Forty-five racers traveled to St. George, Utah, from Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin to participate in the Inaugural Hoodoo 500, held last weekend, September 15-17, 2007. It was the largest field of racers for an inaugural 500-mile race in the history of U.S. ultracycling.
Starting in St. George, the Hoodoo 500 route travels through, around or by three National Parks: Zion, Bryce and Capitol Reef; three National Monuments: Pipe Springs, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Cedar Breaks; countless Utah State Parks including Anasazi, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Kodachrome and Snow Canyon, and meanders in and out of the Dixie National Forest. It's a loop course on wonderful, well-maintained, quiet roads with little traffic and breath-taking scenery.
The race has three divisions: Solo, Voyager and Relay Teams. Voyager racers take on the course completely self-supported (meaning NO crew allowed). Team Racers may choose their own strategies and there are few restrictions on when or how often riders may exchange.
The 2007 Hoodoo 500 was a huge success! Forty-seven racers entered, forty-five started, and forty-two crossed the finish line! Kudos to ALL of the Official Finishers, who received a medal at the finish line, and who earned the exclusive, colorful Hoodoo 500 jersey.
Solo racer, Ton van Daelen, had a great race and an awesome winning time of 36 hours 45 minutes. Second Place, Jared Fisher came in at 38 hours 39 minutes. Jared rode the entire course on a borrowed road bike with platform pedals and sandals, wore regular every-day shorts, and still came in with a smile! Matt Ward was third in 47 hours 19 minutes.
Janet Christiansen, the only woman to race solo, is the winner of the Voyager Division with a very impressive time of 44 hours 37 minutes. Janet rode the entire 519 miles randonneur-style, with no crew, completely self-supported.
Congratulations to 4-man Team BHB! Colt Albrecht, Jason Hafen, Doug Rock and Scott Smith took the relay team division with a super time of 26 hours 47 minutes. Even with the brutal headwinds the racers fought for the last 100 miles, Team BHB came in looking strong, and happy to be the first racers ever to cross a Hoodoo 500 finish line.
Team Swarm- Brian Davidson, Nicholas Enterline, Jack Lindquist and Matt Ruscisgno came in 2nd with a great time of 28 hours 29 minutes. Team Swarm was in a heated battle with BHB for the first half of the race, which was great fun to watch!
Third place went to Thurston Cycling Team Blu Robinson, Gary Thurston, Heath Thurston and Jarom Thurston, crossing the line in 34 hours 37 minutes.
Kudos to 4th Place Team N.U.B.S. which had TWO eleven-year-old boys, Andrew Dakus and Cory Fisher, each doing their share of the work, along with their folks, Scott Dakus and Tracy Fisher.
In the 4-man 50+ category, Team Tri-Cyclers took the win at 32 hours 10 minutes. Robert Carr, Gary Childrey, Dennis Mueller and Dennis Sheperd duked it out with Thurston Cycling Team for over 434 miles where the time splits between them ranged from 1 to 15 minutes. When the Tri-Cyclers passed Thurston Cycling just after Time Station #6 in Cedar City, they dug deep, put the hammer down, and never looked back.
Second place 4-Man 50+ went to Las Vegas Express Frank Chepin, Stephany Chepin, Robert Costin and Mike Hair who finished in 35 hours 37 minutes. Team Clydsdale John Brunolli, Everett East, Tim Gallagher and Richard Rogers took third place with 44 hours 23 minutes.
We had one 4-Mixed Team, Poser Velo Bill Becker, Victor Cooper, Saralie Liner and Denise Prue, who made it Official at 37 hours 1 minute.
The Hard-Luck Award goes to Team HooDoneIts Hernan Hernandez, Ira Kuchek, Larry Peelen and Tony Phillips. To make a long story, short, they lost a racer to a pulled muscle before the first Time Station. Then their crew vehicle broke down about 425 miles into the race. Hernan, who was on the bike, was so focused on the curvy descent that he didn't notice that the car was no longer there. So he gets to Cedar City with no car, and he has no idea which way to go. He has no money and no phone -why would he when his follow vehicle is supposed to be right there? He ultimately finds a hotel that lets him use the phone to call Race HQ. We try to reach his crew but the team has no reception, so we leave messages. The Team sends Larry down the hill to try to find him, while they wait for a tow truck. Ultimately they all regroup in Cedar City; but the car is totally out of commission. By now it's about 11pm only 8 hours left on the clock. Motivated to finish the race, Ira and Tony stay in Cedar City, while Hernan and Larry ride the 86 miles to the finish together, each with two water bottles and a pocket full of energy bars. They finished around 4:15am - and had to get a hotel room, a few hours sleep and come to the banquet in their dirty bike clothes. Ira and Tony rented a car in Cedar City but arrived in St. George after the banquet was over. That car broke down too and Larrys son had to drive all the way from L.A. to pick them up. Now someone still has to drive back to Cedar City this week to pick up the car, which will hopefully be repaired by Friday. By the way, it was a borrowed car.
Monday morning, racers, crew, families and friends gathered to celebrate at the Post-Race Banquet. We enjoyed a delicious buffet breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, potatoes, fresh fruit, yogurt, orange juice and coffee; and every person in attendance won a great raffle prize.
During the banquet, solo winner, Ton Van Daelen was awarded a personalized plaque made out of local stone. His also received a VDO MC1.0+ Cycle Computer/Altimeter. Janet Christiansen also received a personalized plaque and won a Detours Bob-Tail and a Camelbak.
Thanks to Ibex Sports/VDO, Detours, Camelbak, Hammer Nutrition, Planet Ultra, Ocular Eyewear, Clif Bar and Road ID for donating the awesome goodies for the raffle.
Heartfelt thanks to the wonderful Hoodoo 500 Staff: Brian Bowling, Deborah Bowling, Jann Coury, Bobbi Fisher, Andy McArthur, Jake McArthur, James McArthur, Samantha McArthur, Tom Parkes and Brett Wehrli.