I was just about to write the event promoters for today's Tour De Lure, but instead I'm opting to give them a major shout-out on my blog and in turn I'll send them the link.
Today's event featured the picturesque Lake Lure and was hosted by the Corpening Memorial YMCA in Marion, NC. Some events are a dud, others are so-so and a rare few are outstanding in all dimensions. Here's how Tour De Lure gets it done so well:
1) Affordable pricing...early entry was $25 for Y members, $30 for others. With a T-shirt. And swag bag. And free fresh-brewed coffee when you arrive. I'm not against free enterprise, but other for-profit promoters, take note. If you're going to charge more, benchmark against an event like this and then deliver added-value. That's a tough proposition.
2) Great opening ceremonies. Professional PA system with speakers for pre-event music, then opening comments you can actually hear! Heartfelt rendition of National Anthem and then a prayer for safety.
3) Well marked course. After my debacle at the 50K last weekend, this was a refreshing turn of events. Major signage on the roads, numerous markings at all turns. It's my belief course marking is proper when there is never a question on which way to go. The promoters of Tour De Lure should put on a seminar for other endurance sport promoters.
4) Adequate aid stations. Rides like this don't need over the top stations, but instead the essentials. This event had multiple stations with Gatorade, water, fruit and snacks. Load up and go. Thanks to the friendly volunteers who took time to help.
5) Scenic and challenging course. Seventy-one (71) miles of climbs, descents, lake views, majestic cliffs, rushing streams, welcoming villages en route. A nice package with a lot of change ups.
6) A+ after party. The folks at the Y hosted a spaghetti feed with fresh vegetables on the side, salad, and dessert options. Served like home cooking and tasting like it too. Plus live music from an excellent bluegrass band.
7) Excellent host facility. I found this posted on the ride's web site...it says it all:
"The facility is fantastic, unmatched by any facility in the Southeast as a starting point for a Metric or Century ride. Close parking, large locker rooms, and numerous restrooms make the pre-ride experience a good one. Post-ride, an ample number of HOT SHOWERS are available."
- Dr. Greg Simolke
Thanks to all and a big sponsor shout-out to WNCW 88.7 FM and Steve Jones from Joanne Howle Realty for sponsoring the Tour De Lure. It's a must do event for those of us who enjoy spinning the crank in western North Carolina.