Calvin’s 12 Hour Challenge 2010

On Saturday May 1st. 2010 I participated in Calvin’s Challenge 12 hour Bicycle Race in Springfield Ohio. It was my first ultra endurance event, and the goal is to bike as many miles as possible in 12 hours. My goal was to ride 200 miles, which I had never done before in a single day. That morning my cycling friends from TeamRoll joined me at 7:30 am among the other 200 cyclist participating in the 6 hour, 12 hour, and the time-trial event. There we went for the 1st. 51 mile loop in the rain and wind. It took us about 2:30 hours to finish the first lap. With 9:30 hours to go, the pace of the 2nd. lap was too fast for me and I had to let go off the pack with 1 team-mate staying behind with me (thanks Heidi). But it did not take long before another team-mate fell back who helped us to get through the windy part of the course.  Half way the 2nd. loop my legs started to recover and I got more relaxed because it stopped raining, which helped with my vision and with cornering through the wet turns. Another team-mate, Ned, who came flying by helped me finishing the 2nd. lap. After a short break, I started the 3rd. 51 mile loop by myself and rode most of it alone. Back to the high school for a short break and refueling, about 9:30 into the race, I started the short 7 mile loop pretty tired. At that point only 7 laps (49 miles) would get me to my goal of 200 miles. In those last 3 hours my inspiration and motivation came from my team-mates cheering me on to keep going, and from the remaining cyclists on the road who would not slow down or quit till the very last minute. I saw people much older than me who persevered through rain, wind and pain and who excelled and kept pushing themselves till the last minute. I was so grateful for having the opportunity participating in this event. It taught me to get in touch with my inner soul, respect the elder for their toughness and not to give up or give in.

At the end I finished 1st. in the 45-49 age group with 205 miles and a personal best in distance ridden in 1 single day. However this is only a “beginners” distance in the UMCA (Ultra Marathon Cycling Association). Beside 12 hours races there are 24 hours races, 500 miles and multi-day ultra races. I can’t imagine! But if people in their 50′s and 60′s can do this, why couldn’t I?

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