Tuesday, June 5, 2012

David and the Burn 24 Challenge

This year the Simmons family is getting back into shape.  We have been running and riding on and off since the kids have been born, but this year we are doing our best to get back into racing form.  David had his first big mountain bike race in North Wilkesboro over the Memorial Day weekend.  To make a long story short the boys and I decided at the last minute to join him for the event.  I was so glad that we did!  It was a great time for our family and we all got to cheer on 'daddy' as he raced through the trails.  This was the 7th year of the event and there were hundreds of riders from all over the country.  You could race the event solo or as a team.  David and a great group of buddies were team Slow Spokes.  Unlike the name suggests, they were anything but!  This fabulous coed team of 5 finished second in the coed division and 10th overall!  Not too shabby for all the first timers in this event.  It was scored based on the number of laps you could make in 24 hours.

The race started with about a 400-600m run.  David was volunteered to do the run where he tagged his good buddy, Matt Canter.  Matt was the lead off leg for the grueling 7 mile loop of trail.  Tami Timmons, an all star girl mountain biker was second, followed by Brian Dawson, then Michelle (sorry I don't know her last name) and then the anchor leg was David.  In 24 hours they each completed 7 laps.  It was awesome to watch.  The boys loved watching all the cyclists, especially David.  They loved cheering him down the trail, spraying him with water guns when he finished (it was a sweltering 90 degrees during the day) and seeing the lights on the trail at night.

Since we made a last minute decision to go, the boys and I could not get a camping site.  Thankfully, the hosting hotel wasn't booked so we were able to stay there.  In hindsight this probably worked out for the best.  The boys haven't been on a camping adventure yet and not sure I would want to conquer that initial adventure solo!  Anyway, Nana (my aunt) decided she would like to go too and this was a huge blessing.  The boys love her and I think she has more energy than I do!  With her there to help with the kids I could spend some extra time supporting the team (like making runs to the store for supplies) and extra time with David.  I also got to RUN!!!  I had the chance to run the bike trail before the race started and I got to run the park on Sunday during the race.  It was just a fantastic weekend for our family made even more fabulous with Nana's decision to come with us.  I hope this is another event we tackle in the future...maybe next year we will all try camping!! 

 This was the set up field and the race transition area.  Most of the competitors camped out for the event.
 The run!  David officially started and ended the race.  He is a super fast runner and finished in the top half of the pack.  Boy, it was a hot start to a very HOT day!
 This was the coolest spot of the spectator section.  Lucas preferred to stay in the woods and play and watch the bikers come through.  I was glad he enjoyed this spot it was at least 10 degrees cooler with a nice breeze.
 Here comes Tami!! 
 Daddy waiting for Michelle to start his leg.
 Hunter waiting in the transition zone for the exchange.
 Sweet Nana carrying my barefoot child over the gravel!  We had been to the top of the hill to watch David cross in the only other viewing spot before the finish.
 A favorite play spot for the kids were the numerous water pump stations. They loved this!!  We could have made a weekend out of playing with these pumps.
 Lucas's rock with Nana.
 Getting ready for the final lap.  I felt so bad for David on this lap. It was the last day and they had enough time for one more rider.  David (because he is super strong and super fast) was up for the job.  Poor guy was exhausted and HOT.
 Brian finishing up his last leg.
 Getting ready for the night riders and having fun with sparklers and bubbles!
 Did manage to capture a smile on his last ride. 
 Here is the whole gang awaiting David to blast out of the woods and make his last lap around the field to the finish line!

 Here he comes!! I snapped this shot and then had to run as fast as I could to the finish line....

...So I could get this picture of him finishing up the race!!!  Yahoo, I married an amazing man!!

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