It was noon on Saturday at the Snake River State Park, and the sun was baking my shoulders as the mosquitos were biting my face. I wandered deeper into the woods down a single track dirt trail. I had my camera around my shoulders and the hood on my jacket over my head to help protect myself from the onslaught of hundreds of mosquitos. As I started to get comfortable with my location I started to hear the sounds of 2 and 4 stroke engines rumbling off in the distance. I quickly forgot about the mosquitos and got my camera ready. I would only have one chance.
Around the corner came a young rider. He quickly bolted past me as I snapped the shutter.
Next came another followed by many more. This was the day for the Family Enduro. The young ones riding along side their parents. You could see the concentration in their young faces.
The action was packed and to think, this is just the precursor of what is to come tomorrow when the big boys and girls hit the dirt!
Sunday came around and Jackie and I left our campsite at 5:30 am from Mille Lacs State park and headed back towards Mora, Minnesota. We were relieved to find that the temperatures had dropped and the clouds had set in. This would mean for better photos and more comfortable conditions. Little did we know we would be getting some rain with this, but we can handle the rain.
The start of the race was exciting, the bikes were sparkling clean, and the riders were chipper.
Everyone was suited up and ready for action. Jackie grabbed one camera and I grabbed the other and we took our places. Jackie would be in charge of capturing the essence of the day with expressions and environment while I would head out on the track and capture the action.
The riders took their places and the excitement was mounting. Their was a mixture of nervous young faces and excited veteran riders all mixed together with different levels of riding experience and equipment.
The engines started and they were off! They left in waves of 3 and 4 and hit the track. This is an endurance race remember, so we wouldn’t see them back here for several hours (those that would make it back).
As the day wore on the riders kept racing by. Some were showing signs of wear while others were hooting and hollering, enjoying every second. The mud was flying, tires spinning and the bikes were screaming.
The longer they rode, the more the mud accumulated as the rain came and went. The field was spreading out but the excitement continued as I kept moving around the track looking for different vantage points to capture these riders in action (this included acting as a tree frog and climbing for a better angle).
As the riders that remained in the race neared the finish the race wasn’t over and trouble could still be had. Fortunately the never give up attitude lives strong in the Enduro community and this fellow exemplifies that spirit.
While his bike may have failed him, he was sure to cross the finish line one way or another.
As the race came to a close the riders were tired and dirty but spirits were high. You could see the excitement and camaraderie that is a side effect of competing in the Mora Enduro.
I want to first thank Rex Greenwald for allowing Jackie and I to come out and participate in the event. Also a huge thank you to all the riders and their support for putting on a hell of a show, and personally I want to thank my girlfriend Jackie for spending the weekend, fighting the mosquitos, rain, and heat to help photograph the Mora Enduro.
If you want to see all the photos from the weekend and/or purchase prints from the event then click right here.
Jackie and I want to invite you to sit back, grab a glass of your favorite beverage and enjoy reliving the day through photographs.