24 Hours of Adrenalin draws more than 500 riders
It was hot, challenging, and, according to the riders, a lot of fun.
More than 500 mountain bikers turned out to the inaugural 24 Hours of Adrenalin in Whistler last weekend, including almost 100 solo riders.
Blackcombs Base II area was turned into a carnival for the event, complete with an master of ceremonies at the start/finish line who provided running commentary for a solid 25 hours. There were movies, a midnight corn roast, a store, and more.
And then there was the racing. Teams competed on a 12.1 km course around Blackcomb Mountain and Lost Lake, while the solo riders competed on the same course with an additional 2.1 km section.
The first few laps were dusty, but after a while the field began to spread out and the riding conditions improved. Although the majority of the race took part on doubletrack and gravel-lined Lost Lake trails, the course had its share of technical singletrack as well.
The event was the World Solo Championships, and attracted the top names on the 24 Hours of Adrenaline circuit, which has 13 events on the calendar.
In the World Solo Male Elite division, Chris Eatough of Baldwin, Maryland took the title with 22 laps in 23 hours, 49 minutes and four seconds.
That was more than 20 minutes faster than Tinker Juarez of Downey, California, who finished second overall with 22 laps in 24:01:06. Third place went to Nat Ross of Breckenridge, Colorado with 22 laps in 24:44:54.
To put this accomplishment into perspective, 22 laps is 312.4 kilometres. With more than 1,350 feet (400 metres) of elevation gain on each lap, thats a total climb of 29,700 feet, or just 329 feet short of the top of Mount Everest.
The top Canadian solo rider was Fernies Paul Attala, who completed 18 laps of the course in 23:45:49.
Whistlers Joe Maika, competing in his first ever 24 Hours of Adrenalin race, finished 20 th overall out of the field of 55 racers in the elite solo category with 17 laps in 24:38:47.
The only other Whistler solo rider was Alex Cogger, who finished third overall in the 25 to 29 age group with 17 laps in a time of 24:17:40. He would have finished 16 th overall in the elite category.
"I did pretty good," said Cogger. "I was pretty happy with my result. It was a lot of work, and I was pretty sore by the end of it, but Im slowly coming back."
Cogger has only competed in one 24 Hour race, although he used to work for Trilife Sports, the events organizer. He went for some long rides to train for the event, although he admits that he probably could have trained a lot harder.
"I told my (pit crew) that I was happy with the result because I didnt put as much effort into training as I should have. Seeing how I finished, and would have finished in the elite race, I might get more serious next time and really give it a go," said Cogger.
In order to pace himself, Cogger made a point of not learning where he was in the overall standings until almost 19 hours of racing had gone by.
"I knew I couldnt go out there and try to race because I would have tried to chase people early and I would have burned out," he said. "I didnt know where I was sitting, and I didnt even ask until about 7 a.m.
"I just raced my own race, and when I found out how I was doing I started thinking strategically and listened to my pit crew. On the last lap I could have stopped, but I forced myself to go out and do one more, and Im glad I did."
Cogger took a short 50 minute nap around 2:30 in the morning, and awoke feeling refreshed and ready to do more riding.
"That made all the difference in the world," he said.
He made the decision to stop for a while after a hard crash.
"I was feeling pretty punchy and went over the handlebars. I fell hard but I didnt hurt myself. I knew I had to rest because I couldnt put two and two together."
He was tired, but he still had some energy left for his last lap, where he actually did more climbing out of the saddle than he had on any of his previous laps.
Physically he felt good, with no major aches or pains.
"The last four or five laps I didnt sit at all on the uphills I couldnt bear to sit any longer," he said.
Cogger paced himself, with his top lap around an hour and five minutes, and his slowest lap around 1:25.
The World Solo Female Elite womens race went to Christina Begy of Denver with 18 laps in 23:39:01. She was followed by Katie Lindquist of Steamboat Springs, Colo. with 18 laps in 24:18:36. Louis Kobin of San Jose, California was third with 17 laps in 23:39:46.
In the WORCA division, the only all-Whistler category in the race, team Ride Everything took the win with a convincing 28 laps in 24:48:38. Team Pique was second with 24 laps in 24:44:28. The Body Mechanics were third with 24 laps in 24:51:22. Team Quit Lollygagging and team Pull My Finger were fourth and fifth with 23 and 20 laps respectively.
In the corporate team category for groups of six to 10 riders, Whistler-Blackcomb finished third with 25 laps in 24:00:27. Rolling Dizzy/CDA of Vancouver won the group with 29 laps in 24:53:34, followed by Macs Leisure Team of Victoria with 26 laps in 24:24:19.
In the co-ed division with teams of five, Team Snow Covers was the top Whistler team in fifth place with 24 laps in 24:00:25. L.A.P.D.D. was eighth with 20 laps in 23:00:41.
The top team in the race was the four-person team NRGs Surly Singlespeeders of Nelson, B.C. They completed 30 laps of the course in 24:35:39.
Complete results from the race are available at www.24hoursofadrenalin.com.