By Meg Dickens
Doe Mountain Recreation Area (DMRA) hosted the Sasquatch Challenge Hard Enduro 2 on Sunday, March 8. Local and people from as far as Ohio came out to race and spectate the bike-exclusive event. According to MTRA VP Bobby Richards, 67 motocross contenders raced the two-lap course, and about half of those finished. Each lap is 15 miles and takes an average of 1.5 hours to finish. Competitor Matt Holder took home the pro purse prize of $1,500. The top five contenders from the other six classes received custom license plate tags featuring their final ranking.
The Sasquatch Challenge is in its third year at Doe Mountain Recreation Area. Doe Mountain prepared for the event and reacted to previous unfavorable weather conditions by temporarily closing the trail until Saturday, March 7. Race day, however, featured beautiful weather and crisp trails with a small amount of mud.
“Sports is leaning towards a more challenging event,” said Director of Sponsorships Randy Wright. “People want a more challenging competition, so we switched to a different format. We used to do a hair scramble with 7-10 mile laps.”
All competitors were required to be MTRA (Mountain Trail Riders Association) members and to pay a $60 (pro) or $40 (amateur) race fee. The race fee, $10 entrance fee, and any money made from sold items go directly back into the mountain because of its 501c3 nonprofit organization. Sponsors come from Bristol, Johnson City, Bluff City, Kingsport, and Elizabethton and are usually riders or racers.
Doe Mountain Recreation Area is growing. According to Vice President of MTRA Bobby Richards, social media and word of mouth are a large part of that growth. His data shows that motorcycle trail traffic has quadrupled in the last two and a half years. Richards also attributes the growth to the new Adventure Tourism District bringing in more people and funding.
“When you have something this good to ride, word gets out,” Richards explained.
Doe Mountain Recreation Area, located at 1203 Harbin Hill Road in Mountain City, is a public, nonprofit recreation area. Current plans include purchasing a tractor for trail maintenance and working on a new skills area for youth. For more information, contact the DMRA at (423) 460-1295.