Mother nature always seems to play a role in any race that takes place in October. The Terra Nova enduro is no stranger to inclement weather. It was once run with snow on the ground so I figured a little rain wouldn’t scare anyone away.

terra nova enduro
Lots of volunteer hours deep in the woods for this one. Thanks guys! Photo: Jaimie Comeau

Good morning racers

The Silver Brooke golf club is where staging took place. It was nice to pit in an actual parking lot for once. The golf clubhouse on site would be used for registration in the morning and for awards later in the day. Who doesn’t like having a licensed bar available at the races?

We drove through a lot of rain on our way in so we were preparing for a wet day ahead. By the time we finished unloading though, the rain had stopped. Not only had the rain subsided but the temperature was climbing. It was looking like we would experience some prime conditions at this years Terra Nova. It was at this time we made the executive decision to leave our waterproof gear in the truck. If this was a movie, the shot of these items being left in the truck would be done in slow motion to emphasize that we would later regret this decision.

The enduro

terra nova enduro
Zack Tustin getting things started. Photo: Jill Carney

Starting out on the golf course itself, we began the 125-135km enduro. Conditions could not have been better for the majority of the tests. The soil was sandy so most of the rain was absorbed into a nice loamy base. Pine needles had freshly fallen in most areas so it wasn’t terribly difficult to follow the trail, even on an early minute. For this Terra Nova enduro, pretty much every transit section was a roadway and every trail would be a test section.

terra nova enduro
The 2017 Terra Nova enduro

It would take riders between 2.5 and 3 hours to finish all test sections and 3.5 – 4 hours of total riding. Pro, Expert and Vet AA riders would have to complete one extra test at the end of the day.

terra nova enduro
Even though there seemed to be lots of traction, a bit too much confidence had me seeing this angle a few times this day.

In came the rain

About 70kms into the ride there were some definite signs of rainfall approaching. The temperature cooled quickly and wind gusts had picked up big time. It was still comfortable within the test sections but once you got back on the roads it was nasty. Goggles became useless and hands were waterlogged while starting the final few tests.

terra nova enduro
Jamie Baskerville takes in some of the nice weather. Photo Jill Carney
terra nova enduro
Connor Brogan was on a borrowed bike for this event and may have clinched the Pro enduro title with an impressive ride here.
terra nova enduro

The never-ending test

The last test for most of us was what seemed to be one of the longest test sections I’ve ever done. It may have been the intense rain and greasy trail but this one was tough. This test had more elevation than we had seen all day. There was a downhill section that I tumbled down with fellow rider Brooke Janssen. Then shortly after there was a very slippery climb followed by another climb that just kept going. My favourite test of the day for sure.

terra nova enduro
Some riders were forced to ride different bikes since this is a blue plated event. Zach Lewis took this fully compliant WR250R to another win here. Photo: Jill Carney
terra nova enduro
Dennis Knott, who I’m used to seeing in a Bruins Jersey, rocked the Team Canada jersey for this one. Photo: Jill Carney

One of the best end of race traditions yet! That shot of Yukon Jack warmed my whole body up. Which was great since the worst rain of the day came down while we all trying to get changed.

terra nova enduro
Now that’s a finisher award.

Another fantastic Off-road Ontario event. Thank you to H.O.R.R.A. and all volunteers that made this possible. As always thanks to Jill Carney for the great photos. Thanks also to Promation and all series sponsors that help bring us these awesome enduro races.

Unfortunately we didn’t catch the best test section of the day on go pro but you can watch the first 6 sections here.