After just a few laps, we realized that the 4-Man Team Division was looking like a solid win for us, so we started looking for more motivation elsewhere. The 4-Man Singlespeed team of Enchantment Dream Team was chasing us closely for the Overall Title win. So that quickly became “the race within the race”, as they say. For 20 hours, CNM held the overall lead, with the EDT team coming in within 30 seconds during one lap. As the hours went by, all of us were feeling the effort, but knew there was no easing up.
Just when we thought we could win the overall, with three laps to go, Keifer had a catastrophic failure with his FS 29er. 5 miles from the finish, the chainstay broke clean through, making the bike unridable. We had a 20 minute lead, but after having to hike the last 3 miles, lost around 40 minutes. That put us in second for the overall. The team (especially Keifer) was really bummed that this happened so close to the end of the 24 hours.
The good news is that we had such a large lead in our division, that even with this terrible lap time, we still won the 4-man Team category!
The 24 Hours of Enchanted Forest organization out of Gallup did a great job getting this first time 24 hour race off the ground. They had race results and lap times posted hourly, events through the day for the youngsters (kids race, pinatta bashing, Huffy toss, etc), freshly built singletrack that connected up the 95% singletrack race route (Youth Conservation Corps/ Gallup Trails 2010), Search and Rescue volunteers placed around the course,and FREE Santa Fe Brewing keggers available for the whole event. The venue was placed in the Zuni National Forest, in an unlimited camping area, with lots of shade. The trails were a bit dusty, but racing a 16 mile course of mostly singletrack is a privilage!
We quarantee this event will double in size next year. Kudos to Gallup for adding ANOTHER (4 total) MTB event to their area!