Sunflower 24-Hour
by on April 4, 2007 in General

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4:00 am

The sound of a hand blender at full speed in the kitchen rouses me from a less-than-restful three hours of sleep. Mike, the consummate endurance athlete, is in the kitchen preparing protein & carbohydrate milkshakes at an exacting, time-tested ratio after staying up into the wee hours of the night plotting checkpoints and planning a race strategy. Formulating a nutrition and hydration strategy for a 24-hour race is no easy task and our strategy is pretty straightforward: eat and drink like emaciated cows. We quickly pack our gear, down a bagel or two, fill hydration bladders, stuff our backpacks with required gear until the seams are bulging, and rush out the door to first drop our bikes at a specified location and then head to the main transition area.

5:50 am – near Centennial Park, Lawrence, KS

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Stay dry, don’t get dirty, and don’t do anything dangerous

posted Fri Mar 23 @ 12:23 PM by Mom

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Our transition area is set – we’re parked in a dark, beer can-riddled parking lot behind The Pool Room where many a schooner was quaffed and game of pool played back in our days as undergraduates at the University of Kansas. Temps are in the low 60s and a few scattered clouds are visible in the dark sky above. Across the street is the main transition area and the start/finish line; Centennial Park, conveniently located next to another late-night tradition for many KU undergrads – Bucky’s Burgers. A double cheeseburger really doesn’t sound all that bad at the moment.

After handing out punch cards we’re loaded onto three busses; the race will start at Lake Perry, roughly 15-20 minutes by bus from Lawrence. We would start the race with a run through the Delaware Marsh to find our first CP before paddling some 16 miles from Perry Lake, down the Delaware River, into the Kansas River, and back to Lawrence. From there we will run approximately two miles along the levee to the bike drop where we would transition to bikes for 20 miles of riding on single track trails, gravel, and paved roads.

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Take your salt tablets.

posted Fri Mar 23 @ 11:11 PM by Laura Mom

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Please forgive my distraction for a second, but as I sit here typing this at 34,000 feet heading east-bound the gentleman next to me is watching original episodes of Wonder Woman on his video iPod (I really have to get one of these things…). Even though I can’t hear anything I find myself getting sucked into the story line, making up my own script as I go along. I forgot how much Lynda Carter rocked as the invisible plane-flying, bullet proof bracelet-wearing superhero. But back to the story..

7:00 – race start – Perry Lake Dam

We’re herded down a road to a point by Perry Lake near the dam. After a few comments by race director Jason Elsenraat, we’re told that we would be the ones singing the national anthem today since he did not have the music system at the race start. And sing we did; 120+ adventure racers with wildly varying degrees of vocal talent belting out a warbling rendition of the national anthem on a dark, slightly windy, Saturday morning as we prepared to embark on a long, difficult, and some would say, crazy day of racing. It was a surreal moment to say the least.

Moments later we’re off. From the start we had to run up to the top of the dam and then back down through the fields toward the Delaware Marsh where we would find our first checkpoint. We set out a decent pace running an approximate bearing toward the middle of the marsh. Some teams head further west, others east; we basically went with the middle of the pack. As we neared where we though the checkpoint would be we came to water crossing in the marsh. To go through, or to go around? That is

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