First Annual Sugar Showdown Rides into Duthie Hill Park

The state's first-ever women's free-ride mountain bike competition takes place at the recently completed Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park this weekend, July 7-8.

The first ever women’s free-ride mountain bike competition in Washington state is happening this weekend from Saturday, July 7 to Sunday, July 8.

The Sugar Showdown, presented by Sweetlines, will take place at Duthie Hill Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and the competition will start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Spectators are welcome to watch.

The two-day event is split into two parts. Classes will be held on Saturday and the competition takes place on Sunday.

“I’m paying professional coaches that are flying in from all over America,” said Kat Sweet, founder of Sweetlines.

Unfortunately, the class is sold out, but you can register for the competition through today, Thursday, July 5.

The competition will feature jumps, drops and wall rides. It will also include two courses, a professional course and an amateur course. The amateur course will open at 1:30 p.m. A DJ will also perform on Sunday.

Sweet organized the event with the help of a “posse of super awesome people,” she said.

After attending a Queen of the Mountain event last year, she was inspired to organize a similar event in Washington.

After racing downhill for many years, Sweet got into jumping, but there were no free-ride competitions available to women.

“Women want this as a next step,” she said.

The trend isn’t limited to Washington, though. The Dixie Trix competition was held in Colorado in May and another Queen of the Mountain event will be held in Sacramento, Calif. this August.

The money made from registrations is being used to put on the event and host the coaches.

Sweet has been riding for 25 years and remembers getting her first mountain bike in 1987.

“I’ve learned everything the hard way,” said Sweet. “So it’s fun for me to coach other people … I’m looking forward to helping other people progress their skill level."

Sweet also said that “there’s this sisterhood that develops” between women when they ride. People perform better in contests when they’re in a supportive environment and then they want to stay with the sport.

Sweet intends to make the Sugar Showdown an annual event.

If you go...

If you want to attend the event, admission is free, but parking is a 20-minute walk away. Sweet suggests bringing a bike or giving yourself ample time to walk to the competition.



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