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Eddie & Namrita O'Dea

Namrita O'Dea runs through transition

Exciting month

By:
Cycling News
Published:
November 08, 2008, 0:00 GMT,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:35 BST

Wow, it's been an exciting month and it's only early November... We, 55nine Performance, just...

November 9, 2008

Wow, it's been an exciting month and it's only early November...

We, 55nine Performance, just announced an additional race in the Southeast. It's called Southern Cross presented by BH Bikes and will be the first endurance cyclo-cross race in this area. The race will be approximately 50 miles of mostly gravel roads with a lot of climbing and will take place in the middle of winter on January 24, 2009.

There will be some spectator-friendly cyclo-cross goodies thrown into the finishing circuit, we have a lot of steep hills and "natural barriers" to work with. We have an experienced cyclo-cross racer who is helping us to design that part of the course, so it will be good.

So far, the response to this event has been great. Unfortunately, we have to limit the entries to fifty this year so there is no doubt it will sell out. We are encouraging spectators show up to cheer on the racers "Belgian-style"!

We are also very excited that both of us have been invited to join the 2009 Topeak-Ergon team! We will make up two of the team's six racers in the US. Topeak-Ergon has some incredible athletes, and this team really defines "class".

We will be racing on the Rotwild R.R2 Full-suspension and hardtail bikes, Namrita, a former singlespeed endurance racer, is quite happy with the opportunity to race with gears and full suspension again.

Stay tuned for more details as the 2009 season arrives!

Stay tuned for more!
Eddie & Namrita O'Dea
www.eddieodea.com
www.namritaodea.com

Namrita O'Dea runs through transition

Winning streak wraps up 2008 season

By:
Cycling News
Published:
October 19, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:35 BST

Thanks to all the friends that offered to help us try to get to the 24 hours of Moab. Unfortunately,...

October 20, 2008

Thanks to all the friends that offered to help us try to get to the 24 hours of Moab. Unfortunately, we were not able to pull enough resources together in time. It was very, very disappointing to us as winning the Granny Gear National Points Series was our big goal of the 2008 season and we were all ready to make it happen.

On a more positive note, we decided to not let the recent happenings get us down and picked up some local races to compete in.

FM.24.08

Eddie competed in his first solo 24 hour race on the road at the Faster Mustache 24 hour Urban Race. The event was similar to a 24 hour mountain bike race but a little more interesting. Each rider or team had to stop at five check points throughout the city, some of which had all-night parties going on. There was no set route; the riders were dodging Atlanta traffic for 24 hours. All laps had to be completed between noon Saturday through noon Sunday, and the rider with the most laps won.

Eddie used his wealth of 24 hour solo racing experience and his Light and Motion Stella to set the record for the solo win. Not only did he win bragging rights, but he also won some great prizes such as a custom cycling cap, custom painted track bars, and a one-of-a-kind recycled messenger bag. This was really one of the best run, most fun races we have ever been a part of!

Eight hours of Labor

The following weekend, we switched roles, and Eddie supported me as I went on to win the 8 hours of Labor race in Florida. That was also a great time and we got to catch up with friend and local racer Harvey Minton (Independent Fabrication) who is back in the race scene and doing quite well.

Women's MTB getaway

The next event was the Women's Mountain Bike Weekend I put together with Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway in the "Mountain Bike Capital of Georgia", Ellijay. It was good times filled with bike talk, riding the Pinhoti and Bear Creek trails, eating plenty of homemade organic food, and bonding with other mountain bike chicks. We had a wide variety of riders from early beginner to advanced and everyone had a fantastic time. The next one is coming up on the weekend of October 24-26, 2008.

12 hours of Dauset

Who needs a break? The following weekend, Gone Riding came back to Georgia for the annual 12 hours of Dauset so I decided I wanted to go defend my winning title from 2007. Eddie provided top notch support again, allowing me to take another first place podium spot. Eddie is getting quiet adept at supporting me and entertaining our two dogs for long periods. So far, switching racing and support duties between the two of us seems to be working quite well! Both of us knows what it takes to be a good support crew for each other so this strategy just makes sense for us.

