As you know after my post on Friday, I participated in the 24 Hours of Adrenalin over the weekend.
We were registered in the 150-189 year old (combined ages) category and we felt like we would have a competitive team as we raced around the 17.1 km course at the Canmore Nordic Centre. With only 462 m climbing, mostly on fire roads, the course was similar to a typical ride at home in Jasper. Our riding styles were poised to take advantage of the two lengthy singletrack descents, both strewn with roots and rocks.
When the race ended, we were on the podium in 3rd place.
What I didn’t mention was that the entire thing came together at the last minute.
How to Podium at the 24 hours of Adrenalin
Step 1: Don’t Worry About the Details
Our entire 24 Hours of Adrenalin experience started with an invite from our local bike shop in February. We had 5 people registered within a few days. But then illness, life, and odd combinations of the two, started knocking guys off the team.
As of last Monday, our 5-man relay team was a rider short and we missed the waiver-signing deadline. After spending the majority of the week fully prepared to be disqualified, we finally heard the verdict on Thursday; just show up and race.
Step 2: Call in an Ace
On Friday, another team member dropped out, citing a blown head gasket that prevented him from making the 8-hour drive from Vancouver.
Fortunately, our local bike shop has a long-standing relationship with born and raised Jasperite, and current national cross country marathon champion Cory Wallace. After a few quick phone calls, we added him to the roster.
Step 3: Let Cory Wallace Do the Work
When Cory agreed to race, he did warn us he couldn’t stay for the entire night. He could only commit to the opening 5 hours.
He ran the Le Man’s start and threw down a 49:22 lap. It was the fastest lap of the entire race, and he followed it up with a 52:20. By the time he came off the bike, he’d completed 6 laps, none slower than 54:29, and he’d handed us a 25-minute lead.
Step 4: Squander the Lead
Cory left us with a commanding lead, but without him, we were essentially a 4-man team. Mind you, we were all fast cyclists; we just hadn’t trained specifically.
Our opening laps were fast. We laid down 3 more sub hour laps before dark. Then we started to grind. Our average lap times were all 1:04:30 or lower; but it wasn’t enough. Our lead slowly disappeared. We dropped from 1st to 2nd. Then we slipped to 3rd place. We were exhausted after racing 16 hours as a four-man team; nobody slept a wink all night.
I still believe we’d have held onto the 3rd position, as we’d put time on the 4th place team throughout the night. But we wanted to beat our friends and natural rivals, Jasper Source For Sports, who had just overtaken us for second place, so we resorted to desperate measures.
Step 5: Call in an Ace, Again
We called Cory and persuaded him to return for a few morning laps. He put in two more fast laps, both just over 56:00 despite a cold morning rain that made for a slippery course.
He pulled us within clawing distance of Jasper Source for Sports, before handing things back to our team for the final lap.
Step 6: Embrace 3rd Place and Congratulate the Winners
We didn’t jump the Jasper Source for Sports team, but we were stoked to land on the podium. And plenty of Jasper cyclists absolutely threw down at the race. Notable performances include:
- Ryan Gardiner – 1st place, Men’s under 40 Solo
- Andrew Bovard – 4th place, Men’s under 40 Solo
- Cam Vos – 6th place, Men’s under 40 Solo (first 24hrs ever)
- Wendy Hall – 4th place, Woman’s Solo (first 24hrs ever)
- Jasper Source for Sports – 2nd place, Men’s 150-189 combined age, 5-person team.
- Freewheel Fatties – 3rd place, Men’s 150-189 combined age, 5-person team.
- 5 Jasper Dads – 4th place, Men’s 190-220 combined age, 5-person team.
Check out the overall race report on Canadian Cycling Magazine’s Website