2013 Race Report
- Published on Sunday, 25 November 2012 02:26
The Bessies Creek 24 2013
Spring Time Ultra Distance Cycle Racing on the Gulf Coast.
Some eighty racers enjoyed extraordinary Gulf Coast spring weather at Bessies Creek 24 this past weekend.
Pleasant afternoon temperatures, wind at no more than the mid-teens, low humidity, glorious banks of Pinklady wildflowers lining the route, good friends, exceptional racing and convivial atmosphere made this third running of the event the most enjoyable ever.
As I watched the racer s line-up for the 7:00 AM start, excited, nervous, but assured of personal victory, I was reminded of Henry V’s speech to the English troops before the battle of Agincourt: Act. IV, Scene III, in which Henry, seeking to rouse his soldiers to victory, calls to them; “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”. And I felt the same before this race, it was a great feeling.
A new record for a standard bike was set by Chris Miller in the 24 Hour race coming home in 429 miles on a standard bike. Dennis Johnson carried the recumbent honors at 358 miles.
Amy Russell and Vickie Tyer led the lady racers over the 21.3 mile loop. Amy set a new record for a standard bike at 362 miles and Vickie Tyer loped home at 361 miles on a recumbent. The 400 mile record for a recumbent, set in 2102 by Jacquie Hafner, still stands and is waiting to be broken.
The four member team of Scaggs, Davis, Tumlin and Viering on standard bikes rode an exciting total of 487 miles for the 24 Hour race.
Chris Miller’s 429 miles and Martin Hukle’s 405 miles in the 24 Hour Race qualified each of them as a solo racer for the Race Across America. We wish both of them the very best of luck should they decide to participate in the RAAM, the most prestigious ultra distance race on the planet.
Kirk Gentle – 2011 RAAM solo finisher – turned in a very respectable 362 miles.
Greg Colvin set a new record of 242 miles on a standard bike in the 12 hour race, with RAAM legend and finisher Dex Tooke amassing a wonderful 210 miles in his latest outing. Dex told me he and his wife will be crewing for Marko Baloh in this year’s RAAM.
We had the pleasure of watching our youngest racer, Bryson Parnell at 11 years old, completing 100 miles unassisted in the 12 hour team category.
Ron Swift set a new record on his recumbent in the 12 hour race, coming home with an incredible 259 miles – I really have to get one of these machines!
New records were set in the 6 hour races by David Ramsey, John Evans and Steve Quick, all of whom turned in an impressive 123 miles each on standard bikes for the event.
Jackie Swift increased her last year’s total of 83 miles to set a new female record on a recumbent in the 6 hour race of 104 miles.
It is an honor and privilege to host a race with such luminaries in the field of ultra distance cycle racing. Good luck to all the racers in whatever endeavors they tackle for the rest of the year. On behalf of all the wonderful volunteers, I want to say thank you so very much, and look forward to seeing all of you again next year.
The next Bessies Creek 24 will take place over the weekend of April 5/6, 2014. Location TBA.
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