Race Report: 24 Hour Nationals

by Sonya on October 8, 2012

I couldn’t have been more ecstatic to race a coed duo at 24 Nationals with Jonathan Davis! As I wrote in my last post, I raced last year on the winning 4 Women Team with Rebecca Rusch, Jenny Smith, and Kelly Boniface. It was such a great time!

The course in Palmer Park (Colorado Springs) is pretty techy which in my mind, is perfect for racing a duo. Racing a duo means you go hard each time you go out, and trade off each lap. We did 20 laps as a team, so an interesting course with challenges (like yeahhh! I cleared that section no problem this time) is good to keep things interesting.

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Clothes, organized!!

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Game on!

Jon did the first lap and came in fast!

Typical LeMans start

My goal was to be consistent and fast – reasonable enough! My lap times during the day on Saturday were 1:05, 1:06, 1:07… and then the sun went down and I did 5 alternating night laps with Jon.

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Those were a little less consistent with 1:12, 1:13, 1:14, and then the witching hours: 1:17, and 1:18.

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The night laps were the toughest mentally (as expected).  Fortunately, I’ve tortured myself quite a bit in the past so things like riding when all you want to do is go to sleep were not quite so bad…but still really hard!  I just didn’t want to let Jon down.

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Me and my buddy

The hardest part is you come in, get warm and just when you get comfy, it’s time to go back out again and it’s dark and quiet.

My day laps Sunday went back to the average. Jon was pulling fast laps the whole time as well. My lap times were about on par with the male on the 2nd place team(which surprised me). Around 2 AM, we ended up lapping the field! It was not expected because the 2nd place team are fast locals and Jon and I were concerned with how close the race would be!  The Thelens definitely pushed us to race our best!

I was surprised to feel good on the bike most of the time, especially since Interbike, CX Vegas, and Vapor Trail were all lingering on the fatigue scale. I guess it didn’t matter!

It was tons of fun.  Jon and I fed off each other’s energy.

We were also really lucky to have amazing support!!! My friend, Shane DeMars selflessly volunteered when I said we needed someone to keep an eye on our bikes in between laps. Brian Sells and his daughters came out, Kathy Davis, Tanner and Berkley (Jon’s kids), Matt Smoot (bf), and Matt Anderson also came out. It was fun to have such a crowd! We also had Jon’s RV which was invaluable in the middle of the night. I get so cold in between laps because I sweat so much my hair drips.

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Delirious at 3 AM

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Love Jon and Kathy’s pugs! so funny! Just looking at them makes me laugh!

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No shame for fashion at 24s…

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This dude brought his own couch!

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The most meaningful thing about the race was not that I won a jersey, but that I was the one who helped Jon win his. He told me it was a life dream, and that meant so much more than getting it myself!!

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Most impressive – a 4 girl team from Albuquerque, NM(where I was born and raised) 10-14 years old. They are amazing!!!

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I also won fastest women’s lap! Jon and I also barely eeked out taking the overall duo category too (we beat the men’s duo field by just minutes)

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Thanks to my partner, Jonathan Davis…Jonathanimal – a man who has a heart of gold, iron determination, and who sets a tremendous, inspiring example. Also, thank you again to my support crew. I couldn’t do it without you!! Also, big thanks to all my sponsors for helping me become the National Champion!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt October 9, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Jonathan is fast company to race with – good choice for teammate…and nice work on the lap times too! Two USA championships in one day is pretty darn great too. Congrats!

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Tim Watkins October 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm

It was fun to seee you race in Palmer park a few weeks ago at 24 hours race Glad you guys had such a great event. Hope costa rica goes as smooth!! best wishes and happy trails!

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