Batty Cross is the first by design Emily Batty Signature Event held in the town of Brooklin, Canada
Two-time Olympian and World Championship bronze medalist Emily Batty created a Halloween themed cyclocross race on the Batty Family Farm where Emily grew up and learned to ride. The race was held on October 6, 2018, and featured a fun-designed course with a corn maze, trick or treat zone, haunted forest, and use of the natural terrain and hills on the farm that thrilled racers and challenged their abilities.
Cyclocross is a unique discipline that has a spectator friendly race format and challenges riders in different ways than road and mountain bike racing. With Batty Cross, we wanted to create a cyclocross race that was also an experiential event, where a Halloween theme echoed throughout and had no limit in participation for spectators or riders.
- Emily Batty
When asked about producing Batty Cross, Emily won’t take all the credit, instead, she pointed to the team of people around her, which included her husband Adam Morka and sister Charlotte Batty, who together formed an event team named Emily Batty and Co.
It would seem strange that three mountain bikers would want to produce a cyclocross event, especially when most of their experiences stem from mountain bike competitions, but Charlotte Batty explained why:
Cyclocross is viable in the sense that you can have many people in a small venue with a course that is spectator friendly. With Batty Cross, we only marketed the event for two weeks leading up to event day, and that was because we were so focused on event operations. However, we exceeded our expectations and had 200 racers and over 500 people in attendance! Now that the event is off the ground and built, next year we will have a comprehensive marketing lead-in, and we are confident we can double the number of people participating and in attendance.
The overall impression of Batty Cross and feedback was extremely positive, and some raved about the positive energy and good vibes of the venue and expo. Most had no idea what to expect but had a good time on a course that tested racers’ abilities and one that proved to be exciting for spectators on the sidelines. There was poutine, smoked meat, beer, candy (of course!), good music, and games and activities for everyone to participate – a perfect fall event.
“We are certainly in this for the long haul and there is a great sense of accomplishment in supporting the cycling community and providing an event that has something for everyone, including non-racers,” explained Adam Morka. “We always wanted to produce an event in proximity to the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and after Emily’s family gave us the go-ahead to utilize the family farm as a venue, we went full steam, and it worked out perfectly. We are going to continue building out this event for the next three to four years and once established, look at producing a mountain bike event with a similar framework to Batty Cross.”
To learn more about Batty Cross and stay up to date on the 2019 event, be sure to check emilybatty.com/battycross.