News

Enumclaw gearing up for annual

Stage Race

By Casey Steiner

The Courier-Herald

With $10,000 in prize money and prizes on the line, Saturday's Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race is likely to draw hundreds of cyclists to Enumclaw and several hundred more spectators.

For the 10th time, the stage race will invade the city's confines and bring with it a whole lot of tourists and excitement for all ages. Last year 425 racers competed in the three-part bicycle race and race director Tricia Lawrence hopes this year will be even bigger.

"It's one of the largest stage races in Washington and in the Northwest," Lawrence said. "We draw racers from Canada, Idaho, Oregon, California, Montana and beyond. It's really grown. You can probably expect 8-or-900 people downtown"

The schedule for Saturday events span from 8 a.m. to 7:20 p.m., so Enumclaw residents can expect a full day of heavy activity on downtown streets and in businesses around town.

"A lot of these people are in town all day, so they will be in the restaurants eating and in local shops during their free time," Lawrence said. "They won't all be out racing or watching at the same time. It's really a great way to draw tourists into town and show off the city."

The event is co-sponsored by the Enumclaw Police Department and Ti Cycles Racing Team. Half the proceeds benefit the Special Olympics. Last year $7,400 was donated.

"It takes a lot of people to make this event possible," Lawrence said. "We raise money not only through registration fees, but also through raffles and key sponsors who also make donations."

With the stage race comes other forms of cycling entertainment for spectators.

"There will be a BMX expo and demonstration and a variety of other fun and games," Lawrence said. "Kids love it. We want locals to be involved. We've been coming for 10 years and the riders really love Enumclaw. A couple have even moved there. It's a lot of fun for everybody and we want the locals to come out and join in on the fun."

During Saturday morning's 10K Time Trial, riders will race from 284th Avenue Southeast near the intersection of 456th Street, up Mud Mountain Road, to the finish line at 268th Avenue Southeast again near the intersection of 456th.

Saturday afternoon's high speed Criterium race will run through the city's downtown. Riders will start and finish at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue and Railroad Street, so motorists will want to avoid the area.

Sunday's 14.5 mile Road Race starts on Cole Street and runs up Mud Mountain Road.

"People should realize there may be some delays if traveling anywhere near the fairgrounds or Mud Mountain Sunday morning," Lawrence said.

The registration deadline for the event is tomorrow, Thursday, with no exceptions. Riders can register online at www.active.com. Visit www.mutualofenumclaw.com/-stagerace for registration information.

Casey Steiner can be reached at csteiner@courierherald.com.

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