• Race Report: The 13th Annual Mighty Duro 24

    Well, here it is. The last race report for 2005 for me. What better way to end a successful season than by winning a 24 hour race in Japan. That's right...Japan! I was given the opportunity to take part in Japan's one and only 24 hour event. So with out further hesitation, here is a brief recap of the final race of the year for me.

    Race: The 13th Annual Might Duro 24
    Date: October 8-10, 2005
    Location: Mountains outside Suwa, Japan

    The race weekend officially started on Saturday. Myself, DA, and another from Cateye loaded up the Cateye van and headed North out of Osaka to the race venue. The venue was held in the mountains just outside the town of Suwa. The venue was 6 hours from Osaka, so we had some driving to do. During the drive it gave me time to focus on the task and hand....and get lost. Yep, we got lost while raging thru the mnts looking for the venue. We needed to get there around 3 pm for the individual TT that would decide the starting grid for the event. I don't think we got to the venue till like 5 pm or so. Since I was the only one in the van racing solo, I had to do the TT. So when we arrived, I quickly hopped out of the van...suited up...did a brief warm up...and then did the 1.5 mile TT. I ended up 5th overall out off all the teams and solos. This gave me a good spot for the start of the event. After the TT, I hung out with the 2 other Cateye rekay teams, and took in a bit of Japanese culture via some odd ball food dishes. No pasta and chicken for this pre race meal. Rather it was fish, grilled veggies, rice, rice, and more rice. I made sure to eat the foods which would help me the most in the next 24 hours. After the meal it was to bed at 8 PM for a good solid 12 hours of sleep. Oh, I forgot to mention it has been raining since we left for this race. I was told that the weather would most likely be dry. WRONG! It rained all the way to the race...and the night before the race....and then during the race. The rain and elements would make this race truely epic.

    Sunday, I woke up to light rain and a flooded pit area from the down pour at night. The temps were about 50-55 degrees with constant rain/mist. It was foggy and looked like we were about to race thru the clouds. Regardless of the weather I still had to suit up and get ready. I threw on my Cateye kit with an added Craft longsleeve base layer to keep the chills away. At 9 I started my pre race routine...music and a warm up. At 10 it was race time. I got in my starting place and took off following the top 2 team riders. My goal for the race was to lap all the solo riders and then do damage control for the rest of the event. I knew this would be difficult cause the field included last years winner. He also had won the event the last 11 years! This guy had some talent, and I need to push him. The first 3 laps were hard for me. The laps were short, and with all the brief power climbs and twist and turns it was hard to get into a smooth pace. So I went into XC pace for a few hours. The rain from the days before had made the course a mud pit. It was like riding thru peanut butter. The tires that I brought along to race on...Maxxis MiMo's...were NOT mud tires, but I stuck with them and got pretty good hook up. I pushed on lap after lap trying to get into a groove. The wet conditions were making the course slick and this led to a few unintentional dismounts. Finally after about 5 hours I started to "tick." I was turning smooth laps with out making any un needed energy wasting moves. During this time I started to lap part of the solo field. Also at this time I wsa informed that I was 3rd overall out of all the solo and teams. Every lap I stopped at the pit and grabbed a bit of food. It ranged from Power Bar bits to fine Japanese eats. Eating ever 40 minutes or so made sure that I was fueled all the time and strong. After 7 hours of riding I finally caught the 2nd place rider and officially put me a lap up on the field. Form here out it was damage control. Lap after lap...after lap...after lap...after lap. The sun finally went down around 6 PM. That meant 12 hours of darkness. The night was tough at times. I had no Red Bull since it was not available in Japan, so I had to gut it out. I was often talking to my self and doing short 30 second burst to keep myself awake. All this while riding thru mud, fog, and rain. Speaking of the fog...there was a few times where the fog was so thick that the lights didn't do a whole lot for me. It looked like I was riding into a wall.

    Midnight came around and I was in good spirits. My back was a little sore so I put on the ThermaCare heat wrap to help the issue. This did the trick till the end of the race. I pushed on thru the rest of the night. There was more fog and more mist. I was also putting on more laps to some of the solo riders, often catching a few every lap. The funny thing was that I was never seeing the 2nd place guy. He was only a lap back, so I had to keep pushing somewhat hard. I did a bunch more laps, and then saw him at his pit. I wondered how long he had been there. Did I have more laps on him? How was he feeling? Unsure of his lap count back, I still kept the pace high. By early morning it had begun to rain again. It was really making the course bad! It got to a point where it was like riding on ice. Somehow I managed to keep the MiMo's tracking in the right direction and never did lay it down anymore during the event. To keep the chills at bay I ended up putting on my Craft rain jacket. As the morning went on the rain lessened each hour. With only 3 hours left to go, I passed the 2nd place rider agian. I now know that I have 2 laps on him. So I pushed on till 9:45. I got to the pit and waited till shortly after 10 AM, then crossed the finish line for yet another 24 hour victory. I ended up with 42 laps and a 4 lap lead over the solo field.

    So there it is. The last recap of the season. Thanks to Cateye and the other sponsors for the products that in my mind "work to perfection." It great to go into an event and not have to worry about equipment. I am looking forward to next year all ready. There are some greater things to come.

    I hope to have pictures soon from the event.