Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sebring 12/24 – On the Road to RAAM

(Look kids... Big Ben, Parliament)

This past weekend I decided to head down to Florida to race in the Sebring 12/24. I entered the 24 hour non drafting division, a RAAM qualifying race.

For those of you not familiar with this type of race, the objective is to cover as many miles in 24 hours, the racer that covers the most miles wins (only complete laps count).

I won the 24 hour non drafting division, covering 467.5 miles in 23 hrs 54 min, besting the nearest competitor by 30 miles. I also achieved a personal best time for a century, covering the first 101 miles in 4 hrs 40 min, an average speed of 21.64 mph without the benefit of drafting.

The Sebring 12/24 is raced on three circuits. The first, a 100 mile loop that all competitors complete once. You then move to a 12 mile loop and continue until just before dark, at which time the race moves to the final circuit, the 3.7 mile Sebring International Speedway. You lap this 3.7 mile race course for a mind numbing 12+ hours. I managed to complete this lap 60 times.

It was kind of a last minute decision to go to Sebring, and I didn’t really have any specific goals for this race. I mostly wanted to test my training to be sure I was on course for RAAM. I am happy to say that my training is right on track.

I got to measure myself against a few future RAAM competitors, including John Jurczynski of Holderness who won the 12 hour drafting division. I was ahead of him at the 12 hour mark by 7 miles (252.5 vs. 245.5), I hadn’t been drafting all day and I had another 12 hours to go.

Had I done a bit more planning, I would have know that the age group record was 470.3, and with just a bit more effort, I could have completed one more lap and set a new record.

Night time pic, courtesy if JB at http://love2ridezzzzz.blogspot.com/

Another reason I went to Florida was that I was hoping to get in some warm riding. With this goal I failed miserably. It was cold and windy.

When the race started, it was below freezing and we had a steady 10-15 mile an hour wind most of the day. This was one of the coldest times I have had on my bike. Not that the 30s are all that cold, as you know I ride in single digit weather. But I was not prepared; I didn’t have long finger gloves, a warm hat or tights. I really suffered for the first hour or so. To top it off, it started to pour with an hour and 45 minutes of racing left. (The rain really cost me the record.)

I would like to say thanks to my folks, Anne and Ed for crewing for me. Sitting around in the pit area, I think they were colder than I was, not to mention their thinning Florida blood.

Return to: http://teamwalker07.com/


At 7:13 AM, Blogger d-bo said...

good job ... you looked strong, keep on ridin.....

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, if you want to compare your Sebring performance to someone, consider that in 2005 Chris MacDonald turned in 500 miles in the Sebring 24 and recorded a distant second place in RAAM. In 2006 Jim Kern recorded 516 miles at Sebring only to DNF RAAM. Don't be too pleased with your 460-something.

More importantly, do not compare yourself to John J. Never mind that he is recovering from a serious accident and I'm surprised that he's back on the bike, let alone racing - He is the most humble champion I have ever met and in this regard you do not hold a candle to him. Seeing RAAM's long history of devouring egos like cotton candy, you'd best simmer down.

At 11:21 AM, Blogger teamwalker07.com said...


How rude are you?

I am not sure how you could have taken anything in my blog as a dig against John J. I simply stated the facts.

I too think that John is a good guy. I have known him for years thru work (not to imply we're close friends) and I have nothing but respect for his accomplishments. We only live about 30 miles apart and hope to do some training with him this spring.

The truth is we will be on the start line on June 10 and he is THE competition for being the first person from NH to complete RAAM.

You don't know me and I don't know you, so speak not of which you do not know.

I ask that unless your next post is an apology for your rude behavior that you refrain from posting in MY blog. At least have the courage to post your contact info.

At 6:53 AM, Blogger JB said...

I think that remark about JohnJ could've been taken differently depending upon if you knew John or Brett. It did get my dander up a bit till I thought about it some. I really don't think you (Brett) made it as any personal callenge or attack, but anonymous probably took it as one and was just watching his buddy's back, and no harm in that.

JohnJ certainly has the name and experience but Brett, you're turning everyone's head as the "newbie" on the scene with some outstanding riding.

Come Oceanside in June I wish you all the best, safest, race possible. Shake hands and come out riding. I hope to be there in AC to cheer (both) of your finish.


At 7:44 AM, Blogger teamwalker07.com said...

JB, Thanks for the input.

I actually sent my blog to John J so he would know what I wrote. I wouldn't write anything in my blog I wouldn't say to someone personally.

I know a lot of "other" people will read it, but the main purpose of my blog is to keep my supporters informed and charged up. As the other guy in NH they are very aware of John J and would be interested in how we each rode. I am not sure 7 miles was any great lead, it was only one flat tire from being behind him. Had we been in the same race I wouldn’t have mentioned our placements, that would have been rude. But unless I pointed it out, it would have been difficult to know where we stood at the 12 hour mark.

I haven't raced against any of these people, so how I will fall in the RAAM pack is a great unknown, even more then all the other great unknowns of RAAM. I have a lot of people taking time from work and family and spending their money. They want to know that I am not just taking a ride across the country.

I know I am not part of the family, my parents in the pits actually heard a fair about of "who the hell is he" kind of comments in the pits at Sebring. And others were upset with the speed I did the ADK 540. When I come to race, I come to race, and I get the feeling people are offended by that. Pointing out that I beat the UMCA's favorite son clearly struck a nerve.

I obviously didn’t know about John J’s rough run up to the race. I pointed out our relative positions because he was the strongest contender there, on that day. I like John J and have nothing but respect for him and we’re hoping to do some training together this Spring. I hope to finish with him in AC.

Never feel like you can't say anything to me. I have a think skin. It’s those that think its ok to make personal attacks against me that get my hackles up.

At 11:05 AM, Anonymous PWS Bow, NH said...

Regarding Anonymous,

What is wrong with you? I have ridden with Brett for years. He is as helpful and supportive of other riders as he is energetic. He is confident but not egocentric. Besides, here is a guy who is pouring his heart and soul into what he is doing and considering his experience is achieving great things.

Who knows what will happen this summer. We all know that success in racing is equal parts hard work and luck. So, I fail to understand anonymous and why someone would go to such effort to tear someone down. Brett reported what happened. I think he deserves congratulations and anonymous should crawl back under his/her rock.

At 5:25 AM, Blogger d-bo said...

drama,wow, like just ridin a bike ain`t enough, anonymous,what the #e!!, this 24 hr event was my first, icouldn`t even ride,(pinched nerve)but from just about every competitor out there seamed 2 be racin against theirselves,everyone seamed very humble, anyway good luck with raam 2 brett and john j,hopefuly i can catch ya`ll comin along the home stretch somewhere.......(and look out next year sebring):}

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Pablo said...

How'd the race go?


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home