Dare Mighty Things

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt

Monday, August 10, 2009

24 Hours of Great Glen

WARNING: Extremely long blog entry. I have broken my own cardinal rule for blogging...no longer than a screen view. Because of this I'll give those with short attention spans (like mine) the spoiler...acidotic RACING "B" won the acidotic vs. acidotic race and Ted Hall was the '09 King of the Glen. It's a great story if you've got the time.

Gorham, NEW HAMPSHIRE--The 24 Hours of Great Glen is fast becoming one of my...okay, it is my favorite event of the year (with the upcoming Reach The Beach Relay a close second). The 2009 version was by far the most fun and competitive race I've ever been involved with at "The Glen". The reason for the great time and great racing was due entirely to the crowd we brought to the base of Mt. Washington...Ted Hall, Austin Stonebraker, Steve Wolfe, Steve Sprague, Nick Pennell, my brother Jay, and my son Brayden. When it became possible to field two teams of 4 the task was to put together two evenly matched groups to at least make the racing interesting from an acidotic vs. acidotic standpoint. Historically the sport division at the 24HOGG is very competitive with the Top 10 teams doing at least 26 laps. In addition, we also include a race within a race with the crowning of the King of the Glen award for the most outstanding acidotic RACING teammate at the event. As it would turn out, the racing for both the acidotic vs. acidotic and King of the Glen would come down to the last lap.

acidotic RACING vs. acidotic RACING-B
It's not easy trying to come up with names for more than one acidotic RACING entry at an event and it often happens at the adventure & mountain bike races we do. Without any disrespect I registered the two teams as acidotic RACING and acidotic RACING-B. I may have been trying to get in the heads of our "B" squad (can you guess which 'team' I raced on?) but that thought only dawned on me after someone mentioned that "B" sometimes stands for "beaters". That euphemism was commonly used in high school to describe our JV squad. Either way I think a couple of the "B" teamers may have been a little bent, perhaps silently. That slow burn may have lit a fire under them because the racing between the two teams was incredible. For the record, acidotic RACING included Ted, Jay, Brayden, and myself while acidotic RACING-B consisted of Steve S., Steve W., Nick, and Austin. Right out of the gate, Ted our first rider, set the tone with a blistering 48:25 which would turn out to be the fastest acidotic RACING lap of the event. The 8 minute lead he built on that initial lap would grow to over 20 minutes by the time our fourth rider, Brayden took his turn. Mechanicals, or bike breakdowns, are part of any mountain bike race but they are much more common at the 24HOGG because of the number of miles ridden and the condition of the course...super muddy. Brayden, and acidotic RACING, experienced his/our first mechanical of the race with a busted chain on his first lap. Steve W. took advantage and not only made up the gap between the two teams, his put acidotic RACING-B ahead by 3 minutes. The "B" team's lead would be short lived however as Ted regained our advantage and again placed us almost 9 minutes ahead. We would maintain that lead though the rest of the afternoon as both teams turned in strong and consistent laps. By the time our first "night" doubles came up (we traditionally ride two laps back-to-back at night to give everyone a longer break) we had built the difference back to 16 minutes. Then it happened, our 2nd mechanical of the race. Ted flatted on the 1st of his two night laps and after struggling with an incompatible pump he finally received aid from a fellow rider and turned in a slow lap for him at 1:17:18. That bike failure reduced our lead to just under 2 minutes. Within moments of Ted taking out on his 2nd lap, Austin began his 1st night double. Obviously fresher, Austin clocked the fastest acidotic RACING night lap of the race with a 59:33 and put acidotic RACING-B back on top by 5 minutes. For the next two laps (#11 & #12) "B" built on their margin increasing the lead to 8 minutes by the time I rode my first night lap at just past midnight. When "B" decided to hold off on riding their night doubles until 9:00 pm (we started at 7:30 pm) it put our two teams out of sequence. My first night lap was Nick's second and with his sketchy health going into the event I was able to make up their lead and then some despite losing my lighting system with 3 miles to go in my 2nd night lap. Finishing with just a headlamp I clocked my slowest turn of the event with a 1:06:57. Despite the lighting issue, we had once again gone ahead but this time by over 22 minutes. But, like any great heavyweight tilt, the match was far from over. On Brayden's 2nd lap his lighting system also croaked and he made it out of the woods with barely more than a flashlight. That misfortune was quickly capitalized on by Steve S., also riding lap #16, putting "B" back on top by 12 minutes. They would maintain the lead until lap #19, when I was able to overcome the 1 minute advantage Steve W. had on me at the start. When the lap was finished we were back on top but by less than 5 minutes. With Sunday morning in full swing the racing action began to heat up as quickly as the day with no less than 3 lead changes in the final 4 laps. Lap #20 was a battle between Steve S. and Brayden. The hotshot teen rookie had a 4 minute lead on the 24HOGG veteran but finished a minute behind him. On Lap #21, with that minute gap to make up, Ted took on "B"'s top gun Austin. The two traded blows the entire lap with the racing almost literally wheel to wheel. When it was finished Ted had helped us regain the lead by nearly two minutes. Now with 2 laps likely left in the event before the cannon fired at noon everything seemed in place for a pair of acidotic RACING "victory laps". Nick had pulled out of the event after his 4th lap due to health issues leaving "B" down to three riders. acidotic RACING "B" had decided (or more likely Steve W. had decided) that the only self-proclaimed 'non-mountain biker' would ride the final two laps of the event in the most hellish set of doubles imaginable in the 24HOGG! When lap #22 began, Jay had a minute lead on the Wolfeman. When lap #22 ended Steve had put "B" back on top...by 16 minutes!? The irony is that Jay is one of the most accomplished mountain bikers I've ever seen and Wolfey is, well, he's not. Our 4th mechanical of the day would turn out to spell defeat for us and sweet victory for team "B". Jay's chain broke 4 times during his final lap. Steve W., "riding scared", passed him and never looked back. By the time Jay handed me the baton for the final lap of the event (#23 if you're playing at home) Steve was long past blueberry hill and on his way through the meadow. I managed to make up some of the gap, but alas not all of it. I rode a 57:24 and he pulled a 1:04:59 which was an incredible time for him considering it was his 2nd in a row! Team "B" took home the acidotic RACING title and the two plus cases of Redhook. Theirs was a victory well earned.
King of the Glen

