Race Weekends

Race Weekends are an amazing experience that you’ll struggle to be able to communicate to anybody who hasn’t experienced it for themselves. This guide will hopefully give a better idea of what to expect and reference for all of the things that go together so well to make race weekends run so well. It really is amazing to see thousands of people come for something like this and for it to be run almost entirely by volunteers and execute so smoothly. The videos here will give you a great feel for what races look like in general. Beyond that is intended to be an in-depth guide to Race Weekends.

Basic Timeline / Agenda

Your timeline may vary depending on what you’ve signed up to help with and whether or not you plan to camp and/or eat with the team. This is just a basic rundown of what to expect. Also times will be specific to the race.



  1. Claim campsite
  2. Get nameplates
  3. Pre-ride (~1PM – 7 PM Specific to Venue)
  4. Dinner at Camp (6PM – 7:30PM)


  1. Breakfast at Camp (1PM – 7 PM)
  2. Get to Pitzone
  3. Warmup with coach and other student-athletes
  4. Morning Races & Podiums (Middle School & Freshmen)
  5. Lunch at Pitzone (11:30AM – 12:30PM)
  6. Warmup with coach and other student-athletes
  7. Afternoon Races & Podiums (JV & Varsity)
  8. Team Awards


Pre-rides are generally from 1 PM – 7 PM on Friday and 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM on Saturday. On Saturday, there is usually a small timeframe such as 4 PM – 4:25 PM where only GRiT Riders may begin their pre-ride.

The pre-ride is simply a chance for riders to get to know the course they’ll be racing on. It’s a great opportunity to take your time figuring out tricky areas and making sure you know what to expect when racing the course.

All registered student-athletes and coaches may participate in the pre-ride. Student-athletes must do the pre-ride with a coach for any bike on the race course. A raceplate is the sign that goes on the front of the bike to identify the rider. Raceplates for student athletes include information for what grade or division they’re racing in and have a timing chip attached in the back. Raceplates must be checked out from the team Pitzone tent and returned before leaving on race day. They can be easily attached to the bike with twist ties that are provided at our team’s Pitzone tent.

Pre-rides are also a great time to become familiar with additional lap starts and feed zones.

Raceplate required of any bike on the race course during race weekend

Team Meals

Our team has a tradition of doing meals together. Those that wish to participate sign up on the Race Weekend spreadsheet ahead of the race and pay for meals via Venmo. 

Then all the food is purchased and ready at camp where volunteers follow thorough instructions to prepare each meals. 

After everyone has eaten, everybody washes their own dishes using a quick and easy 3-tub system and other volunteers clean up everything else.

3-Tub Dishwashing System


6-7:30 PM | $3 /person

  • Pasta with Marinara Meat Sauce
  • Roll
  • Grapes
  • Corn

The one exception to this is at Magic Mountain where Papa Murphys caters a pizza party for all teams



7-8 AM | $2 /person

  • Oatmeal
  • Fruit
  • Bagels & Cream Cheese
  • Hot Chocolate

Leftover fruit and bagels are taken to pitzone for some healthy snacks throughout the day.



11:30 AM - 12:30 PM | $5 /each

If you are racing or volunteering and cannot be present during the regular lunch time or would like to eat after your race, you or someone else can dish up your taco or salad in a to-go container for later and keep it in a cooler for later.


While not a requirement by any means, much of the team camps. Camping is free and it can be a lot of fun. We’re usually in a parking lot or other open space near the race.

Camping is one of the biggest differences between events. Sometimes, like at Targhee, we are able to camp on rough gravel just the other side of the barrier from Pitzone. Other times, such as Soldier Mountain, we are miles down the road on dirt and grass. Spots are first come, first serve, which is one reason why we get our trailer there as early as we can to reserve a team spot.

The Awesome

This is where we often bond the most as a team family. Parents and coaches get to rub shoulders and younger siblings and those not on the team get to be with everybody. There are sometimes thousands of people camping together with all kinds of tents, overlanders, campers, and RVs. We eat dinner and breakfast together at the camp. Sometimes people bring games, portable campfires, or  footballs and soccer balls. Sometimes we’ll have mental health sessions to prepare for the mental game of a race. We’ve even had movie parties and cook-offs. 

