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24 Hours of Moab
Report from Jake Weber

I had two goals for this race.

Beat my time last year of 1:42, and to beat my brother in law. I'll get to this in a second...

We arrived on Friday afternoon around 2pm. The camp was quickly filling in but we were able to cordon off an area big enough for our team of 7 and our families. It is amazing if you haven't been there to see how quickly a city of 5,000 people grows up out of the sand.

The Le Mans start, as riders gallop towards their bikes to begin the race. Photo by Steven Brumbaugh.

Overall people are really nice and within minutes of showing up we had a set of brand new chairs for the kids and volunteers to help set up tents. We ran into a bunch of people we recognized and were able to catch up with them.

We began our pre-ride with only 4 of the 7 members of our team. I was concerned but as my wife kept telling me, relax, you are in the "just for fun" class. We had all levels of riders in our group and that was cool since our plan was to introduce new people to the format and to camp and hang out. That being said, our pre-ride took us 3 hours. I should have realized it then but that was just about as fast as one of our riders would do a lap in the race. Oh well.

Our first racer started out the Le Mans start and quickly set a great lap time of 1:23. I was next and as I stated before, I had several goals. The bro-in-law I needed to beat was the first racer so I had my hands full. I felt great for the first 9 miles and was flying low. At that point I cramped up, hard. I've tried to figure out why. I have never cramped before in a race and so I was puzzled.

Jake Weber on the trail

I run a lot and I have done adventure races before but I am convinced it is from all the hike-a-bike sections that I decided to run through. The 2nd to last sand pit towards the end of the course sent me over the edge. I was able to pedal but not really push it at all. I couldn't even stand up on the pedals over the rough stuff. I thanked the FS gods from that point on. I finally crossed the finish line, coming in at 1:25. Oh well. 1 out of two goals met. I am proud of my b.i.l. and he did a great job. 2 minutes over 15 miles isn't that far off and plus, I dropped 17 minutes off my best time last year.

With 7 people on a team, it really stretches out your recovery/lag time between laps. I next went out at around 3am. I had taken measures to counteract the cramps and whatever I did, it worked. I had glow sticks zip tied to my spokes and I raced with an Ipod for the first time at this event (I loved it by the way). I was rockin! I felt awesome during this lap and started a little game in my head by counting all the people I was passing. I counted my 30th rider at the 12 mile mark by the time the first rider passed me. I came in officially at 1:35 (though my watch said I did it in 1:29) and beat my b.i.l by almost 4 minutes. Oh, my final passed rider count was 34. Even though I didn't match my daylight lap time, I felt so much better and really thought I was flying. I had a blast.

We ended up doing 13 laps with all but one of us getting two laps in. The just for fun class is a great way to go if you ever want to do this race. It is cheaper, they still treat you like any other racer and you get to really kick back and enjoy the experience.

At the end of the day we placed 30th out of 69 teams, introduced 6 new riders to the format and our families had a great time. As a matter of fact, my wife (who hates camping) is already talking about how to do it all better next year.

Steve Brumbaugh heads into the setting sun.