The Ironman GNCC has long been known as the largest and most prestigious event on the series schedule. However, for the second year in a row this stop on the tour has been about something bigger than racing itself.
The weekend started off with GBC team riders Johnny Gallagher and Jeff Pickens making a special visit to a local Indiana elementary school where the riders spoke to hundreds of fifth- and sixth-grade students about Breast Cancer Awareness. The two racers even helped the students fashion pink ribbon pins that would allow them free entry to the Ironman festivities for the weekend.
“I really enjoyed spending time with the kids, and it was great to see many of them actually make it out to the race wearing their pins and cheering us on,” says Jeff Pickens after his grueling two-hour race on Saturday afternoon.
“I couldn’t believe how many of the students knew all about our racing, and it felt good to see them so enthused about learning more about such an important cause,” commented Johnny Gallagher upon leaving New Market Elementary on Friday.
Kristen Atwell started the weekend’s race action off right by leading much of the race and landing a hard-fought second place in the women’s division. Atwell also made an impressive fourth place overall finish out of more than 320 morning racers! Look for Kristen to bounce back from some recent struggles and make a statement at the final race at Loretta Lynn’s in Tennessee.
Pickens was the standout performer in the afternoon race with his seventh place finish in XC1, followed very closely by Kevin Yoho in eighth. Eric Hoyland landed his X-Rex tires on the XC2 podium with a third place finish after grabbing yet another holeshot.
Jay Shadron heads up this week’s list of GBC riders who earned class wins, and his remarkable 11th place overall finish on a 300cc machine certainly shows that he is one to watch for in the future. Other GBC team riders who won their classes this weekend were Ryan Smith, Garon Davis, Forrest Wharton and Chris Barbee.