This past weekend First State BMX hosted the US BMX National Race at the track, located behind Milford Central Academy, from September 13 through September 15. The event was expected to bring more than 1,200 riders of all ages to the city of Milford, as riders accumulated points toward championships in their respective levels.
Only 32 cities are picked around the country to host the National series, and Milford was chosen as a featured track in part to the dedicated volunteers that operate the Milford BMX track. President and Track Operator of First State BMX, Mark VanVorst, acknowledges the efforts of his team of volunteers leading up the the National Race.
“We have all worked very hard getting the track ready for the national race,” commented VanVorst. “We had to put soil cement on the entire track, redo the turns and do plenty of marketing for the event. Our hope is to bring back the National race again next year.”
The First State Nationals are part of a schedule of races that will be held in 22 states over 29 weekends next year. According to the Delaware Sports Commission, The event is expected to have had an economic impact of $1.1 million in Delaware.
First State BMX Treasurer and photographer Rhonda Flowers was excited about the opportunity to host the National event in Milford. In addition to being a great economic driver for the local economy, Rhonda believes that the real benefits can be seen with the younger riders as they have a chance to learn from the professionals.
“We are grateful to host the event and everyone is very excited. It is an honor to host something this big,” commented Rhonda. “For the kids, it really boosts their self confidence and helps them push a little harder.” Rhonda’s fourteen-year-old daughter has been riding for three years and was inspired when she met professional rider Dominique Daniels.
Local professional rider Tony Favata was at the National Race this weekend competing against other pros in an attempt to prepare for the Grand Nationals, which will be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma this year.
“It is good to have a home track advantage and it is fun to see what others riders think about your track and your hometown,” commented Favata. “I hope that these riders take the time to explore our town and what it has to offer.” Favata placed third overall on Sunday.
First State BMX officials agreed that the National event was a huge success as they are confident that they will have the opportunity to host it again next year. On Monday morning the organization posted a statement on their Facebook page thanking those involved.
“Without each and every one of you, this event would not have been a success. There is no way we can name everyone individually, as we wouldn’t want to leave anyone out. Thank you for all of the compliments and kind words. All of our hard work turned into another great USA BMX National! See you at the next event!”