The consistent maturing and improving
"12 Hours of Temecula” race series in Southern California is truly defining
itself as a unique event. This event supports the hard core racer who enjoys
the challenge of its ever changing course and conditions. These trails make a
rider depend on countless water bottles and what seems like an endless supply
of HEED, gels and other foods just to sustain. While support crews focus on
keeping up with their riders they also get time in between laps to enjoy water slides,
pools, a RC Racecar course, miniature golf, BBQ and of course shade.
Specialized, Elsworth, Russ Denney bikes, Baja Design Lights
were all represented for Demo. Other tents were also occupied by Canary and local
bike shop Cyco Path. They both served up emotional and technical support. The
racing was finished off by one of the top raffles in town with prizes
including; Nimbus Water Filters, 12 hr Race logo sweatshirts, hats, beanies,
jerseys, professional photographs, Hammer Nutrition, Specialized Swag, "MTBRacenews”
socks and a Spinergy Wheelset. Cash went out to each of the solo men and women
with the most laps and the fastest lap times. Medals went 5 deep as well.
The pro field was stacked and included first
time 12-hour racers Doug Andrews from GeoLadder fame and local dentist Guy Sutton.
The endurance veterans Tinker Juarez, Zach Stanford
from Prescott AZ and Bryan Van Vleet rounded out a formidable pro field
Following the race from the view of a 12 hour
race newbie, this report offers the insight of a local dentist who went after
Tinker and got closer than most. Who says a working stiff can’t be fast????!!!
Read on as Guy Sutton takes us through his twelve hours of racing:
"Temecula in mid June can be an oven. However, on this day we were lucky
enough to enjoy June gloom conditions for a lot of the race. This kept the temps in the low 70's and
dust down. My day started out with
me mid pack at the start as I thought I could pace myself. This proved difficult as the
singletrack lended itself to holding as much speed as possible. So I found myself with a higher heart
rate constantly trying to get around other riders. This was a "real" mtb race course. Hats off to Socal Endurance for making
it so roadie unfriendly!
course had many great downhills, including- the Tarantula, which proved to be the
demise of a few riders due to the sharp washed out sand pit turns. A significant portion of the field
walked most of treacherous descent. Fortunately, there was an "option B" boulder chute that could earn you a time bonus if chosen. The always popular swoopy singletrack "Tunnel of Love" was in ideal condition.
This was my first foray into 12 hour racing,
and I didn't have much of a plan or designated support. At hour 5 I was ready to quit. I
couldn't wrap my head around the fact that I had another 7 hrs to go. I was slowing down and my belly wasn't
happy with goo and powerbars. Every
lap I would pull off the course, unlock the mini-van and forage through the
various bags and ice chest for what looked edible. The best nutrition for me turned out to be cantaloupe and
chocolate milk. Who knew?
Refilling my camelback was time
consuming but a necessary evil. I
can only fit one water bottle on my Ibis Mojo. By hour 6, I was feeling really good! I had no idea what place I was in, not
that I could have ridden any faster.
The course was set up very well for me. Lots of g-out transitions, singletrack and just enough
gnar. The 5" of suspension
not only let me go wide open on the descents, but offered me rest as well. The hardtail's on course seemed to be getting beat up
on, with the exception of TJ who obviously is immune to this. He was riding the 17lb Cannondale
26" carbon HT like no other.
At about 9 hrs people started yelling that I
was in second (!). I didn't even
know I was top 3.
Towards the end of the race, you start to
calculate in your head how many more laps you will have to do. Unlike a traditional race where you
just want to power through and finish in "x" miles, if you slow down in a 12
hr race you will get to do fewer laps.
An appealing thought after all that climbing. The other thing to worry about is how far you are from the
competition. Do I have to do
another lap to maintain my position?
When I lapped Doug Andrews I knew I was in good shape so I put it in
Cruise Control. I didn't want to
flat, crash or break a chain...
I kept waiting through the race to get lapped
by Tinker Juarez but it never happened.
This was a victory in itself!”
I can’t wait for November 13th!
Hope to see you there."