Quest Race Team Wins Bend AR
Race Report: Bend AR, 2018 Team: Matt Hayes, Brent Molsberry
Result: 1st Overall in 17 hrs CP’s: 34 Bike O’s: 10 Trek O’s: 7
Race Start: 12:00 on Saturday August 25th, 2018
Finish Time: 05:00 on Sunday August 26th, 2018
Race Location: Skull Hollow Park. Near Terrebone, OR
It was a tandem Quest team that toed the starting line for the 2018 addition of the Bend AR 24 hr. We had planned to race as a coed team of three, but Annie Molsberry made the hard, but wise, choice to not race due to a hip injury. That left Matt and I to carry the Quest flag for the race. We raced hard and crossed the finish line 17 hours later, and that was good enough for first place. We were probably slower without Annie, but that is another story.
Here are a few Lessons Learned:
1. Prologues can hurt.
The race started with an optional trek to a Pro-checkpoint. Only one team member needed to go for the CP while the rest of the team could relax and enjoy another cup of coffee. Four teams chose to go for this optional CP that involved a 1 mile run/bushwhack that gained 1,000 ft. If one was smart, one would realize that one should conserve some energy for the rest of the 24 hr race and not go too hard in the first 30 minutes. It turns out that most of us who did the CP really aren’t that smart. After 25 minutes, we returned to the race start area sweaty and out of breath only to find our teammates fresh and raring to go. A hasty transition on to the bike and I am now sweaty and out of breath trying to keep up with Matt as we immediately start climbing up another 1,000 ft. climb. This time on our mountain bikes.
Through the next 5 hours of mountain biking, I never fully recovered from that first hard push. I struggled to get enough food and water onboard. Even after we got off the bikes and started on foot again, I was still behind on my nutrition. Luckily it is easier to eat and drink on foot, so my body eventually recovered, or so I thought.
2. Packrafts were designed to cause cramps.
After finally getting rehydrated and refueled during the 1st trek stage, I was excited to give the legs a little break and go for a paddle on the pack rafting section. These joyous thoughts of a beautiful sunset paddle around a lake were quickly dashed by my hamstrings deciding that kneeling is way over rated and they really wanted me to stand. Much to Matt’s surprise, mid paddle stroke, I obeyed their insistent demands and stood up in the packraft. Realizing that standing in a small inflatable raft was ill advised, I quickly sat back down, with left leg sticking straight out like a bow pulpit. Matt, with his characteristic calm, saw no real issue with any of this and just kept paddling us along to our next CP.
3. Full Moons are the only time to race.
Leaving the little torture chamber of the packraft behind, we started out again on foot. As we came around a small bend, there in front of us just rising above the eastern hills was a beautiful full moon. Not only was it a fantastic sight to see, but the moon’s light eased our night time navigation. The moon illuminated nearby ridges and hills to help show us the way. And As the moon journeyed across the sky over the course of the night, we could track our progress towards the finish line.
4. I need more cc’s to ride in an ORV Park.
The big mystery at the start of the race was the Bike orienteering section that race director Jason Magness had informed us was coming. Turns out it was in Henderson Flat ORV Park. This extremely well marked trail system is all set up for dirt bikes and four wheelers with perfectly bermed corners. It became quickly apparent that all of these off road vehicles have more horse power than we do. Even on the beginner trails (all the trails were labeled and rated), we would find ourselves having to push our bikes up the climbs. The reward was multiple descents down through those perfect berms.
5. Who says guys can’t multitask?
Multitask, rapid switching, or whatever other catch phrases and terms there are for it, you always hear “guys can’t do it”. Well I am here
to tell you that I know of at least one guy who can. I witnessed Matt navigate us perfectly to our desired CP on the Orienteering course. He was somehow able to be jogging around sage brush and juniper trees, while alternating between reading his compass and the map. Did I mention he did this all in the dead of night by head lamp. My only task was to keep up, and I still managed to trip over more things than he did. Multitasking is clearly possible, at least for one Matt Hayes.
6. Dirt. Mother Nature’s Sunscreen.
The August sun can be quite intense in Central Oregon. Sunscreen is a must. But you have to reapply that every 80 minutes according to the label. Enter Dirt.
The second Checkpoint of the day was at the top of a hill that required a hike a bike to reach. Sweaty and tired, I stepped over a few rocks to reach the CP. I caught my bike cleat on the rock and promptly fell on my face into a massive dust pile (at least is wasn’t rocks). The dust quickly turned to a mud mask on my face providing me all the SPF necessary for the remainder of the race.
When we finished the race, Annie told me I looked like a chimney sweep (and yes, I had the urge to sing Chim Chiminy in a camp ground at 5 am.). But I wasn’t sunburned, so I had that going for me.
A big thank you to Bend Racing for putting on such a great race (and for the photos that we took off their Facebook page). It takes a huge amount of work to put on an event like this and we really appreciate their hard labor that allows us to race. Thank you also to all the volunteers who were out on course helping us and cheering us along. Races don't happen without volunteers.