The 15th annual Test of Metal sold out its 800 entries in record time - just under 25 minutes. Riders from as far away as Saskatchewan, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Colorado were among those registering for the race in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada.
"I'm amazed every year at how quickly this thing sells out," said Race Director Cliff Miller, "and every year we seem to get entries from farther afield. This year we've got 64 riders coming from out of country."
Riders for this year's race have registered from six different provinces, five states and five countries. Almost a quarter of the Canadian registrants are from outside the Lower Mainland.
"The race is great for Squamish. It brings a lot of people to town," Miller said
He also acknowledge the efforts of the more than 300 Squamish volunteers who each year ensure that the Test of Metal continues to be the most successful mountain bike race in Canada.
"To be frank, without the volunteers and the people of Squamish lining the course, this would just be a bike race. It's the town that makes it the event that it's become. They're the ones who ensure this sells out so quickly," he said
The Test of Metal, which will take place on June 19, 2010, is a gruelling 67-kilometre point-to-point mountain bike race through Squamish's trails.
Past participants in the race include Canadian Olympians Alison Sydor, Geoff Kabush, and Seamus McGrath, as well as notable celebrities like Vancouver Canuck icon Trevor Linden.
The Test of Metal is the centrepiece of the Squamish Mountain Bike Festival which will run from Friday, June 18 to Sunday June 21. The weekend activities include the "Pre-Test Festival" in downtown Squamish on Friday evening and the "Rock Star Invitational Downhill" on Sunday.
"There's a whole weekend of family-oriented activities," said Miller. "Even if you're not racing, Squamish is a great place to spend that weekend."
A 2006 study done by the BC Mountain Bike Tourism Association established that the Test of Metal generates more than one million dollars of economic activity in Squamish every year.
The race is promoted by a not-for-profit society run by volunteers. Proceeds from the race are returned to the community through charitable donations. Since its inception, the Test of Metal has donated more than CAN$135,000 to community organizations and events.
Max Plaxton and Catharine Pendrel won the 2009 edition of the race.