The 2009 Banana Belt will go on as a three-race series, promoter Jeff Mitchem said Sunday, despite having to cancel BB#2 because of snow on the course.
The series will take a step back one week, with the next race taking place Sunday, March 15, and the finale following one week later on March 22.
"We were lucky to have that weekend open," Micthem said. "We're doing the paperwork right now with permits and stuff. It looks like the park will be open. So we can do it."
Although the series remains at three races, the terminology to track the races has changed. Micthem explained it this way on the OBRA Chat list:
The "Three-race Banana Belt Series" will continue with an extension to March 22. For the sake of registration clarity please note:The Men 1/2 group wil race 66 miles in #3 and 77 miles in #4. The Cat 3 men will race 55 miles in #3 and 66 miles in #4.
*BB#2* died March 8, 2009
*BB#3* March 15, 2009
*BB#4* March 22, 2009
Link to Mitchem's entire update.
Weather has never before prompted cancellation of the race, at least not since Mitchem began promoting the event eight years ago.
"It's snowed on race day before, and it's always melted by start time," Mitchem said. "But we've never had this kind of collection. I was out there at about 5 a.m., and I couldn't see across the parking lot."
It's necessary to make a decision early to catch as many people as possible before they begin traveling, Mitchem said, adding that snow still covered much of the course when he made the call.