24 Hours of Adrenalin draws more than 500 riders
It was hot, challenging, and, according to the riders, a lot of fun.
More than 500 mountain bikers turned out to the inaugural 24 Hours of Adrenalin in Whistler last weekend, including almost 100 solo riders.
Blackcombs Base II area was turned into a carnival for the event, complete with an master of ceremonies at the start/finish line who provided running commentary for a solid 25 hours. There were movies, a midnight corn roast, a store, and more.
And then there was the racing. Teams competed on a 12.1 km course around Blackcomb Mountain and Lost Lake, while the solo riders competed on the same course with an additional 2.1 km section.
The first few laps were dusty, but after a while the field began to spread out and the riding conditions improved. Although the majority of the race took part on doubletrack and gravel-lined Lost Lake trails, the course had its share of technical singletrack as well.
The event was the World Solo Championships, and attracted the top names on the 24 Hours of Adrenaline circuit, which has 13 events on the calendar.
In the World Solo Male Elite division, Chris Eatough of Baldwin, Maryland took the title with 22 laps in 23 hours, 49 minutes and four seconds.
That was more than 20 minutes faster than Tinker Juarez of Downey, California, who finished second overall with 22 laps in 24:01:06. Third place went to Nat Ross of Breckenridge, Colorado with 22 laps in 24:44:54.
To put this accomplishment into perspective, 22 laps is 312.4 kilometres. With more than 1,350 feet (400 metres) of elevation gain on each lap, thats a total climb of 29,700 feet, or just 329 feet short of the top of Mount Everest.
The top Canadian solo rider was Fernies Paul Attala, who completed 18 laps of the course in 23:45:49.
Whistlers Joe Maika, competing in his first ever 24 Hours of Adrenalin race, finished 20 th overall out of the field of 55 racers in the elite solo category with 17 laps in 24:38:47.
The only other Whistler solo rider was Alex Cogger, who finished third overall in the 25 to 29 age group with 17 laps in a time of 24:17:40. He would have finished 16 th overall in the elite category.
"I did pretty good," said Cogger. "I was pretty happy with my result. It was a lot of work, and I was pretty sore by the end of it, but Im slowly coming back."