Our Take the 2nd Annual Yamaha Xtreme Terrain Challenge
Weeks of prep by all who attend, finally paid off this weekend at Yamaha’s second annual Xtreme Terrain Challenge at the iconic Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in the heart of Tennessee. Last years 13 mile course was expanded to 21 miles with the additions of added trail sections, a culvert section, and a new Warn winch obstacle.
This years 600+ mile drive for us was plagued with 3 flat tires. The gates of the ranch were definitely a welcome sight for us as we limped in on Friday afternoon. Sign in started at 3 on Friday and we were greeted with smiling faces and a bag full of Yamaha goodies. An amazing dinner was provided both Friday and Saturday by Yamaha and vouchers were given to us to be used for breakfast. Friday evening was capped off with opening ceremonies where starting positions were pulled for each class, followed by a live band.
Grizzlies lined up bright and early and took off from the gate in 1 minute intervals at 9am, followed by the wolverines at 11, and the yxz class shot out of the gate at around 2.
Team Yammer Hammers had someone in each class this year. David piloted the grizz, I ran my X2, and Bill ran the YXZ class. This years 21 mile course was nuts! It had absolutely everything in it you can imagine. It was well thought out and if you thought you were gonna have an easy day, you were dead wrong! The course was very well marked out this year with no guessing on if you were going the right way. The terrain there was very similar to what I’m use to here in the north east. There was everything from tight technical, to huge uphill and downhills with off camber rocks, roots, and ruts. There was obstacle sections with pipes, tires, boulders, trees, and mud. Dry creek beds full of river gravel snaked you through the valleys, there were fields, faster dirt road sections, absolutely everything you could ask for!
We can’t say enough about how much time, thought, and effort was put in to make this event even better than last years. The Yamaha staff did an amazing job, from the creation, building, and marking of the course and obstacles, to the supporting of the machines trail side that had bent tie rods, broke axles, and blown tires. Even the announcing, music, and commentary at the event was top notch and made everyone involved feel like they were at a professional event. Closing ceremonies brought a recap video of the weekend’s excitement along with raffling off of prizes. Spectacular job and a big thank you to Yamaha for putting up with us and our shenanigans this weekend!
We caught up with old friends from last year and made a bunch of new ones this year. The event is full of good people. There are entire families, with kids, wife’s, parents, in-laws, brothers (Will I’m talking bout you!) Husbands and wives running together with their kids cheering them on, fathers and sons, friends, boyfriend/girlfriend teams. Fun was had by all!
IT’S NOT A RACE!
In closing, one thing we heard a lot this weekend was, “It’s not a race!” For me, my Brother, Bill, and several others, we are Dads, enthusiasts, amateurs, we all have day jobs, careers, and obligations. This is one weekend a year that we can leave all that behind, strap on our gear, shine up our rig, line up our machines, get our names announced and run a professional course. This my friends is the one time of year that we get “TO RACE”!!!!