Fixed gear rider guts out 24 Hours win
To win the 24 Hours of Adrenalin solo race requires talent, guts and determination.
To win on a fixed gear bike is insanity.
Patrick Humenny of Kimberly, B.C. did just that, though, as he rounded the track 18 times to win the 2012 men’s solo 24 Hours of Adrenalin race, Sunday (July 22) at the Canmore Nordic Centre.
Pauline Mueller was the top female soloist, winning for the third time in a row by clocking 15 laps.
“My goal was 18 laps; or just to finish,” Humenny said.
He lead from the opening gun, but seriously contemplated quitting after 12 laps.
“I was suffering like a dog, but I was still pedaling, so I kept going,” Humenny said.
This was his 15th 24 Hours of Adrenalin race, but his first in Canmore since 2004.
“It was a great course. I did Rundle’s Revenge here last month so I know the trails. The terrain was great and the trails are awesome,” Humenny said.
John Peters finished second, also recording 18 laps, as did Dave Franks; both riders had slower times than Humenny. Gary Buxton was fourth with 17 laps.
Humenny secured a spot in the 24 Hours of Adrenalin World Championships on Sept. 14 and hopes to continue his momentum through to that event.
Mueller is an Iron Man athlete who plans to return to Canmore in two weeks time for Xterra off-road races. This year, she spent less time in transition and more time on the course.
“I was just going lap by lap, trying to improve my strategy,” Mueller said.
Last year, she won with a 12-lap effort, but upped the distance to 15 laps for the win this year. Changes to the course favoured that increase, she said.
“They took some of the technical spots out, but it was a very good course for solo riders,” Mueller said.
She finished ahead of Canmore’s Stephanie Wilkinson, who finished 14 laps. Julie Kelly was third at 14 laps.
Not surprisingly, Matt Hadley recorded the fastest lap of the event, crossing the line at 46:59. Hadley is in charge of trail building at the Nordic Centre, so he knows the course extremely well.
“Building the course helps. I did it on the second lap. I warmed up and didn’t have to pass many people and pinned down the fastest lap,” Hadley said.
Consistency is the key to a quick lap, he said, as he led his Xprezo team to victory in the four-person team event.
“Knowing how to pace yourself and take your opportunities is important,” Hadley said.
Canmore’s John Firth partnered with Leighton Poidevin, Heath McCroy, Drew Simpson and Steve Gaffney to win the five-person event, however, the result was subject to a protest due to a technical error that had them in the wrong age category.
This would have been the pro mountain biker’s first 24 Hours title.
“I was second a couple years ago. It’s nice to do well at the hometown events,” Firth said. “There was a lot of climbing and the technical portions were good. It seemed tougher for the weekend warriors.”
Rundle Mountain Boys with Assless Chaps (Kevin Cohen-Wallis, Brent Bittner, Gary Brown, Allister Darichuk, Darren Freeman, Stan Magee, Ian Murray, Mike Norton and Darren Robinson won the overall title, finishing 26 laps – all under an hour. Onyerleft captured the five-person prize with 26 laps, while Sara Poidevin, Liah Harvie, Robin Pollard, Megan Dalrymple and Marie Grenon won the five-person female competition.
Zuzana Ecerova and Jamie Lamb won the two-person race with 21 laps, ahead of Team MitoCanada (Kyle McLaughlin and Scott Edmunds).
The team of Two Tall Guys, One Girl and Two Average Guys (Sean Fairweather, John Cadman, Lyndon Cousins, Geoff Danysk and Sky Mitchell) won the five-person co-ed division by a full lap ahead of Beauty and the Beasts (Yuri Lortscher, Brad Steane, Nathan Briggs, Luanne and Craig Douce).
Dark skies Friday (July 20) brought high winds and rain, destroying tents and downing trees. Organizers were forced to re-route sections of the course, removing the Killer Bees section while other parts required yeoman’s efforts to fix. Organizer Stuart Dorland said the scene could have been pulled from the Wizard of Oz.
“It was the second worst storm I’ve ever seen,” Dorland said. “It looked like a tornado hit.”
Many teams shared camping equipment and fortunately, the weather cleared. The rain kept the dust down, the course tacky and the race went on, although delayed by an hour.
Registration numbers were down this year, and while this year’s event included a beer garden and live music, more teams seemed content to focus on lap times rather than good times.
Only two wildlife sightings were reported during the race: a black bear and a cougar were spotted on the course.
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