WORDS Greg Noble PHOTOS Erick Barrandey VIDEO Kyle Ramsey
The Texas race scene has certainly made its mark over the past few years with continued progression of both talented riders and killer events. The monumental leaps that the Texas racing scene has made over the past few years can be traced back to its outlaw spirit and a few of its long-running annual events. One such event is Gnarathon, held annually for the past 5 years in Waco, Texas. The race’s name is derived from the local skateshop & host Gnarlys and it is a name which is fitting. Just as the name implies, the event has ruined many riders’ summer plans due to its hectic course matched with aggressive riding. Every year, scars and injuries are an inevitable result. This year’s race did not disappoint!
Gnarathon 5, 2015 – Event Recap Video:
Gnarathon is a race which is talked about for months both before and after it’s held. This downhill thrill-ride is the direct result of collaboration between the city of Waco, The Waco Longboard Club, Gnarly’s Skateshop, and the incredible determination of event organizer Ryan Richbourg. What started out as a small, unique race has now grown into a full-fledged Texas event attracting a huge spectator base, press, and riders from several neighboring states. This year’s race saw a new course, which sported brand new buttery pavement, but with some “teeth”. The center of this buttery road had raised reflector blades which took a bite out of many riders. Speaking of ruining some riders’ summer plans, there was a virtual carousel of ambulances throughout the day. There’s just something about Gnarathon that not only brings out the competitive juices, but also gets the blood flowing (and the bones breaking!!). Regardless of which “Wacko-Waco” road is used for this race, every year seems to have an epic crash-corner from hell—this year was no exception. Blake Yowell of Gnarly’s Skateshop was the Crash Corner Boss and he was covered in hay and racer shrapnel by day’s end.
The race was attended by many first-timers and skate crews such as Team Nobull, NoCoast, and the San Antonio Hill Ratz. Given the record attendance of this year’s Gnarathon 5, a full slate of classes—Open, Groms, Womens & Masters—ran under the watchful race-runner’s eyes. Blake Yowell of Gnarly’s Skateshop, Stephen Dumaine, and myself did our best to keep the race running smoothly and quickly. The event owes a huge debt of gratitude to the IDSA for providing its insight and assistance with insurance. It’s truly amazing what the Texas scene has been able to accomplish in a few short years with a little organization, collaboration with local governments, insurance, and closed roads. It’s only fitting that Gnarathon 5 marked the start of what will be a busy and gnarly race season in the states of Texas & Oklahoma with no less than a dozen events coming up locally over the next 5 months. That being said, Gnarathon 5 will no doubt go down in the history books as one of the nastiest and gnarliest of the season.
1st. Nicholas Lincoln Hopper
2nd. Jargh Hammons
3rd. Ray Adams
1st. Knute Neby
2nd. Jack Herdejurgen
3rd. Andrew Witcher
1st. Bryanne Danger Harris
2nd. Colleen Dallas Scars Daugherty
3rd. Kacey Moon
1st. Chris Dotson
2nd. Daniel Jardine
3rd. Deejay Damen
Click this image for larger view
All the volunteers, every local and spectator who came out, all the skaters who shredded hard, and the event SPONSORS: Gnarlys Skate Shop, Team Nobull Longboarders, Wheelbase, Barrandey Photography, NoCoast Skate, Bombsquad Longboarding, Whiplash Graphics, Carve Skate Shop Houston, Waterloo Wheel Designs, Insanity Boardshop, Dave’s Hippy Oil, Riot Boardsports, Braden Boards, Rojas Hybrids, AuthentiK Longboards, Evins Skateboards, KHIRO Skateboard Products, Deuxtone, Jay Cronin Designs,, Gravity’s Children, Pantheon Longboards, Push Culture, Cheetah Oil, Sheshreds.com, Hawgs Wheels, Bonzing Skateboards, Hydroflex Skateboards, RipTide Sports, Inc., Created SkateShop, & BSR Cable Park.