Tuesday, August 19, 2008

RACE REPORT - 18 Hours on the Farm "Scout's Honor" - Richmond, VA

If there's one thing that I've learned this year it's that 18 and 24 hour races are an absolute blast. You get to hang out with people that you usually hang out with anyway and eat, sleep, drink and race mountain bikes for an entire day.

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 no particular order.

The Caravan
These things, these 18 our races, they take alot longer than 18 hours to unfold. Planning,'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.

The Teams

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!

The Course
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.
The Venue
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.

The Characters
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)

The Kudos
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".

Team Sasquatch - 7th Place Sport 4 person
Does this Make My Butt Look Big? - 4th Place Women 4 person
4 Brother from 4 Mothers - 1st Place overall


adamC said...

Man it was a great time!Im def. looking forward to next year.The b24 something in the middle then the 18hr.Im still so pumped i signed up for the s100 this sunday.Sweet!Get some! (congrats on the overall 1st!)

Jen said...

Congrats on the 1st place guys!!! I am insanely jealous that I didn't get to come out and play. Work sometimes impairs my ability to play though. Kristin, Gordon and Inflat-a-girl make quite the threesome huh? ROCK ON! Great job everyone! And Moe, way to go girl!!! I'm proud of you! Hopefully, next year there will be a place for me on a Chicky team. =)

BikerClark said...

A special thanks to Skip for getting us all signed up and getting it all together on this thing. These long races are so much fun. ( I don't know why I hang around him. ) It was a great time. Our team did a great job. Thanks to Dave, Dave and Adam for giving it their all. We didn't leave anything on the table, but that table got pretty high, fast. Thanks to Gordon for stopping when I didn't have my light working at 4 in the morning, and still kicking butt enough for 4MF4M to take the overall.

BikerClark said...

Sorry for the typo before it should be 4BF4M. Oops!!!!!!! Also, "Way to go Moe!"

Metro said...

Nice job man. It was great to see you guys out there. 'm gad that i'm finally able to remember a few people name's as well.


Metro said...
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