Posted: Sep 19, 2010 5:18 PM by Matt Stafford
Bicyclists found a tough test of endurance this weekend at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
"This is a very unique type of race for them, to have us here overnight," says Tim Scott, race director for 24 Hours of Colorado Springs.
Some of the riders, finishing up at the Air Force Academy this weekend, will have covered more than 150 miles in a single day. For those looking for a win, it's not a race for beginners.
"At this altitude and this course is a tough course, that's an amazing individual effort," Scott says.
Teams of two and four people, as well as some tough individuals, race for 24 hours. They take breaks if needed, but the winner is the one who covers the most ground in that time. Many of the riders go straight through the night.
"It's just a cool experience out there riding in the dark," says Shawn Gregory, a rider on a four-person team. Gregory says he normally rides alone at events like this one, but he says no matter how aggressively you're riding, Falcon Trail is a tough course.
"There's a lot of suffering there in the middle of the night," Gregory explains.
Some might ask why they do it.
"I've been trying to explain that to my wife for a long time, I'm not sure," Gregory says.
Somehow the riders are pushed to the finish, but that's not where this race ends. The money leftover after the race will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.
"Four to five thousand dollars I think, I'm hoping for that much," says Scott. "If not that much this year, then certainly that much and more next year."
It's a goal several at the race are proud of, but it may be easier for the race director to talk about next year than the riders -- many are looking for a little rest between now and then.