Contributed by McIntosh Run Watershed Association
To celebrate the end of another great year in their community, the McIntosh Run Watershed Association (MRWA) and mountain bike World Cup racer and member of Canada’s National MTB team, Mackenzie Myatt, and SCAD race team alumnus, Artur Sagat, organized the first Granite Fondo!
This event took place in November in the McIntosh Run trail network, which is located within the McIntosh Run Watershed near the city of Halifax.
Alice Morgan is the President for the non-profit organization MRWA, which stewards the watershed that has grown to include a vast network of trails used for mountain biking, hiking, and trail running year-round.
“Part of the reason for the ride was to have a social, fun, end of year get together, raise some funds for the trails, but also to highlight some of the amazing talent we have here in Nova Scotia. ” – Alice Morgan
120 riders from all over the province participated in the 2021 Granite Fondo, which MRWA Vice-President and former Canadian National Champion (in XCM), Kaarin Tae, was happy with considering the event came together in just 2 weeks!
Before being named Granite Fondo, originally the ride was to be called “Kenzie and Kaarin’s Ride” which local Makenzie aka Kenzie describes as a bit of a fangirl moment.
Coming up and racing in Nova Scotia, Kaarin was the fastest female rider I had to measure myself against. She is friendly, technically skilled, mentally tough (a key ingredient a former Marathon National Champion).
She is mechanically inclined as well, she was actually the mechanic for Team Nova Scotia at Canada Games in 2013. I would also like to point out that all three distances in the Granite Fondo had female ride leaders – Kenzie Myatt
To make it happen, Artur and Makenzie put all hands on deck, designed the event poster, organized Royal Flush rental, coordinated the Cavicchi’s Meats BBQ and drinks and brought in The Youth Partnership Initiative as a sponsor.
Three rides (34km, 23km, and 10km) were led by Myatt, Tae, Sagat, and Morgan as well as MRWA volunteers including Catherine Anne Murray who has been helping lead MRWA’s weekly She/Her+ rides for the past few years.
North End Trail Runners hosted a welcome fuel stop at the McIntosh Run bridge Greeting riders with miso soup, hot Chocolate and a few extra special treats. Every distance challenged riders with many happily exhausted at the end remarking that ’34 kilometers of McIntosh Run Trails are harder than expected’.
After a year and a half of COVID restrictions, it was a was a welcome return to a normal feeling social MTB event in Atlantic Canada
With thanks to Makenzie and Artur, MRWA Volunteers, Cyclesmith, Cavicchi’s Meats, and Youth Partnership Initiative the event raised just over $3000 for MRWA to build and maintain the trails, which has the community preparing to make the Granite Fondo an annual event!
Video Credit: Artur Sagat