This just in from my neighbor, resident hard man runner guy, and all around drunkcyclist, Scandinavian Jesus. Last week I sent him on his way with some extra lights, my gorilla suit, and told him to try and remember enough to give me a report…this is what he came up with:
Here’s a quick rundown of the glory that was the first 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest.
Firstly before I forget, a HUGE raise of the pint to the race staff and volunteers. For a first time event, they absolutely nailed it. Every aspect of the weekend was flawless and I was told they had 108 volunteers for 236 racers (±100 teams), I was handed a beer after each lap, enough said.
With that out of the way…
“The tents are up, the bikes are tuned, it’s time to get down and offend some people” is how the weekend started.
I didn’t even know this place existed, set in the Cibola National Forest about 25 miles southeast of Gallup, NM it was the prefect spot for a race. Hard singletrack twisting through dense pine forests and high meadows. The course had plenty of good climbing towards the start and everything past mile 11 was fast flowing downhill. Every portion of the course was singletrack, except maybe a 1/4 mile. There were a few sandy spots but nothing too harsh. Excellent course for a singlespeed without a doubt.
We missed the start by a minute or so while I was dicking around with my seatpost, so I had to ride through a crowd of spectators with no hands honking a horn trying not to spill my beer. Finished the first 2 laps just after 4pm, stopped for some lunch then got the 3rd in just before sunset. It was my first solo race so I was taking it easy on myself. We mounted the lights and enjoyed a night lap (4th) with the warning that bears had been sighted around mile 14. Fortunately I had that obnoxious horn so we were good to go.
Getting back into the CFS Lounge (the whole race benefited Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, they were aware of the irony) at about 11:30pm they had just tapped a State Pen Porter. And at this point I should’ve (and was told to) just hit the trail again, but the porters were good and I needed some food. Then I needed a nap. I know, not the way to approach a 24 hour race but I probably only cheated myself out of 1 lap, and I wasn’t going for the podium anyway. I did manage to get up for a sunrise lap and then I came back for the rest of the gang and we each added our final 17 miles before noon.
So all told I managed 6 laps (102 miles) and felt pretty goddamn good about it. I’ll try to lay the hammer down a little harder at Old Pueblo in February. Post race they tapped a Marble IPA and continued the party. There was a Huffy Toss to win a New Belgium Cruiser and they even had 6 12-packs of Dale’s Pale Ale floating on mini rafts in the middle of the water tank. And for the dads in the crowd there was a free Father’s Day brunch waiting for them too. Like I said, they nailed it from start to finish.
This was a special race, and it will grow. If you can make your way to New Mexico next summer, this is the place to be. Thanks again to Lindsay and all the race staff and volunteers, Santa Fe Brewing and Marble Brewery for the free beer, Lisa for keeping the tent lively, and to Bill for setting up that course.