With near perfect weather and a huge turnout, the first Socal Endurance race of 2014 was a big success! Racers started rolling into the venue early Thursday morning sneaking in some fast prerides and scooping out the course. By the time Saturday morning rolled around the Vail Lake campground was full and racers and support crews were milling around waiting for go time. For the past couple years we’ve battled a bit of weather, but not this year! It was sunny and beautiful. While the rest of the country was buried in snow and ice, we were in short sleeves and suntan lotion.
Saturday morning while prepping for the the 8 o’clock pre race meeting I was asking the crowd, how many were new racers and hands went up all over the venue! It was awesome! With young kids racing along side legends like Tinker Juarez, It was bound to be a classic day. Finally 9 o’clock rolled around and the gun went off. The thunder of racers going through the start gate was tremendous, I swear the crowd seemed to never end. The line of racers took forever to move onto course. The fast guys up front were hammering through the 4 mile parade lap testing the legs of all would be gamers! It was great to see everyone coming through the parade lap and onto the actual first lap. Proud moms and families were cheering and taking pictures while their racers went by.
Immediately you could tell the competition was on and folks were here to race! The first lap is usually a sorting out lap, but today it was game on from the word go! The 6 Hours of Temecula has grown so much in the past 2 years that it could literally be a day of racing on its own. Some of the 6 Hour categories had over 30 racers. It is great to see all the interest in endurance Mountain biking. The solo folks were settling in for the long haul and the teams were ramping up to for extended laps. The neat thing about this race series is the true grassroots feel and the atmosphere from the event. There is no hassling or rudeness on course. Granted on a few occasions the race bug comes out, but in general it is a very cool vibe. I mean when Tinker or Danny Munoz comes up behind you and tells you “ Your doing a great job, I’d appreciate it if I can get over when you get a chance “ that is way cool! Its also very to cool to get to know the sort of folks we have racing our events. We have sports heroes from all different sports, celebrities, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and you name it! It makes for an interesting day for sure. You never know whom your going to run into at our races.
As the day ran on the racing got tight. The teams were doing battle and the solo riders were trying to find their legs and nutrition. The course for the race was a lot of fun, but very challenging. I call this my ridgeline course. It involves 2 separate ridgeline descents that total about 3 miles of fun, fast, rollercoastery singletrack. There are about 1200 feet of elevation gain per lap and about 1250 feet of elevation loss per lap, so it’s pretty even going up and down. It is one of my favorites. The views of the Agua Tibia wilderness and the surrounding Temecula Valley are beautiful!
By the end of the day, legs were tired and the batteries for the Niterider lights were draining. It was a fantastic day of racing! Memories were made and challenges met!
In the end we had some outstanding results.
6 Hours of Temecula:
Solo Open Women – Tammy Tabeck – 6 laps – 5:00
Solo Open Men – Ben Jones – 8 laps – 5:12
12 Hour of Temecula:
Solo Men’s Open – Tinker Juarez – 12 Laps
Solo Women’s Pro/Expert – Rhonda Geiszler – 12 laps
For complete results click here.
I was a great start to 2014 and we look forward to a fantastic year. Up next are the X Enduro on Feb 8th and the SoCal Fat Tire Epic 50 on Feb 9th!