Sunday, February 19, 2006

We won 12 hours of Razorback!!


more pictures of 12hour

We won! Yesterday I rode in the 12 hours of Razorback relay-race. It is an off-road, very technical 10.2 mile course. There were four people on our team: Kevin, Damon, Rick and myself. I've been training for this race for several months. The race starts at 10 am and goes to 10pm. The team that gets the most laps in wins. Our team completed 14 laps, I was the 3rd leg and rode 3 of the 14 laps.

It was a very exciting race. We were in 2nd place most of the day, down by as much as 7 minutes. That is until the 11th lap, which was my turn. Our team number was 418, and the team that was in first place was 410. So I was waiting at the starting line for my teammate to pass off the baton to me. The 3rd leg guy from team 410 was right there too and I was talking with him. We had both ridden the same times all day. His guy came through, and 5 minutes passed. My guy came through and I took off as fast as I could. By this time it was night and so I was racing around with a headlamp winding through the trails as fast as I could. I “left it all on the trail”, each uphill I cranked down hard on those petals, passing people all the way and yelling at them “rider up”. Each person I passed, I looked at their number to see if it was 410. Finally, right at the finish line, I found him. (He rode the last mile with a flat tire, which added probabaly 3-4 minutes to his time.) I jumped off my bike and ran past the guy and handed the baton off to Rick. He took off, now we were in first place!

Rick rode hard, and took a couple spills. He put another 2:30 on the other team. Damon took the next lap and put another 1:30 on them. So at this point we were 4 minutes in the lead with one lap to go. Very exciting. I decided to run out onto the course so that when Kevin passed by I could tell him how far behind the other guy was. It was very dark and I got lost. I keep seeing the lights of riders as they weaved around the winding trails. Kevin passed and he was still 4 minutes in the lead. I started back to camp. I decided to take a short-cut. Bad decision. After a half hour of running in circles, trying to cut through the woods, and my light getting dimmer, I decided it was prayer time. So I prayed and in that moment while I was silent and it was quiet, I heard people cheering and I started running towards the sounds. And long story short I made it back alive.

And oh. So you are wondering who won. Well I am happy to tell you who won, because we did. Yahoo!!! Yippee, yea baby. We even had an award ceremony and a medal stand with 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I felt like I was getting a gold Olympic medal. Except we got a big 3 foot trophy which is sitting on my kitchen bar.

-Joseph

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