The Real

We’re never in cushy campgrounds. We’re often on solid dirt or gravel. It can be hard to drive stakes into the ground and it can be pretty hard ground in a tent. It often rains which is great for the trail but can add challenges to tent camping. There are often RVs running generators or even vehicles running their engines when things get cold.


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Team Tent

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  • Water
  • Electrolyte drink
  • Leftover breakfast
  • Lunch
  • First Aid kit
  • Bike Mechanic
  • Cubbies for helmets, gloves, jackets, etc
  • Seating
  • Bike racks

Warmup Area / Warming Up

The warmup area is a designated area near Pitzone where student-athletes can warm up before a race. When you first start riding, that first 0.5 mile to a mile can be rough. The idea of a warmup is to get that out of the way before the race and get your muscles warm and ready to get a strong and safe start to your race. Warmups can be tough but they should not be skipped.  Warmups for each group will happen just before that group needs to report to the staging area. Be sure to coordinate with the warmup coach for your group the night before to know when and where to meet for warmups before your race.

Coordinate with the warmup coach assigned to your group to know when and where to meet for warmups before you stage.

Staging Area

Staging Area

The staging area is a designated area near the starting line where student-athletes will line up prior to their race. Only staging volunteers and racers may be inside the staging area.

Staging is done in 2 phases:

  1. Racers are self-organized into groups by grade and color. 
  2. Racers are called up one at a time to be placed at the starting line in starting order.
Staging times , start times, and racers’ colors can be found on the signin sheet at our team’s Pitzone tent as well as on the Race Roster available at IdahoMTB.org

Starting Line / Race Starts

The starting line is usually one of the easiest areas to find as it has a large inflatable arch labeled “Start”.  Starting is typically very on time, usually to the second. There are two types of race starts. 

  • Timed start The first race our team does, we will have a timed start. Racers start one at a time. This does cause the first couple of race weekends to have a longer schedule.
  • Mass start Teams that have already raced will be placed into starting positions based off of their previous times with the fastest times up front. This facilitates less passing in general and a safer mass start.

With both race formats, times go from the moment they say go to the time the raceplate chip passes through the finish gate. Raceplate chips are not read at the starting gate.

Race starts are in wider areas, usually for several hundred meters, usually followed by wide uphill climbs. By the time riders are moving fast, they are usually much more spread out. Wrecks do happen at the starting gate but because of the slower speeds, these wrecks are usually much lower consequence.


Timed Start
Mass Start
Finish Line

Finish Line / Finishing

The finish line is usually the easiest thing to find at a race. It’ll be a large inflatable arch marked “Finish”. By the time racers reach the finish line, they are usually fairly spread out, crossing with only one or two riders nearby. The announcer will announce riders as they’re coming in. Their time stops when they cross through the finish gate. After they cross, there will be volunteers to “catch” them, sometimes quite literally as these student-athletes often give it their all. The racers will dismount and go through a little walkway out of the race course where they can be greeted, hugged, and hopefully rehydrated.

Results Board / Race Times

There is a tent where all of the results will be posted for each race. The main announcer will usually announce when each set of results are posted. There are two types of results that get posted. If you don’t get to see the results at the race, don’t worry. You can see all the results at IdahoMTB.org

  • Preliminary Results These are not official. These are results as quick as they can get them out. There are still some calculations to be done that could change things slightly.
  • Final / Official Results All calculations are completed and these results are final. They will be posted right on top of or in place of the preliminary results. These results will be posted on IdahoMTB.org.
Awards Podium

Awards Podium

Sometime after the official times are posted, they will announce when the awards will be given. Podiums are awards ceremonies for the top 6 racers in a division. 

As a team,we try to be aware of who on our team has made the podium so as many as possible can support them when they receive their award.

Regardless of team, these student-athletes have given a lot to achieve what they have and all of them would love more cheers.

Feed Zone / Multiple Laps

High School racers all do multiple laps. Freshmen and JV will do 2 laps and Varsity does 3 laps. There will be an alternate route somewhere near the finish line for the racers to begin their second lap.

