Sunday, March 13, 2016

Race Day, Part 4, 24 HOP in the dark

Sandrine in the early morning hours

Before the end of our first rotation, while getting ready for her night lap, Shannon discovers her lights aren't holding a charge. Since I'm no longer riding at night, I give her mine -- a Serfas TSL-1200 that lights up the trail like it's daytime.

We're all sharing what we can. Sandrine and I are even bunking together on a queen-sized air mattress as it is the only one still holding air, and neither of us wants to sleep on the ground. While she gets ready to head out for her lap after Shannon, I head to bed for a nap.

Shannon finishes her lap at 1:52 a.m. -- and Sandrine finishes hers at 3:42. Both have great night lap times. I wake up soon after while Addie is out on the course. The 2 hours becomes the only sleep I'll get during the 24 hour race.

Teammate Jennifer is camped further down the trail at Camp Hanson with friends and family who are also racing, (including hubby Jason Hanson and daughter Shelby Hanson. They're an MTB family.) I text Jennifer to let her know that Addie is now riding and what time we expect her to finish.

Shortly after, she texts back that she can't ride her lap. She sprained her finger in the crash from her previous lap and has just discovered she can't brake! Captain Michelle is dead asleep and unresponsive when I try to wake her, (she's had a long day); Sandrine has likewise fallen asleep, having just finished her lap an hour before... and Wil is a bit of a bear when I try to nudge him awake and ask if he can take the next lap. He gives me a harsh but groggy "NO." (Hahaha... to be fair, he had just fallen asleep. I'd be mean, too.) Only Shannon is awake, tired, but willing to ride -- but doesn't have fully-charged lights. Sigh.

Dan has a tracking app following Addie and pinpoints her location on the course. The two of us wait as she nears Camp Kitty and stop her before she passes to see if she can take another lap. (16 miles of singletrack is a long loop for an endurance relay.) Addie's beat and down to the last lumens on her lights. One light is completely drained. She can't go another lap. (In hindsight, this would have been the lap for me to take, but as I've loaned my lights to Shannon and we didn't recharge them, there's nothing I can do.)

We decide to leave the baton at the check-in tent for the next rider who wakes up.

Addie gets back to camp, changes, and suggests we go get coffee and watch the sunrise.

Sounds like a good plan to me. Six hours left to race.

Jennifer Hanson (non-race pic)