Next I'd like to thank my friends who followed me on Facebook and my blog. Your comments kept me motivated and laughing THANK YOU! Brandy would like to post more but getting coverage is the only thing shutting her up ;) JK...I love you babe!
Next I'd like to say except for my Fixed Gear run in 2007, this was my hardest earned finish out of four visits to the Furnace Creek 508. The winds between Furnace Creek Time Station #3 (252.89) and Shoshone #4 (326.29) were brutal. Keeping the bike upright was a significant challenge when I was going less than 4 mph because of the 35+ mph winds. I actually think the gusts were much higher than that my guess at least 50 mph. Would I say that? Well, I often stick my hand out of the window while driving around in town and the winds in Death Valley on Saturday night felt very similar to that. Bet you were waiting for a much more technical answer huh? Huge props to Brandy, my crew chief who at 5:12 am (gotta look at the download what if it was 5:08 cool huh?) offered me a seat in the van to wait it out.
What's the official word? From the National Weather Service (it's a dot.gov site) they say...
04 Oct 6:00 am 71 25 18 S 28
04 Oct 5:00 am 72 28 19 SSW 27
04 Oct 4:00 am 73 30 20 SSW 18
04 Oct 3:00 am 76 31 19 SSW 15
04 Oct 2:00 am 78 28 16 S 25
04 Oct 1:00 am 79 27 15 SSE 23
04 Oct 12:00 am 81 27 14 S 20
03 Oct 11:00 pm 82 27 13 S 24
03 Oct 10:00 pm 84 26 12 S 23
03 Oct 9:00 pm 86 28 12 S 23
03 Oct 8:00 pm 88 27 11 SSE 22
03 Oct 7:00 pm 89 28 11 S 20
And last but certainly not least the racers and crews you DNF'd this year's event I wish to say if you gave it your all and you left it all "out there" then don't worry too much about it. It was really a tough year with the headwinds. This event isn't easy but when you add a little weather (high heat, high winds etc.) it makes it that much tougher. Remember it's called "the toughest 48 hours in sport".
By my calculation there were 59 Solo Starters two of them Fixed Gear.
There were 7 Solo women including one Fixed Gear. There was only one solo woman finisher-- 14% Finishing rate
There were 52 Solo men including one Fixed Gear. There were only 28 solo men finishers-- 53.8% Finishing rate
For the Solo field there were 29 Finishers out of 59-- 49% Finishing Rate
Also interesting is that of the DNF's in the Solo Field 20 (out of 30) were veterans of the Furnace Creek 508.
Just goes to show not only was it a tough year but there are no guarantees you'll finish just because you've finished before. Far too often I get comments from friends and customers who don't know enough about Ultra cycling say things like "Oh you've done it before you'll finish no problem." No, just ask those veterans that DNF'd if they thought it was in the bag at the start line at 7am Saturday morning and then again in Death Valley during the windstorm.
Race report and pictures as soon as I can get my life squared away from this race.
All for now.