Soldiers Of Downhill Race Guide
Detailed track guide for the Soldiers Downhill longboard race. Including Soldiers of Downhill track maps, speed and corner info, photos, event dates, parking, weather, hotel, and camping information.
Soldiers Of downhill: Oct. 10-11, 2015
This guide is everything you need to get battle ready for the 2015 Soldiers of Downhill. The name is as gnarly as the track, but the event is far from sketchy! This year is the 6th annual Soldiers of Downhill and the race is one of the most fun event's for racers and the most convenient for spectators. Soldiers of Downhill takes place on a small back road in the woods of Ohio lined with fences, mailboxes, and donkeys. Add a bunch of hay bales with some awesome locals and you have one of the most exciting races of the year!
The event was held for the first time in 2009 and has been a favorite of world class longboarders and locals alike. For 2014, the race attracted around 100 entries across stand-up, classic luge, and street luge classes. This year the race will surely meet its maximum number of 100 riders again along with hundreds of spectators! The race takes place on the second Saturday and Sunday of October and no official schedule has been announced, but the event will roughly follow this schedule:
Friday, October 9th, Course Setup (No Skating): 11:30AM-ish
Saturday, October 10th, Practice: 9:00AM - Lunch - 6:00PM
Sunday, October 11th, Race Day: 9:00AM - Lunch - Finals around 6:00PM (sun sets at 7:00PM)
Sunday, October 11th, Podium: Right after the final heats!
Soldiers of Downhill takes place on Jester Hill in the small town of Bainbridge, OH (the one in 45612 zipcode). Jester Hill is the only road out of town on the south side and is mainly a residential back road. There's no shoulder, no yellow line, no room for error. Acting like this road is fun for all levels of riders would be wrong. It isn't called Soldiers of Downhill for nothing! The track starts around 1,277ft and as soon as the riders finish pushing, the road starts falling at a ~12% grade through a slow left. The main draw for spectators is the fast right turn after the drop-in start. By the time riders are entering this right hand "crash corner", they have already thrown a quick predrift in the left leading up to it or they are really railing hard! This corner is the only real turn in the whole course, a clean line here is the set up for a heat winning run.
After the main corner, the course gets narrow, fast, and straight... Tuck hard, get in line, and pray to the aero gods you are in the front when the chicane comes! FindHills.com (and Google Maps) doesn't trace the road very well near the chicane. To get a good look at this section of the track, use satellite view. The chicane comes after the long straight, past the guardrail, and after the tunnel of fall colored trees. This is the fastest section of the track! The chicane (S-turn) is super fast, super narrow, and ends with a capped patch of asphalt. Racers are forced through the turns here in a single file line at over 50 mph. It is very well protected with tons of bales and there's plenty of spectators here to amp up the riders! Following the chicane, the road makes another very slight S to bomb straight through to the flat finish and run-out to the campsite.
- Run Time: 1:23 (George Mackenzie/Max Wipperman), 1:28 (Ed Kiefer)
- Top Speeds: 56 MPH just before the chicane
- 2 turns (Left Sweeper from start, Hard banked Right), 1 narrow S-section
- Wide upper section, narrow bottom with plenty of hay bales
- Racing line in the top right and aero in the long straight is critical
WHERE TO STAY:
The Bainbridge Community Center at the bottom of the hill right past the finish is where the whole event starts and finishes. Camping there is by far the most convenient, most fun/social, and certainly the cheapest spot. The campsite is really just the baseball field and tennis court area outside the community center, but there's a bonfire and the Center sells super cheap breakfast. The Lazy H cabins are super cool and just a few miles away. If you really need a hotel and a shower, there are plenty of hotels about 30 minutes east of the event in Chillicothe, OH.
The weather in Ohio is usually 50-60F but in the mid-40s at night in October. Layer up, you'll be walking a lot and sitting a lot. It's not going to be snowing or anything crazy and on a sunny day, the hill feels pretty awesome in the high 60s to low 70s and the fall colors of the trees make for a great backdrop to the racing!
WHAT TO BRING:
Like most events, you don't have to bring anything really. There is a market at the 4-way in town a few good pushes from the campsite and the community center sells some food and drinks all day. There isn't a whole lot in Bainbridge, but it's a really "local" places with the only real chain stores being the Shell gas station and a Subway. Bringing a cooler with wheels is always a good idea! The track isn't super long, but you won't be near your car all day unless you walk back down. Bring a blanket and some camping chairs, but there should be bleachers at the top in the main corner. Bring cash for swapping gear and buying stuff from the community center concessions. Most importantly, eat at the Paxton Restaurant to the left at the 4-way! It's awesome, locally owned, cheap, walking distance from the finish line and campsite, and the country fried steak is super good!
Soldiers of Downhill is really spectator friendly! Parking at the campsite near the finish is plentiful. There's even room for campers and RVs. Besides being the center of the event, the community center campsite has portable toilets, a warm fire, and plenty of snacks and drinks in case you forgot anything. Like most races, Soldiers of Downhill is great for all ages as there is plenty of hay to hide behind and tons of elevated land to get a good view without being in danger. There is really no parking anywhere along the track, so you kind of have to walk. The two main spots to watch are the chicane and the top crash corner. You can walk to the top for the main corner to see the racers sliding into the right in 20 minutes at a super slow pace. But the chicane is exciting, has a cool backdrop, and is only about a 1/2 mile from the parking lot.
There is a lot of action throughout the whole track! Meet all the riders at the bottom, watch the finish about a 1/4 mile up, stop at the chicane, see the crazy fast fly-bys on the way up the straight, or hang out at the top for all the predrifts, huge slides, and crashes. If you bring a chair, anywhere is a good spot.
That’s all you need to be prepared for the 2015 Soldiers of Downhill! Check out the Facebook event page by Dan Oliver with Ohio Downhill Skate to register and stay updated! If you have any comments, suggestions, or pro-tips that weren’t covered send them to us through the Contact form!
- THREESIX DOWNHILL TRACK GUIDE: SOLDIERS OF DOWNHILL -
Written by Isaac Cogdill (@IsaacMTSU). This event guide is the second of many ultra-detailed race summaries from ThreeSix Downhill written to give readers all the information needed to be prepared and make it out to support an event! I go to as many events as I can to shoot photos of everybody, meet people, support riders on ThreeSix decks, and sleep in a car or bum floor space to bring you everything I can to spread the sport of downhill longboarding!