24 hours @ 7Springs by mj

My weekend of fun is already over.  Boo hoo.  I’ve washed off the 24+ hours of dirt, sweat and whatever else comes with 24+ hours of dirt and sweat.  Eeeeww.  For a first time experience it was really a superb one!  With so many hours of fun, laughs, cool people, sweet bikes and trails I’m thinking I need to post just highlights and thank you’s or this will be stupid long.   

My team.  Our name: I Rather Be Downhilling. (I was only notifying my team of my location when I yelled that out passing by the camp sites.  My heart belongs to cross country and all the hills that come with it.)  My teammates in rider order:  Brian (T.o.P. bike builder and le mans runner.. sucka!  Nah, he actually seemed okay with it. Thats craziness!), Casey (Captain and Mechanic), Moi (the replacement), Garvin (aka Barvin (my fav), Marvin, Alvin to name a few) and Chris, who I considered camp site papa and I went to him for all my questions and requests.  All really good guys and I was (still am) really happy to be a part of the team. 

My piece of the race.  I completed 3 laps (if you gotta know, lap times = 1:24, 1:35, 1:41).  Laps started approximately 3p, 10:30p and 6a.  I totally loved my time on trail and after all my concerns my night lap ended up being the most fun.  I had such an adrenaline rush racing at night I never once had time to worry about any creepy critters, spooky woods things or man eatting animals that only come out at night, of course.  The temp felt perfect, the trails were perfect, my riding skills were pretty acceptable and the fun factor was top notch.  I thought I’d feel so alone out there, but I saw a fair share of riders as well as the amazing people willing to man the aid stations for those long 24 hours.  High five to each one of them!

Favorite moment.  I was lucky enough to get the all time favorite, probably most requested, bestest ride time of the whole 24 hours.  I headed out at 6am when it was still nice and dark, but by mile 4 the tree tops started to reappear as the sky slowly turn lighter shades at every glance.  I literally smiled (cheeeeze!) each time I would catch the next shade of beeeutiful color or as the woods would become the slightest bit brighter than the previous moment.  Oh so spectacular!  By the time I reached the north face climb I was able to shut off my light and when I reached the grass crossing through the camp sites the great ball o’ fire was just creeping over the mountains for a brief but perfect moment between me and mother nature. The icing on my cake of a weekend. (I like cake!)

Not so fav moments.  While squatting at my bike bag I got an inner thigh cramp that had me speaking some undetermined language for a seriously long 10 seconds or so.  * While overloading my arms with too much stuff I broke an arm off my race glasses.  Craap!  * While all zipped up in my sleeping bag I had to get up to pee (twice! blurg!).  * Checking my phone/time at 4:26a with a scheduled alarm clock to beep at 4:30a.. pooey!  And not really certain if I actually slept or not that entire time.  All minor stuff I know. 

Lessons Learned.  * Try to sign on more than three days before the race.  That alone could help on so many levels.  (Then again I didnt have much time to fret, so maybe that is actually brilliant!  Or not.)  * I need to work on my camping skills.  Got lots of ideas from team/camp mates though for next time.  (Yeah, I can totally see a next time.)  * Tenting is not ideal for a 24 hour race.  Too close to too many neighbors when attempting quiet time during attempted snoozing time.  * You can never have too much ice.  *  Build camp fire down wind.  * Ramen noodles rock out at 4:45a.  *  Pack hot chocolate. I just looove hot chocolate and wanted some. * Stay for the awards.  I felt obligated to bolt being a passenger, but have a lingering feeling of unfinished weekend fun when I bailed before the awards scene.  Bummer.  😦  Tiredness and all I should have stayed and cheered on the crazy people that made the podiums.  High fives to all!  Yeah, I dig high fives. (insert air high five here!)

Thank you.. Jessie for giving me the opportunity to join the team.  Thanks to Chris and Joanna Massetti who were truly top notch hosts Friday night pre-race cabin style, as well as, race camp site hosts with the mosts.  Thanks Casey for the mechanical help. Thanks to the Live Dirty Girls for endless laughter and entertainment, especially Heidi and her river dancing.  Loved it!  Thanks to Devon for introducing me to pierogi lasagna.  Thanks to the mad amounts of people (paid and unpaid) who make that event possible.  Thanks to all my biker buds (old and new) for being my buds.  Thanks to Dubby and his timing crew.. a beautiful and well oiled machine, no doubt.  Thanks to my sweet Trek 69er (pat,pat,pat) for not letting me down once through the whole event and my biggest thank you to Bob Myers and Trek of Pittsburgh for all of their support in helping me do such amazingly cool things.   Life is good.. 🙂

Ps.. Wish you were there, Kim!  Next time!  *  Pss.. For the many buds I missed a fairwell opportunity… my bad..  Enjoy your off season and I hope to see you all next year!  *  Psss.. So the post is stupid long, but your still reading!  Busted!  *  Pssss.. thanks for reading… still!  Holy cow!  Ok, Ok.. The End!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Casey on September 3, 2008 at 4:03 am

    I really hope that you will join our next 24 hour race… We really enjoyed your company and you performed exceptionally well. Maybe Barvin will not break his ribs next time. I am glad that you enjoyed your first 24 hour race.


  2. Yay!! Way to go…I feel like I missed summer camp this year 😦

    Sounds like you had an unforgettable time and I am glad you got to experience 7 Springs as a racer!


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