This type of racing brings out the best in everyone. I for one will race harder for my buddies than I do for myself because I know that they're out there doing the same for me on their laps.
There are many short stories to tell about the "Scout's Honor" 18 hour race that I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate in. Here are a few of them...in no particular order.
These things, these 18 our races, they take alot longer than 18 hours to unfold. Planning, logistics...it's alot harder than you think getting three teams of four racers, all of the necessary food, clothing and bicycles from point A to point B without some glitches. We were all to meet at Skippy's at 9:30 to form a rolling brigade of roof-top renegades...all the way from Roanoke to Richmond. We assembled as planned, all standing around looking at each other while leaning against our overloaded vehicles. "Who's got directions?" I'm not sure who it was that asked the question, but the expressions on all of our faces was priceless. Adam had directions. Good work Adam. We all failed test number one, I guess. All but Adam.
The train got to a rollin'. I-81 to I-64. Along the way my phone rang no fewer than 11 times. First it was Skippy checking to see if we needed to stop for gas. Then Chris called, then Skippy again. Then a random call from Ron wishing us all good luck. All 12 of us. Then as we neared Afton mountain, Skippy called to see if we needed to stop for gas and grub. It was time, so I said "sure". As we approached the exit, the phone rang again. "Hey, Adam says that one of the wheels on your rack looks loose. You may want to check it when we stop." As soon as I hung up the phone with Skippy, a loud "clunk" came from the right side of the car and the three of us in my Outback watched in awe as Chas' wheel bounced off the top of my car. Without saying a word, he opened the front passenger door, pulled the wheel in side and held it in his lap until we reached the Sheetz parking lot. Unscathed by the plunge off the roof, Chas' wheel - and mine too - made the rest of the trip in the back of Kristin's Xterra.
Team Sasquatch - Adam, Chris, Dave and Dave
Does This Make My Butt Look Big? - Pookie, Kristin, McKenzie and Moe
4 Brothers from 4 Mothers - Me, Skip, Chas & Gordon
The girls of "Team Butt" had a challenge even before they got to the race. Their fourth team member had to bail because of an emergency, leaving them with three racers. Skip's wife Moe stepped in at the last minute to fill the void. She had never raced before - ever. That's quite a leap of faith if you ask me, and a real gesture of friendship. We're in awe Moe! You rock!
Dust. Choking, thick, tasteless, horrible dust. The 9.5 miles course was fast. I loved it. The abundance of tight turns reminds me of Peaksview Park in Lynchburg, but faster. The climbs were short, but many. Up, down, turn, turn, repeat. As a team rolled off lap times of about 45-50 minutes.
Boy Scout camps are the bomb! We stayed in a fort. 10 bunk houses and about 6 full bathrooms. Electricity, hot water, showers...these things are unheard of for endurance races. These things are a big part of why I'll do this race again next year! The accommodations allow you to concentrate on racing, not on survival.
Me - "Earplugs and Advil; the two essentials of 18 hour racing".
Adam - "We feel awesome". (said with 100% sarcasm after he and Chris both completed two laps in a row.)
Big Dave -"Oh sweet Jesus" (after his first bite of a Krispy Kream after doing a lap at 1 am)
Thanks Skip for pulling this all together.
Thanks Chas, Skip and Gordon for racing your asses off.
Thanks Pookie for letting me talk you into this.
Thank Adam for the tube.
Thanks Ed, and all those involved, for such a great event.
Thanks Moe for stepping up for the chickys.
Thanks Dave E. for racing your first ever event.
Thanks Kristin for winning the blow-up doll.
Thanks Angelia for pointing me in the right direction when I was deliriously tired.
Thanks Chris and Big Dave for the laughs and company at 4am.
Thanks McKenzie and Barry for being part of our "circle of crazy Roanoke MTB people".