Monday, June 16, 2008

24 Hours of Hardcore

This morning, I feel like I got hit by a Mack truck. No, I didn't encounter a truck while out riding this weekend, but rather, I did a 24 hour mountain bike relay race over the weekend on a 5 person co-ed team. For those of you not familiar with the format, most races of these types start at 12 noon on Saturday and wrap up at 12 noon on Sunday. Most of the time, riders are fortunate enough to catch a few zzzz's between laps (unless you do it solo), but for this decaf drinking gal who was drinking high-test to stay sharp, I hardly slept. But, let's start out with the good news -- our team won the 5-person co-ed category (gotta give big kudos to my husband, Jeff, who took one of my night laps because I SUCK at riding at night), so the lack of sleep was worth it. There were no flats, no mechanicals, and everyone's light systems worked. Now, to the not so good news -- it rained for the first six hours which made the course extremely slick and let's add that there was 100% humidity after that. It wasn't until about 7 a.m. the next morning, when things starting drying out and there was over 1000 feet of climbing per lap. Whew!

We all rode 4 laps of a 9 mile course with the exception of myself who did 5 laps because of the rotation. I finished my last lap at 11:30 a.m. and because we had such a lead on the next team, I stopped and had a beer and waited for the clock to toll noon. I crossed the line at 12:01 with a beer in hand. Pretty cool.

This was a great, quality event and I would suggest this race to anyone who is interested in trying out 24 hour mountain bike racing. The accommodations were suitable, vendors were hospitable, and the people were more than personable, even at 4 a.m. when all you could hear is the sound of bull frogs.....something that's almost surreal.

Next weekend, Jeff and I are teaming up again for a 12 hour event. Let's all hope for better weather.


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