I'll be spending the next few days eating ibuprofen and drying out rain-soaked camping gear as I sort through all the mental detritus of the 24 Hours of Matanuska. Being a guy who abandoned in pain after seven and a half hours, one of the things that’ll stick with me is the tenacity of some really tough racers. There were many, and I got pics of only a few:
Team Davis. With no competition remaining in the race by Sunday morning, they had their victory in the bag, and could have gone home for hot showers and sleep. Instead, they kept going out for laps on a course so slippery that even the best racers were reduced to pushing up the slimy hills. Their husband and dad, Mark, had fought off cramps for hours to rack up 10 laps in the 12-hour solo division Saturday night.
Jenny H. wanted 10 laps in the 12-hour solo division. She got them by cruising by the timer’s tent at 11:30 p.m. and going out for a final two hours of suffering. When she finished seconds after this photo was taken, she couldn’t even drink a beer. That’s what I call giving until it hurts.
The Grouch—and unofficial race mascot—who survived the 12-hour race on a fully rigid bike, but had the good sense to bring a spare, so he could cannibalize a front wheel after destroying the one he started with. (As odd as this blog already was, publishing a picture of a guy who wears a hockey mask and cannibalizes things might be a new level of strangeness.)
Petra proved she's a certifiable badass just by being there. Racing like one was just a bonus.
Kudos to everyone who rode. (Including the drunk dude who did it in flip-flops in the middle of the night.)