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Hundreds compete in 30th Mount Diablo Challenge

English finishes 13 seconds behind the course record he set in 2008

Nathaniel English was first up the hill in Sunday's Mount Diablo challenge, coming in at 43 minutes and 56 seconds, just 13 seconds shy of the course record he set in 2008.

The Mount Diablo Challenge was recently named the East Bay's Best Uphill Bike Race. The annual event is 11.2 miles of uphill cycling that starts at the Athenian School in Danville and climbs 3,249 feet on Southgate Road to the summit of Mount Diablo.

Hundreds of amateur and professional cyclists charged up Mount Diablo for two reasons Sunday for the challenge of making it to the top and to help preserve Mount Diablo.

Prizes were awarded for several categories in a ceremony at the top, along with food and beverages for everyone.

This year, Fastest Team award went to Dublin-based Taleo, the Talent Management Company, which was also this year's sponsor, with more than 50 members from Taleo riding.

Taleo Chairman and CEO, Mike Gregoire said his company is committed to healthy employees and that the ride helps them give back to the community.

The company was recently voted one of the Bay Area's healthiest companies by the San Francisco Business Times.

The challenge isn't limited to bikes. Riders of all ages participated and competed on all kids of non-motorized cycles, including unicycle, tandems, and hand powered vehicles tuned up courtesy of Devil Mountain Cyclery of Walnut Creek, the event's cosponsor. Diablo Challenge. Mount Diablo State Park was closed to traffic for the event and cyclists were assisted by State Park escorts during the descent.

All riders that reached the summit in less than 1 hour, no easy feat, received a special complimentary “1 Hour" T-Shirt. Awards were given to top finishers, Nathaniel English, Expert Tree Service Team (43:56), Max Jenkins (44:02), Chris Phipps, Expert Tree Service Team (46:35) for males and Jenny Slawta (53:33), Susannah Breen, Fremont Bank Cycling Team (54:19), Tanya Grossman, Forward Motion Race Club (58:72) for females.

Awards were also given to cyclists who raised funds for Save Mount Diablo's land preservation programs, and all proceeds benefit Save Mount Diablo's programs to preserve, defend and restore the remaining 80,000 acres on Mount Diablo and its foothills.

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