1. Ted (9 pts) *2009 King of the Glen*
2. Austin (11 pts)
3. Chris (12 pts)
4. Steve W. (20 pts)
5. Jay (21 pts)
6. Steve S. (23 pts)
7t. Nick (37 pts)
7t. Brayden (37 pts)

Fastest Lap
1. Ted (48:15)
2. Chris (49:18)
3. Jay (50:00)
4. Austin (51:17)
5. Steve S. (56:00)
6. Steve W. (57:21)
7. Nick (1:02:42)
8. Brayden (1:06:59)
Cumulative Time (Fastest 4 Laps)
1. Ted (3:26)
2. Austin (3:32)
3. Chris (3:34)
4. Jay (3:47)
5. Steve W. (3:59)
6. Steve S. (4:02)
7. Nick (4:49)
8. Brayden (4:56)
Fastest Night Lap
1. Austin (59:33)
2. Chris (1:00:01)
3. Steve W. (1:05:36)
4. Ted (1:05:54)
5. Jay (1:07:21)
6. Steve S. (1:12:43)
7. Nick (1:12:59)
8. Brayden (1:19:19)
Fastest Last Lap
1. Ted (53:01)
2. Austin (55:31)
3. Chris (57:24)
4. Steve S. (1:01:37)
5. Steve W. (1:04:59)
6. Brayden (1:06:59)
7. Jay (1:20:40)
8. Nick (1:30:10)
Total Laps
1. Steve W. (7)
2t. Chris (6)
2t. Austin (6)
2t. Jay (6)
2t. Steve S. (6)
2t. Ted (6)
7. Brayden (5)
8. Nick (4)
Much like the team title, the KOG was settled with the final laps. Ted and Austin were clearly the class of the acidotic RACING set of entry's and the two giants hammered it out the entire race. Ted Hall in the end was able to edge out his rival with a blistering sub 54 minute last lap.
Next Up: 12 Hour Adventure Race USARA Qualifier, Pawtuckaway State Park, NH
[Photo creds: Team acidotic RACING (Chris, Brayden, Jay, Ted-KOG), Jay in pink robe, Ted-KOG on Blueberry Hill at start, bikes in waiting, "fixing" Austin's big ring, Redhook is always with us]

1 comment:

  1. WOW, now that sounds like fun. Maybe Steve W has found something he won't injure himself in.

    Great job all!!