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Racers pour out of Byron Park in Indian Lake at the start of the Black Fly Challenge. (Photo/Pete Klein)

Racers get ready for the Black Fly Challenge at Indian Lake's Byron Park. (Photo/Pete Klein)


508 finish Black Fly Challenge

Monday, June 10, 2013 - Updated: 8:15 AM


Express News Staff

INDIAN LAKE - Those pesky black flies just couldn't keep up with the over 500 bicyclists who competed in the 18th Annual Black Fly Challenge bike race Saturday, June 8, which started in Indian Lake this year and finished in Inlet.

The event set a record this year with 578 entries, topping last year's 506 entries which was also a record; and 508 finishers, topping last year's record of 459 finishers.

While the race was fast under cool and cloudy conditions, it wasn't as fast as last year when first-place winner, Cory Burns, beat the old record by about six minutes, finishing the over 40-mile course in 1:47:38.

This year's first-place winner was Alec Donahue at 1:57:10.

Ruth Sherman was tops in the woman's division with 2:07:37. She was also the first woman to cross the line in 2012, with a time of 2:01:58.

Finishes in Indian Lake are always faster, due to the Fern Mountain single-track in Inlet, according to


The BFC has exploded from a small regional cycling event to the biggest bike race and one of the largest sporting events in the Adirondack Park, attracting thousands of people to the tiny hamlets of Inlet and Indian Lake for what is one of the most unique bike races in existence.

Although the BFC started as a mountain bike race, there is now a large and growing cyclocross category. The race also attracts single-speed bikes, tandem bike teams and, in recent years, even had a three-set bike and two unicyclists, which both finished in about four hours.

The Black Fly Challenge takes place the second Saturday in June every year. Skiing magazine lists it as number one of "Five Bad-Ass Things to do in June."

The race changes direction every year, with the start and finish alternating between the towns of Indian Lake and Inlet.

Over half the 40-mile course traverses the rugged Moose River Plains on mountain roads composed of dirt, gravel, sand and exposed boulders with several steep elevation changes.


The race was timed by YellowJacket Racing of Rochester. Times are shown in hours, minutes and seconds.

1 - Alec Donahue, Easthampton, Mass. - 1:57:10.32.

2 - Wayne Bray, Clinton - 1:57:23.57.

3 - Jack MacClarence, Loudonville - 1:57:24.81.

4 - Dereck Treadwell, Topsham, Maine - 1:57:25.25.

5 - Cory Burns, Watertown - 1:57:28.92.

6 - Dan Staffo, Farmington - 1:57:48.77.

7 - Erik Grimm, Pittsford - 1:58:01.43.

8 - Zack Vogel, Saratoga Springs - 1:59:06.96.

9 - Andrew Donaldson, Andover, N.H. -2:02:12.97.

10 - Chris Welch, Noblesville, Ind. - 2:02:47.36.

Local contestants include the following.

36 - Chad Hiatt, Old Forge - 2:10:34.81.

89 - Eric Knierim, North Creek - 2:25:53.09.

137 - Matthew Spring, Indian Lake - 2:38:46.25.

303 - Bob Roche, Long Lake - 3:13:19.28.

372 - Amy Sauer, Eagle Bay - 3:31:25.35.

398 - John Mulcahy, Long Lake - 3:40:14.84.

For a complete list of race results go to


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