I arrived nice a early at the race in order to get one of the first shuttles up the hill. Once I parked I met up with some of the race organizers and then proceeded to gear up to get in some mandatory runs of the course before the mayhem of 200+ riders begins.
At the top of the trail, the moods was calm and relaxed and people were here to have a good time racing on a sweet DH track.
I know this course well so my runs were just to see if there were any course changes and determine if I can stick to my known lines.
My second run was much the same but again I saw a rider down on course. This time it was a young guy that had BADLY dislocated his knee. First Aid and course workers took charge of the situation and stopped the riders on course. I feel for the kid because it looked freaking PAINFUL.
After my two runs, the lines were getting HUGE for shuttles and I didn't need to see the course any more. I then locked up my bike and headed over to see what my task was today for volunteering. I briefly helped in the parking shuttle area but then was asked to marshal a corner on the course. I donned my pack and headed up course. Marshaling a section on track really helps you gain insight into the BEST lines for certain corners. In my particular section B9, there were 4 very tricky corners that for most people scrubbed tons of speed, but in watching the elite and faster riders, there were specific spots to hit and others to avoid. I learned a lot during the time I was watching my section.
A few more course closures were necessary due to rider injuries and then pro practice. After my couple laps and then volunteering I was done for the day and took off home to clean my bike and memorize my lines for the next day's race.