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24 Hours of Moab

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |November 2, 2011 2:18 AM

24 Hours of Moab Ė Moab, Utah

Hueckman and Jacques-Mayne Take Solo Titles

The 16th annual 24 Hours of Moab took place this weekend and holding true to form it was as much a battle against the conditions as a race against the competition.

After a week of rain and below normal temperatures the racecourse, located just south of town on the Behind-The-Rocks trail, was hard packed and fast eliminating many of the power-sucking sand pits typically speckled around the course. The temperatures stayed cold though as temps over night dropped down to just 26 degrees. Thatís cold.

As the race started with the standard long run across the Moab sand the rain had stopped but temperatures hung in the mid-fifties.  The first round of riders turned out a lap just over the one-hour mark. It wasnít until lap two that Honey Stinger rider John Gaston would burn the fastest lap of the day with 57:24. Lap three is when Heidrun Kubiessa (Bada Boom) clocked the fastest womenís lap time with a 1:14:47.

By this time the solo racers were already starting to shape up. Womenís solo rider Jill Hueckman of Morrison, Colorado, was already establishing herself as the lady to beat. With steady day time laps of 90 minutes and night laps around 2 hours Hueckman pulled clear of the field and never gave anyone a chance to catch up. In the end she took the win with 11 laps completed.

Kiki Hutchins of Salt Lake City took second with 9 laps while Ellen Patten took third.

The menís race was much closer with Mike Midlarsky taking the early lead before being overtaken by road racing professional Andy Jacques-Mayne (Bissell) and 24 hour specialist Ernesto Marenchin (Pivot).

These two traded first place back and forth with Jacques-Mayne taking a several minute cushion into the night laps. Marenchin stayed close and challenged for the lead when Jacques-Mayne posted close to a 3-hour lap early in the morning.

Jacques-Mayne wasnít about to throw in the towel as the sun came out and he started bring his laps down into the 1:20s.

That was enough to assure him the win as the experienced road racer finished with 16 laps completed. Marenchin came in second with Midlarsky holding on for third.

The Honey Stinger Bee Team of John Gaston, Pete Gaston, Colin Osborn, and Len Zanni completed the highest total number of laps with 21. That equals 313 miles. The Honey Stinger team finished just in front of Coed Pro/Am team The Fantastic 4, which included Utah racers Chris and KC Holley, Josh Wolfe, and Matt Harding.

Race Notes

Longtime 24 Hours of Moab race promoter Laird Knight indicated prior to the race that this yearís event may be the last. Siting low racer turnout Knight says the Moab event struggling to make a profit. Prior to the race Knight indicated at least 330 registered teams are required to make the Moab race profitable. Review of their results page shows 216 teams registered for this yearís race.

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