Seasons of Rothrock Race Series: Putting Safety, Inclusion, and Quality Over Quantity
How does a sport like gravel racing which prides itself on being a grassroots endeavor and inclusivity maintain those values when events draw participants in the thousands? This begs the question of whether race organizers are putting quantity over quality
The emphasis on quality may be what sets the Seasons of Rothrock (SoR) Race Series, a four-part series presented by Happy Valley Women’s Cycling apart from others. This is especially so of the GRIT Gravel Grinder, its flagship event held June 3rd in Pennsylvania’s majestic forests.
Capped at 600 riders and with 50% of the entries reserved for female participants, GRIT strives to make quality and inclusion its top priority while being challenging and safe. SoR Race Director Tanya Campbell says, “My number one concern at any race is safety…Course marking, marshals, support station, and EMT placement are of vital importance.” At the same time, Campbell wants every rider to have the best possible experience whether it's their first race or they are a seasoned Pro-Ex rider. This is why GRIT offers three distances 25, 49, or 65 miles.
Claire Peters, a seasoned off-road cyclist who raced her first gravel event in October 2022 calls SoR a “well-run, challenging, and fun experience…Dollar for dollar, I don’t think riders will find a better return on investment out there.” She attributes details such as exuberant volunteers, hot coffee at the top of a tough climb, and a hearty hot meal and a cold drink to celebrate your accomplishment as elements that set the SoR Race Series apart from others.
But let’s face it. One of the reasons many gravel riders, both experienced and novice, travel great distances for events is that they are looking for a challenge. SoR doesn’t skimp there either. Nicole Russo, a gravel racer with 5+ years of experience calls GRIT, which features technical sections, steep climbs, and fun descent the “hardest race” she’s ever competed in including some of the muddiest courses.
Finally, remaining dedicated to the grassroots ethos of gravel racing, 100% of the net proceeds from your race entries are donated to local cycling initiatives.
Get the details and register for Seasons of Rothrock Races at https://rothrock.hvwcycling.com/.