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Whipple Dam Gravel Race

April 21, 2024

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STATS

DISCIPLINE:  Gravel

MILEAGE:  22 or 40 Miles

ELEVATION GAIN:  2,340 ft | 4,200 ft

RECORD TIMES (40): Jeffrey Watts 2:05:26 (M, 2024) / Liz Begosh 2:32:38 (W, 2023)

LOCATION:  Petersburg, PA

TOTAL REGISTRATION LIMIT: 200

VIEW RACE RESULTS

VIEW RACE PHOTOS

Courtesy of Nick Sloff, Photographer

Get closer to nature and be part of a unique grassroots gravel culture with this early-season Gravel Grinder race. The April race date makes the ride one of the earliest gravel races of the season.

True to the gravel grinder category, the Whipple Dam gravel race traverses Rothrock’s mixed surfaces including asphalt, gravel, dirt, singletrack, and maintenance / fire roads for a fun, fast ride that tests your grit.

The race begins and ends near the lake at Whipple Dam State Park, the lowest elevation of the entire race. From here, the course traverses 40 miles over mixed terrain including hard-packed dirt and varying-sized rocks while incorporating epic gravel climbs with daring descents.

In addition, to challenging your abilities at every turn, the Whipple Dam gravel race rewards you with stunning scenery from start to finish. But that’s not all. You will surely want to hang around for the after-party and award ceremony at the end whether you make it to the podium or not.

Online Registration Deadline: Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024 at 5:00 PM ET

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Awards + Organization by

Happy Valley Women's Cycling
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Back Country Spine and Sport Logo
Nittany Mountain Works Logo
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Start/Finish Location

Whipple Dam State Park
3746 Laurel Run Rd
Petersburg, PA 16669

Please use the nearby Laurel Run Road area for parking.

Registration

Pre-register: $70
Day of Race registration $80.

9:30am – 10:30am
Packet pick up will be the morning of the race in Pavilion 1 near the lake.

Race Day Schedule

11:00am: Race start

1:00pm: Finish line after race social time w/ beverages.

2:00pm:  Podium and Cash payouts.

No Refunds - No Transfers - No Deferrals

We understand that unforeseen circumstances can occur, so we encourage participants to purchase race-day insurance from Bike Reg. If you do not purchase insurance and must cancel before online registration closes, we can only provide a 50% refund. Unfortunately, we do not offer deferrals. 

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Race Categories

Gentlemen ProEx (Cash Prizes)
Gentlemen 40+
Gentlemen 50+
Gentlemen 60+
Gentlemen Single Speed
Gentlemen Clydesdale (200lbs+)
Gentlemen Youth (U18)

Ladies ProEx (Cash Prizes)
Ladies 40+
Ladies 50+
Ladies 60+
Ladies Single Speed
Ladies Athena (160lbs+)
Ladies Youth (U18)

Non-binary

Class 1 E-Bike/Adaptable

Course Info

Whipple Dam Gravel Race

Distance: 40 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,200 ft

40-mile Course:
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38287790

View and download the 40-mile map here:
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/38287790

Whipple Dam State Park Gravel Race Course

View and download the map here:

Arrows for the 22-mile course will be in BLUE.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/45961943

Whipple Dam 22-mile race course

Details

Register, pick up your race number, timing chip and swag bag with goodies from our generous sponsors at the pavilion near the lake.

Please use the nearby Laurel Run Road area for parking.

A support station with food, water and bathrooms will be located at miles 16.2 & 29.8 in Alan Seeger State Park.

Miles 1-8.3
Make sure you have those legs warmed up before you start because this race begins with an elevation gain of over 1400 feet in the first 8.3 miles. As you head up Laurel Run Rd, enjoy the tranquil babble of the Laurel Run Stream. Make a sharp right onto Bear Gap Road and steel yourself for the most brutal climb of this entire race.

Miles 8.3-16
As you reach the summit, catch your breath as you pedal along a short flat segment of double track (Gettis Ridge Road). You’ve worked hard up to this point. If you’re not trying to beat the clock, take a moment to enjoy breathtaking views of Colyer Lake and Thickhead Mountain.
Now get ready for a thrilling descent of 1300 feet with an average grade of 5.7% and 10.4% at its steepest point. In addition to having the ability to hit break-neck speed on this downhill, you will be challenged with 2 hairpin switchbacks as you descend through the beautiful Bear Meadows Natural Area. (The 22-mile course turns right onto Beidleheimer at mile 14.5 taking you to the finish.)

