Thursday, October 13, 2011

2011 U. S National 24 Hour Championships

Photo taken at Mueller State Park about 15 miles west of Colorado Springs, CO or directly on the west side of Pikes Peak. We stayed here two days before the Championships and it proved to be a great place to stay. The camp we set up was at an altitude of 9400ft and it felt great. A little winded the first day there, but I adjusted very well. Angela did also, who is pictured here at over 8 months pregnant, and Ben.

Walking to the start of the 2011 24 National Championships. I could not have asked for a better day with the weather. After a little stress the night before with set up, we made a wise choice to stay with some great people minutes away, and I was able to rest well the night before the race. It paid off!

This photo was taken after I paraded around the venue on the back side. Angela and Ben were able to meet me here if needed anything additionally from the pit if I didn't stop.

Here I am on the back side, riding along the edge of a cliff that goes straight down! That is Pikes Peak in the background at 14,110ft!! (Riding bike #3)

Getting ready for night time with my super light Cannondale Flash. This bike proved to be a great bike for the course because of all the climbing, however, the course was very technical that the full suspension was nice to have to take the edge off.

Here I am with what I thought was the last lap, with Ben waiting to give me a little something in that precious bottle. With the very dry climate, I drank a lot of fluids during the duration of the race, and especially when the morning temps warmed up quickly. This was not the last lap, I was feeling great, tired but still feeling like I had something left in the tank. One more lap I went; didn't even stop at the pit the last 4 laps. I ended up passing a rider in the last couple of laps to bring me up a position. Maybe I was just getting warmed up? (I wonder if there would ever be a 36 hour race?)
I finished the U. S. 24 Hour National Championships in 6th place overall. I was pleased with the end result considering many factors of the race. There are always going to be the what ifs, but that is the game of racing. I raced for 23 hours and 52 minutes or close to that, and traveled 208 miles.

With a shower after getting packed up, I drove the first two hours of our trip back to MN. Ben drove another couple and we all called it a night. A special thanks to Angela, my wife, and great friend, Ben, for all their support. Thanks to all my sponsors who provided me with the equipment that makes it possible too.

Stay tuned for what I have been up to for the last couple weeks and to what is ahead.