Saturday, September 17, 2005

Mergeo Defeats DART at TRIOBA 24-Hour Adventure Race

Photo by Mike Bitton
Members of Team approach Transition Area 3 during the TRIOBA 24-Hour adventure race near Ellensburg, Wash.

I spent the weekend in and around Ellensburg, Wash. (North of Yakima) photographing the third and final race of the 2005 TRIOBA adventure racing season. Seeing my friends on various teams has become just as much fun as taking pictures, as we spend hours before and after the race finding out what everyone has been up to.

This final race was billed as a 24-hour event, but the fastest teams surprised everyone and finished in just over 10 hours. Team came in first, with Team DART just two minutes behind. DART had won the first two races in the 2005 TRIOBA series, and were the series chapmions in 2004. But a subtle error in navigation during the trekking section of the course cost DART nearly an hour, which allowed to take the lead late in the race. DART left the final transition area about 15 minutes behind DART nearly caught up in the end, but could not beat

Monday, September 05, 2005

Matt Hart Takes Third in Age Group at 24 Hours of Adrenalin Solo World Championships

Photo by Mike Bitton
Seattle endurance athlete Matt Hart takes a 10-minute break between laps 14 and 15 during the 24 Hours of Adrenalin mountain bike race in Whistler, B.C., Canada. After this photo was taken, Hart completed two more laps.

An invitation to join Matt Hart in Canada for the world championship 24-hour mountain bike race was too tempting to refuse. He'd pre-arranged to write race reports for some publications and needed photos to accompany them. I'm so glad he thought of me! I'd never been to Canada, and had always wanted to see British Columbia. I met up with Matt and his girlfriend, Tina, in Seattle, then rode with them in Matt's V.W. Westfalia van all the way to Whistler, B.C. Joining Tina as Matt's pit crew was Canadian Jennifer Segger, who often competes alongside Matt with the DART adventure racing team. Also on board for the event as Matt's bike mechanic was Duncan Sailors, an adventure racer from North Bend, Wash. Jennifer's friend, Jo, hooked us up with a room at the Fairmont Hotel in Whistler Village so we wouldn't have to camp out Friday night before the race. Thanks, Jo! The race began at noon on Saturday, Sept. 5, and ended at noon on Sunday, Sept. 6. The course was a 10-mile loop in and around Whistler Village. For much of that time, rain poured down. As the event wore on and the weather did not let up, Matt suffered imensely, as did his bikes. With carefully selected food and hydration, Tina and Jen kept Matt in the competition. With resourcefulness I'd thought only thieves posessed, Duncan kept the bikes functioning just well enough that Matt could stay in the race. When the competition ended, Matt took third place in his age category of 30-35 by completing 16 laps. Conisdering it was only the second 24-hour mountain bike race Matt had entered, I believe he did astonishingly well.