BMX riders fly through Eagle at state qualifier races
BMX racers from around the state gathered Sunday in Eagle for their final attempt at a state-qualifying race before the Sept. 26-27 state championship event.
Originally scheduled for July, the event was postponed until September due to COVID-19 restrictions. Track operator Jay Lucas said after seeing their first attempt at a state race called off, he was nervous about the prospects of pulling off a race on Sunday.
“We had to go through a lot of protocols to get the race cleared by the health department, lots of stuff we had to do around the track to organize so people couldn’t get close to each other,” Lucas said.
Similar circumstances beset most tracks around the state this year, with some not opening at all. Lucas has been able to have his track running for most of the summer with weekly races — which take place every Monday until the snow falls — taking place on a regular basis.
The BMX state championship event will take place in Durango, with a qualifier taking place Sept. 26 before the Sept. 27 championships.
BMX parent and track volunteer Christie Noteware said by this point in the season, most of the athletes, family and workers around the Colorado BMX scene are used to the restrictions.
“It took a while to get started,” Noteware said.
Noteware helped work Sunday’s event. She said with parents and athletes seeing BMX events cancel this summer, most were happy to be racing at all, and restrictions were observed without any enforcement necessary.
“Around the track, it was emptier (on Sunday) than our local races,” Noteware said. “People were really respectful.”
Lucas said parents seem to have adopted their own protocol at events.
“When their kids race comes up, they go and watch the kid, and then they go back and the next group of folks comes up,” Lucas said. “So it works out well.”
Visiting from Frederick, Colorado, 7-year-old Liam Geckas was among those who was most happy to be in Eagle racing on Sunday. His family set up a shade structure in the parking lot and enjoyed the day.
After racing for about a year, Liam’s father, 32-year-old Eric Geckas, decided to take up BMX racing himself. A multi-generational sport, “motos,” or individual heats, will advance in age from 5 to 50 at many events.
The Geckas family races out of Dacono BMX in Weld County, but like many BMX families, they’ve been chasing the state qualifier races this summer, which is what brought them to Eagle on Sunday.
“We’ve hit every single state race this season,” Eric Geckas said.
While the 44 motos held in Eagle on Sunday featured 203 individual racers, several racers race in multiple classes, so organizers were able to limit the total number of competitors invited to Eagle on Sunday to 175.
“It was a great event. I’m glad they had it,” Geckas said.
This story was edited to reflect that the state championship BMX event in Durango will also have a state qualifier race prior to the actual championship.
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