Jo Rhett (jorhett) wrote,
Jo Rhett

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2-Hour Endurance win!

So tonight was my very first endurance race. My original partner changed jobs and was out of town so I showed up at the race without a partner and unsure if I could do the endurance at all. Turns out that Deion Cambell was looking for a partner. He's a fast kid who was just getting into road racing and already making waves. We made a plan for 3 changes (two 30-minute segments each), named ourselves velociRaptor and set out to have some fun.

It's a Le Mans start -- where you run across the track, grab your bike and try to get away faster than the people next to you. We were in the middle of the pack, and I had never done this before so I was just hoping for moderately good. And yet ... I got away second! It was nice having a clear track and let me really lay down some quick laps right away.

I got passed by the faster bikes (in a different class) right away. And a girl that I had gotten past in the sprint race earlier in the day. She was flying! I laid down some really fast laps and could barely keep a hold on her. Wow. I finally caught her and realized she was on a 80cc two-stroke - about twice the horsepower! So I was smoking to keep up with her!

There were 8 teams in our class, but it was pretty clear that only 2 teams were threatening. Jerry Douglas (former AMA Pro racer) and his wife (team: Hare Run), and Paul (former #2 AFM racer) and his friend (team: Running On Fumes). Paul's friend crashed 3 times in the first 10 or so laps, so I was happy to put them a few laps down. Jerry had his wife start and do the first few laps and then trade off. She's pretty green, so I put a few laps on them that way. So far, so good!

After that, all three teams pretty much settled into a groove, trying our best to waste no time and not give up any advantage. We had a few laps on them, but then we suspected that they didn't intend to change riders as often as we did. Right we were. Both Jerry and Paul stayed out for the remainder of the race! (we were lapping the 5 other teams on a fairly regular basis, so the race was clearly between us three)

I did my 30 minutes, Deion did his. We managed the changes pretty quick, losing only half a lap with each change ( ~20 seconds ). I went back out feeling refreshed and tried to chase down the other two, who were locked in a battle halfway around the track from me. I made some time, but after 15 minutes I hit a wall and started losing concentration. I put my head and drilled on, but Jerry and Paul caught me and passed me fairly soon thereafter. With 5 minutes left in my session I gave up and signalled to Deion to get ready. I came in the next lap, and he went out to chase them down.

Deion was slowly catching up to them, when Paul got greedy with the throttle and dropped the bike. Jerry ran right into him. Deion slipped past while they were getting up, and the chase was on. They slowly reeled Deion in, but exhaustion started taking its toll and they started making mistakes. Deion put his head down and checked out.

Result? We beat Hare Run by 80 meters (189 laps completed to his 188 since we crossed the line before them) and Running On Fumes by 2 laps. No other team in our class was even in the ballpark, most of them around 160 laps.

The 1st place trophy is sitting on my mantel.
Tags: motorcycle, racing

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