Categorized | Primary, Ultracycling Races

Davis 12/24 Hour Challenge – UltraCycling

Posted on 10 April 2010

Race Review: and commentary by RaceTwitch.com Pro-Team member and ultracyclist - Leslie Holton

Web site:

http://www.davisbikeclub.org/annual_events/ultra_distance_events/12-24_challenge

The Davis 24 hour race (with a 12 hour option) starts in Winters, CA near Davis. This race is a good early spring challenge which starts with a 163 miles day loop with over 8000 feet of climbing, and then turns to a flat 18.5 mile loop.  Racers go off every 15 seconds starting at 6:30am and the goal is to get in as many miles as possible before the next day breaks.

I have done the race the past two years, and weather can definitely be a factor. In 2009 it rained ALL day, and the majority of the racers dropped to the 12 hour option after spending the day in the cold rain.  This year it rained the day before and the day after the race, but day of was cool and dry.  The high temp MAY have hit 50 degress. Definitely tights and a jacket, and in the middle of the night as many layers as you can bike in.

The race director, Lee Mitchell, is an accomplished ultracyclist and he knows exactly what cylists need.  The 4 aid stations on the day loop are well stocked with PB&J, salty treats, sweet treats, everything a cyclist needs.  At night there are two big soup pots with hot veggy and chicken soup, plus the leftovers from the day stations.  Lee also runs SAG during the race and can be counted on for an encouraging word, tips on lighting for optimal visibility, warm clothes… he is just there for anything a cyclist could need.

A support crew is not required, but many racers recruit friends to be there with them.  A crew can be a huge help SAG’ing the racer through the day loop, and then being there with food, clothes, and encouragement for the night.  In my case my husband spent the day doing his own training, and then crewed for me through the night.  This is a huge help, because time off the bike is wasted time that could be spend getting in miles!

The race is pretty small, with athletes mainly coming from California, but it is an easy race to travel to.  The Sacramento airport is a half hour away, and the nearest hotel is in Dixon about 10 minutes from the race.  There is also a delicious and inexpensive pasta place in Dixon, Mary’s…

The race entry is $65, with all the support and care provided to the racers I am sure this fee barely covers the race costs.  It is a race put in by ultracyclists, for ultracyclists. But, there is no intimidation factor at play.  The field is full of genuinely nice folks who love to introduce newbies to their sport, and are willing to share advice, food, and friendship.

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