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Stage 8 wraps up Trans-Sylvania Epic

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Stage 8 champion is kissed by Sarah Kaufmann, Vicky Barclay and Amanda Carey. Note the rainbow armwarmers on Carey, who was serving as head official during stage 8

Stage 8 champion is kissed by Sarah Kaufmann, Vicky Barclay and Amanda Carey. Note the rainbow armwarmers on Carey, who was serving as head official during stage 8 (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Michael Wissell helps with set up

Michael Wissell helps with set up (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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The sweatshirt dipping was an important beginning to each heat

The sweatshirt dipping was an important beginning to each heat (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Racers roll out on their bikes

Racers roll out on their bikes (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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There were some interesting obstacles on course

There were some interesting obstacles on course (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Who knows who you will find in a barrel during stage 8

Who knows who you will find in a barrel during stage 8 (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Sometimes the racers chose to dip themselves and not just their sweatshirts

Sometimes the racers chose to dip themselves and not just their sweatshirts (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Mid-race wrestling matches were not illegal

Mid-race wrestling matches were not illegal (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Rich Straub chose to run his bike over this obstacle instead of riding

Rich Straub chose to run his bike over this obstacle instead of riding (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Donna Miller during stage 8

Donna Miller during stage 8 (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Andrea Wilson put her technical skills to use

Andrea Wilson put her technical skills to use (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Dax Massey coped ok with all the gears on his bike during stage 8

Dax Massey coped ok with all the gears on his bike during stage 8 (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Dax Massey demonstrates proper broom-spinning technique

Dax Massey demonstrates proper broom-spinning technique (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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It wouldn't be a proper race without some blood being drawn

It wouldn't be a proper race without some blood being drawn (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Three riders run to dip their sweatshirts

Three riders run to dip their sweatshirts (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Racers had a lot of support from others out on course

Racers had a lot of support from others out on course (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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This section of the course was particularly demanding

This section of the course was particularly demanding (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Not everyone could ride it

Not everyone could ride it (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Fire crackers added to the excitement

Fire crackers added to the excitement (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Dracula stacks it during his lap

Dracula stacks it during his lap (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Dax Massey shows how to ride the technical bits

Dax Massey shows how to ride the technical bits (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Climbing a tree gave spectators a good viewpoint

Climbing a tree gave spectators a good viewpoint (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Enduro contender Derek Bissett struggles to stay on course

Enduro contender Derek Bissett struggles to stay on course (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Man down during stage 8

Man down during stage 8 (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Aaron Snyder had a local advantage all week

Aaron Snyder had a local advantage all week (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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Aaron Snyder out on course

Aaron Snyder out on course (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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A racer recovers after his lap

A racer recovers after his lap (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)
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The top three men on the podium, surrounded by the Stan's NoTubes ladies, the fastest podium ladies you'll ever meet

The top three men on the podium, surrounded by the Stan's NoTubes ladies, the fastest podium ladies you'll ever meet (Image credit: A.E Landes Photography)

The Trans-Sylvania Epic is officially a seven-day, seven-stage mountain bike race in central Pennsylvania, but racers typically also enjoy an unofficial, optional final stage 8, run on the last evening of the race after the official racing is done.

The format varies from year to year, but this year, the Stan's NoTubes Women's Elite Team hosted stage 8.  Sue Haywood, race winner Amanda Carey, Sarah Kaufmann and Vicki Barclay were the masterminds behind the antics, which included a sort of team relay-style short track that went under the official name of something like the "General Potter World Cup enduro eliminator".

In each heat, racers had to run to the pond, submerge their hooded race sweatshirts before putting them on, then run back to their bikes, do a lap around the pond, including dodging a few obstacles while firecrackers went off.  Finally, they had to rack their bike, then spin around a broom three times before chugging an age-appropriate beverage of their choice and handing off the wet sweatshirt to the next teammate.

Heats included three teams of three, progressing through toward the finals.

The following gallery highlights the action.

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