2023 USAC Marathon MTB National Championships

The 2023 USAC Marathon MTB National Championships is being held in Auburn, AL at Chewcala State Park. Seems like an odd choice for the location but I’m all for an east coast race that’s not at elevation.
Does anyone know what type of course this will be and what the trail system is like at Chewcala State Park?

Well It’s no Tahoe Trail or Fuego XL, but it’s gonna tax all of the energy systems.

As an east coaster, I do feel bad about not making it out another year that they are hosting events out this way. I missed the last two years due to injury when it was actually close and I couldn’t justify the 10-hour drive to wind around a random park after already doing some summer traveling for biking. I almost understand why for so many years they were holding it at a destination location even if that meant elevation. Frederick was close to DC and the majority of population centers, Auburn is kind of middle of nowhere when it comes to biking.

From everything I’ve heard it’s a classic wind around every tree in the park to maximize the amount of trail in the footprint of the park. They say most of it is pretty flowy, but it looks like a no-breaks kind of course that you’d need a ton of time to memorize and really know where to put in an acceleration vs. where there is another slow corner in 50 feet.

I had high hopes of racing this, but our new foster baby placement led to new plans, and that’s OK! I have signed up to volunteer, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the pros and everyone else out there! I’ll probably be in my Changing Diabetes T-shirt, so give a wave if we cross paths! I agree it’s an interesting choice, but I’ve been so excited about it since I saw it posted!
The western half of the map (Lower Chewacla) is the older, flatter, twistier stuff as Brett described above, ESPECIALLY everything west of the creek, as you can probably tell. The eastern half (Upper Chewacla) is more flowy and up-and-down.
I’ve not ridden many places, but I guess it’s considered typical East Coast, pretty hard pack with a fair amount of rocks and roots.

There are much newer and more extensive videos on YouTube, but I made this one about 10 years ago (check the narrow bars). It’s basically this section of trail. It’s probably worth watching the newer videos, with newer cameras, that include other trails if you’re interested.
I haven’t been out there in a few months (see above comment about baby), but I’ve seen that they’ve been working on things and the Go Nuts series had some marathon races out there in June, so I’m interested to see what’s been done for these races.

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I got to meet Cole Paton and Hannah Otto before the race. I didn’t want to interrupt them too much, but they were both super nice and appreciative, not surprisingly. Big shame that a barrier got moved or something and messed up the start loop plan for the pros… It was a fun day of watching the racing from my corner of the woods where I was stationed at the top of the waterfall. I had big plans to take pictures, but USAC had us trying to write down every single number as they rode by.

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