24 Hours Of Moab

When I arrived at Mad Dog base camp, Jolene was still out on her pre-ride. I talked to some of the folks at camp, ate lunch, then wandered around the booths and HQ.

When Jolene came in she was a little concerned. We expected a mostly flat course with sand being the biggest obstacle. Not so. The first 5 miles featured a lot of broken rock and ups and downs with tricky technical challenges. After that it is mostly flat, hard pack with sporadic sand traps to keep it interesting.

Saturday I went out and rode the course before the race started. I was also surprised how tough the course was. I walked many technical spots. The last 2/3 of the course were easier going, but I cutoff the loop beyond Prostitute Bluff because I didn't want to miss the the start. I made it just in time. Check out the costumed dude who sprinted for all he was worth to lead the run. (Reminded me of Wez from The Road Warrior.)

That start was quite the spectacle. The runners churned up a big cloud of dust. The poor runners in the middle and rear must have been choking on it.

After the start it got quiet. But an hour later in came the lead group and Chris Holley was in it. Thereafter riders kept streaming past camp which was on the edge of the road leading to the finish.

At evening we were treated to a nice sunset.

Jolene and I retired to the van but we didn't sleep much. At 1 AM we got up and got ready. At 1:45 we set out. Jolene hasn't done much night riding so I rode the night lap with her.

Riding the course at night was familiar yet strange. Everything looked different but recognizable. Surprisingly I rode a few of the technical spots I had walked during the day. I liked the night lap but Jolene not so much. She doesn't see well in the dark and she'd crashed in the sand on her 1st lap so she was tentative.

With 3 miles to go we could see the lights of the encampment. But as we went down in a depression I lost sight of it, got turned around and didn't recognize it went we crested the rise at the west end. It felt good to be done.

We ate some soup (both of us had been hungry since half way into the lap) then went to bed and got some sleep.

In the morning we ate some breakfast, talked, sent racers out, watched racers go by and welcomed them back after a lap.

This group cheered, waved the flag and had music going as they escorted their racer in.

Dorothy came in at 10:30 AM and it was time for Jolene's last lap. I was a little worried about her. She doesn't do much endurance stuff and I wondered if her fatigue would cause her to crash or just be too tired to enjoy the last lap. So I was glad to see a smile on her face when she came in.

The Great Dames had a good time racing and came in 2nd.

All in all it was a good experience. I can see that doing this would be fun, but I was happy with my for-fun laps and spectating. Given a choice I'd rather be riding some of the incredible trails in Moab, but this event is good for variety.

Rant: I was disappointed to see all the garbage on the trail as the race wore on. Especially after the technical stuff where it flattened out the ground was heavily littered with empty gel pouches. Come on mountain bikers, we're better than that. On a positive note, I was pleased to see everyone at camp Mad Dog cleaning up the campsite before leaving.


South County Ciclista said...

You should have ridden a fun "clean up" lap after the race was over. You probably could have ended up with some good stuff, ie. multitools, water bottles, sunglasses.

KanyonKris said...

True, plenty of booty left out there. But I'm not the maid.

LyndaW said...

The garbage surprised and disappointed me too. I've raced 24-Moab plenty and never seen that before so suspect it was a slightly different crowd attracted by it being Nationals. Out on the course I rode behind a racer in full Titus kit who took a baggie out of his pocket, took one bite from the sandwich then threw the baggie containing the rest of the sandwich on the ground. This was lap #3 and I saw 4 more baggies accumulate at that same spot before I finished up in the morning. Sheesh...not even enuf skills to get it back in his pocket!!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised that you were allowed on the course during the race. At the 24HRS race up here that would never fly. You know, the usual insurance/liability reasons.


Laird Knight said...

I heard from lots of racers about the unusual amount of trash/wrappers on course this year. Gonna have to get on my soap-box about this next year. Rest assured, we comb the course thoroughly after the race. We always have. It's part of the reason BLM has issued us a 10-year permit. The first ever in the Moab area. And, yes, our crew finds lots of trail candy, too.

KanyonKris said...

Laird - Good to hear the trail was cleaned after the race, but still sad racers littered in the first place. I was impressed how well the event was run.

Brad said...

Leadville got the same way, trashwise, prolly cuz of Lance's presence. It's sad to see there is a difference between the true MTBer's and the wannabes. We're all in this together, so don't litter. It was nice visiting between laps with you Kris.