RACE REPORT: Kent at 24 of 7 Oaks

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The goal...bring back the 4-man team 24 hour championship and the $1000 check that goes with it. Andy, Cam, Jed and myself comprised the rassy a-team this year. I got the call up to join these dudes who are used to winning. A little bit of pressure to perform.....yep. This being my first 24hr race I was a little unsure what to expect through the night and into the morning. The weapon of choice would be the rigid single speed vassago jabberwocky. Not exactly the ideal setup for 24 hours of Boone's technical rooty singletrack, but it's what i've got. Andy drove up in the rassy truck and setup a couple of large tents, complete with tables, lounge chairs, full toolbox, workstand, truing stand, bike stands, lights, generator, food and drinks. Yeah...we do it up right.

Kyle, Troy and co had the Seven Oaks course in primo race day condition. Temps were in the upper 80's during the day but dropped quickly in the evening hours. Noon marked the start and Andy was chosen as the lead out man....after the gun I quickly figured out why. He had us sitting in first team position, second overall. the start included a 100 meter dash to your bike and then a 1/4 mile nasty gravel hill climb into the singletrack. A solo 24 contender Ben Shockey threw down a crazy fast first lap, giving Cam a rabbit to chase on the second lap. Cam...well in typical Cam fashion pulled away from the rest of the field giving me a nice cushion for our 3rd lap. Shortly after heading out i started hitting a little lapped traffic. With the adrenaline pumping I was able to continue extending our lead while handing off to Jed. Keeping in our ways Jed pushed the pace, further gapping the contenders.

By nightfall we had a lap lead on the other teams. Throughout the night our goal was to stay clean and clear of trouble, while still pushing a solid pace. We ended up doubling up laps after midnight to allow for some sleep. I got an hour of sleep in, which turned out to be just what I needed to finish out my remaining laps. Oddly enough the time passed by really fast, both while riding and also when hanging out at our sweet rassy camp. Quickly it was sun up and we all had one more lap to do before noon. We all had 7 laps under our belts, so 28 total by 10:15 a.m. or so. There was a little confusion as to how big of a lead we had if it was two or 3 laps on the next closest team, ("Get A Grip" from Chicago). Andy made the sacrifice and headed out for his 8th and final lap to seal the deal for the rassy team's 3rd consecutive 24 hours of Iowa win.

Thanks have to go out to Rasmussen's for hooking us up with the truck and equipment for the camp. And also for getting me some much needed cogs and gear in short order for the race. A big thanks to Sterling for letting me use his light setup for the dark weee hours of the night/morning. And I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys to race with in my first 24 hour race. I had a great time hanging out at our camp with them and others like, Sedore, Grelk, Shockey, Lebeda, and everyone else who swung by. Glad to see Shockey back to himself Sunday after getting hit hard with heat stroke. I'm already looking forward to the 7th running of 24-7 in 2009. Next up is this weekends IMBCS time trial race at Des Moines' center trails.

Cam....we want our money....no seriously.......


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