceremony for the nearly 80 volunteers who worked the event and the sponsors who supported it