Somewhere near the finish or on the alternate route will also be a “FeedZone”, usually designated by green fencing in a boxed out wider area on the coarse. Only designated coaches wearing team apparel may be in the feed zone. When racers come through the area, coaches will walk out near the course and hand the racer a food or drink item, usually a water bottle. This is refered to as a handup. Racers may also DROP  (not throw) empty bottles within this area.

There is a water bottle designated for each racer on the team for each additional lap they will be completing. If you want something else handed to you, that will need to be provided and communicated to the team hand-up volunteers.

Feed Zone Handup at Magic Mountain 2022

Medic Tent / First Aid

There are always trained medics stationed at Pitzone to handle any race mishaps that are cause for concern.

Beyond that, every race marshall on the course is equipped with a first aid kit to render quick assistance for any wrecks on the course that need attention.

Shuttles / Parking

Most races do not allow parking near Pitzone and camping is usually a little ways away as well. Check official race information for specific parking instructions. Shuttles provide a great way to get from the parking lot or camping area to pitzone.

The shuttles are simply school buses that drive back and forth between main camping areas and Pitzone. They aren’t on a rigid schedule. There are usually 2 buses and they’re mostly just switching places. 

The line can be really long first thing in the morning so if you've got to catch a shuttle for an early race, be sure to get there earlier than you think.

Shuttle bus

GRiT (Girls Riding Together)

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GRiT Ride (Pre-Ride)

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GRiT Tent

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It takes a lot of help to make race day run smoothly. We hope to have parents sign up to help in one of the positions below for each race your child will be attending. Also, please signup to help setup or cleanup Pitzone once each season that your athlete is racing and if members will be eating any dinners or breakfasts with the team, please sign up to help at least once this season to cook & cleanup a dinner OR breakfast.

Volunteering with the Team

  • Friday Dinner 5-8pm, cook & cleanup Dinner helpers should start cooking at 5pm to have dinner ready at 6pm. Dinner will be “served” from 6-7:30pm. We’ll put everything away at 7:30 and not “save” any for latecomers. All the food and equipment for cooking Dinner & Breakfast (stove, dishes, water, etc.) will be at our designated camp area by Friday afternoon.
  • Saturday Breakfast 6:30-8:30am cook & cleanup. Breakfast helpers should begin heating water and setting up for breakfast at 6:30am so breakfast can be served from 7am-8am and then cleaned up before the 9am race starts.
  • Pitzone Setup Arrive to Pitzone Friday around Noon to help unload trailer and get Pitzone set up. Setup happens Friday afternoons. Our Pitzone access time varies from race to race but will usually be at noon or a little later. It takes about an hour to setup with a bunch of helpers.
  • Pitzone Cleanup Stay after the last race on Saturday to help cleanup Pitzone and pack it into the trailer. Don’t leave until the trailer is ready to leave the race venue. Cleanup happens Saturday after the last race (Varsity race). So, usually, we can begin cleanup around 4pm and have it done by 5pm with a bunch of helpers. Some race schedules may be longer.
  • Trailer Hauler Get trailer to venue by Friday noon. Pull trailer home Saturday after race. Team reimburses fuel.
  • Pitzone Mom/Dad Pitzone “Mom or Dad” will try to maintain some order to the space, make sure athletes use storage cubbies, etc. Can also be a resource to coaches & students trying to find each other, tools, etc.
  • Pitzone Mechanic Serve Saturday Lunch 11-1 setup, serve, cleanup. Lunch will generally be served 11:30am-12:30pm at our Pitzone. We might have to adjust those times depending on race start times each weekend.
  • Warmup Coaches
  • Hand-Up Guru
  • Finish Line “Catcher”

Volunteering with the League

  • Course Marshall
  • Roving Course Marshall
  • Merch Tent
  • Staging
  • Last minute needs
  • Finish Line

The Race

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The Courses

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We cheer for everyone on every team at every race.

Course Boundaries

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Watching the Race

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Race Day with the Family


Pit zone tent space

Toys (cars in the dirt)

Helmets for all

Team Store Deadline!

If you want any custom team apparel or gear, place your order on the Team Store before midnight on May 22nd.

REMEMBER: No items are mandatory except student-athletes MUST wear our team’s race jersey in races.