Miles 16-29.9
You’ll find a support station at the beginning and end of this segment. This segment traverses the Alan Seeger Loop through the majestic Alan Seeger Natural Area. Now that you’ve had a moment to catch your breath and the adrenaline is pumping, be sure you don’t become complacent because you’re not finished climbing yet. But, at the same time, you don’t want to be so focused that you miss the amazing beauty of the Alan Seeger Natural Area. In this section, you will make your way along Standing Stone Creek and through 20-foot tall towering rhododendrons and the old-growth forest for which Alan Seeger Natural Area is famous.

Before heading into the race’s final stretch, be ready to do some moderate climbing through Cooper’s Gap and onto Kettle Run Road near the Fire Tower. As you make your way onto Seeger Rd, get ready for a thrilling 1652-foot elevation drop over 3.2 miles. Riders should use caution as they head into a demanding hairpin turn on the lower quarter of Seeger Rd.

Miles 29.9 to 40
Finally, now that you’re finished with the crushing climbs, you might be tempted to rest on your laurels (pun intended) and take in the scenery. But keep up the good work! You’re in the final stretch. These last ten miles are all gravel with moderate climbing before rolling into the finish at Whipple Dam State Park.
Finish and Award Ceremony

You’ll be cheered on by family and friends, both old and new as you cross the finish line. Celebrate your accomplishment and reward your hard work with a cold beverage and tasty refreshments. Enjoy a lively award ceremony at the finish whether you’ve made it to the podium or not.

Jeremiah Bishop Training
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About Whipple Dam

Rothrock State Forest

Whipple Dam State Park, near State College Pennsylvania, is a 256-acre recreation and natural area within Rothrock State Forest. The park offers family fun, educational opportunities, wildlife, hiking, biking, swimming, and more.

Take a refreshing dip in the 22-acre Whipple Lake or cast a line if you prefer. Plan a family picnic in the day-use area or lace up your hiking boots and hit the nature trails. Gravel roads are the only way in or out of the park making it perfect for cycling. No matter how you spend your day, Whipple Dam State Park offers tranquility and will restore your connection with nature.

The park offers a wide variety of environmental education and recreation programs. Through hands-on activities, guided walks, and evening programs, participants gain appreciation and understanding and develop a sense of stewardship over natural and cultural resources.

This race passes through Alan Seeger Natural Area, a 390-acre tract along Standing Stone Creek. A nature trail leads into the heart of a magnificent old-growth forest while winding beside the creek. Marvel at the rare hemlock forest bypassed by loggers at the end of the 19th century. In this part of the forest, you can find several hundred years old trees that measure a staggering 12 feet around.

Nature trails are flanked by towering 20-foot-high Mountain Laurel, (rhododendrons) the state flower, and meander through old and newer forests of oaks, white pine, red maple, the pignut hickory, black gum, and black birch.

Other Details

Seasons of Rothrock - Whipple Dam State Park Gravel Race provides you with:

    • Falcon Timing will provide a professional timing service. 

    • Number plate.

    • A fully marked course.

    • Podium and cash awarded to top 3 Ladies and Gentlemen ProEx Open

    • Awards and podium medals in every category.

    • Strava QOM & KOM segments will receive awards and bragging rights.

    • Well-stocked support station(s), including Hammer Nutrition products

    • Post-race event snacks and beverages.

    • Race swag is guaranteed to riders who register 30 days before the event. Register early!!

Seasons of Rothrock is a non-profit that raises money for the local cycling community. Since 2021, we have donated $54,000 to community programs by allocating 100% of the net proceeds from GRIT entry fees to these initiatives. In the past, several organizations have benefited from the participants' contributions, including Nittany Mountain Bike Association, Harvest Fields Community Trails, National Interscholastic Cycling Association, Highpoint Skate Park, Girls Rock, YMCA, Friends of Rothrock, Center Volunteers in Medicine and PennysValley Pedals and Pints.

Volunteer

We are grateful for all of the volunteers that come out to help us coordinate and execute successful Seasons of Rothrock races. Want to be a part of the show? We need course marshals, EMS, registration table help, bikers to sweep, course markers, people to direct traffic, and aid station attendants for the Whipple Dam Gravel Race. You’ll find open positions on the Bike Reg page. Check it out!

Contact Us

Have questions about a race, volunteering, or becoming a sponsor? Reach out!