Cycling Venue 7Fort Ritchie Provides Ideal Location for Cycling Competition

Fort Ritchie, located in Cascade, Maryland, is owned and operated by the Penn-Mar Development Corporation. Dori Nipps (Executive Director, Penn-Mar Development Corporation at Fort Ritchie), reached out to Special Olympics Maryland in early 2014 in hopes of securing a partnership that would benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland by providing grounds, facilities, and competition opportunities to Special Olympics athletes. Given that Fort Ritchie is just over ten miles from Mount St. Mary’s University, the venue at Fort Ritchie proved to be in an ideal location to serve as the cycling competition venue as a part of the 2014 Fall Sports Festival. After several site visits, and discussions with the Cycling Competition Management Team, the decision was made to bring the cycling competition to the beautiful grounds of Fort Ritchie.

The relationship with the Penn-Mar Development Corporation helped Special Olympics Maryland generate a new partnership with Racine MultiSports. Racine MultiSports hosts several triathlons, cycling competitions, and running events at Fort Ritchie throughout the calendar year. Dori Nipps suggested that Special Olympics Maryland reach out to Ken Racine, owner of Racine MultiSports, to discuss race routes and the competition environment at Fort Ritchie. Ken proved to be an extremely valuable asset for the Games Management Team, and the athletes of Special Olympics Maryland. Ken’s experience and knowledge of the competition venue helped the Cycling Competition Management Team develop a great race route for athletes, spectators, and officials. Racine MultiSports was able to provide race equipment to enhance the competition environment, including a terrific inflatable finish line arch for the start/finish line.

Overall, the cycling competition was a great success. Family members, athletes, volunteers, and competition officials all marveled over the course conditions, scenic surroundings, and wonderful day of cycling at Fort Ritchie. Special Olympics Maryland, the Community Sports Department, and the Cycling Competition Management Team are all looking forward to working with Dori Nipps, the staff at Fort Ritchie, Ken Racine, and the employees of Racine MultiSports, and the cycling community on hosting this event together in support of our athletes in 2015!