Interbike

We had a very successful trip to Interbike where we were able to meet with most of our current sponsors and make some new contacts, as well. I spent most of the days working with Twin Six at their indoor booth and the rest of the time experiencing everything Interbike. Cross Vegas was a blast to watch and we had a good time with the folks from Crank Brothers and Twin Six on our last night there.

12 hours of Conyers

Instead of staying home and watching the 24 hours of Moab, where we should have been racing, we decided to team up with Tina Pic (Colavita/Sutter Home) and her husband Chris Pic of Blue Competition Cycles for the last local endurance race, the 12 hours of Conyers. We kept the lead all day long, despite the second place team making us worry a little bit! In the end, we had a nice lead and came home with the victory in the four-person co-ed class. It was a nice change of pace from our usual solo efforts even though neither Eddie nor I have trained for that type of intensity at all this year.

Soon it will be time to start planning and training for our 2009 season. There are some changes in store. In the meantime, we are going to relax a bit and have some fun on the roads, trails and maybe even the velodrome.

Stay tuned for more!
Namrita O'Dea
www.eddieodea.com
www.namritaodea.com

Namrita and Eddie O'Dea

Fool's Gold behind the scenes, Sponsor change, and Racing again

By:
Cycling News
Published:
September 25, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:35 BST

The second ever Fool's Gold MTB Races and Festival was an amazing success. We were just beginning to...

September 25, 2008

The second ever Fool's Gold MTB Races and Festival was an amazing success. We were just beginning to recover from our trip to the US 24 Hour Nationals when it was time to start the final preparations for the event. Namrita & I went up to Dahlonega, Georgia, on Wednesday with a truck load each of prizes, a PA system and various other supplies. We then spent some time planning out how to mark the 50 mile course and set up the start/finish venue. We ran out of daylight quickly and headed for downtown Dahlonega to have a few beers with Jason Mead of Pivot Cycles.

On Thursday, Namrita drove and marked the first 12 miles of the course while Dave Muse, our course designer, marked the Bull Mountain section and Jason & I marked the finishing singletrack sections. I borrowed a demo Pivot Mach 4 for the ride and really pushed it hard (when I was not dropping course marking arrows all over the place). Two hours into the ride, we saw a large black bear just 20 yards to the side. All three of us (Jason, I, and the bear) stopped and stared for a brief moment, each contemplating our next move.

The bear exited noisily into the brush to our left, but only 30 feet or so. I was not about to continue until he was far enough away that I could not see or hear him. I began yelling to scare him away, "That's right and don't come back!" Smack talking the bear seemed the most appropriate thing to do for some reason. We continued this display of false confidence for a few minutes and heard the bear move further and further away. Finally, we rode on, still yelling as we went. The rest of the day was fairly uneventful, but I ended the day with about nine hours of riding and at least three more hours of other manual labor.

The participants started rolling in early on Friday afternoon, some just to check in, and others to stay for the weekend. My brother finally arrived with his two sons and that was huge relief. They put in so much work over the weekend, taking a huge load off of Namrita & me. The 9:00 pm check-in cut off finally came and went. Namrita was still planning to race the 100 mile race but I was feeling really nervous. We had 125 racers in 2007, and this year we were up to 350+ people including racers and festival participants. I was going to need help to pull the event off without disaster. I had to ask her not to race and she kindly, if not reluctantly, agreed. We retired to the party surrounding the kegs of Terrapin and Sweetwater.

4:00 am Saturday came too early after I had been lingering around the festivities until the late night. Still, the show must go on: We had to get breakfast served, get the SAG volunteers in place, make sure the racers all got their SAG bags in on time, send the cheering spectators up to the KOM, start the race & send off the SAG vehicles & course marshals.

Namrita went on to Outspokin' Bikes SAG 1 (soon to be mobbed by racers) while I went to Addictive Cycles SAG 2/3. This is where I made logistical blunder. There is a gate about 1/4 mile from the where the SAG is and I did not coordinate getting it opened. Eight volunteers and I had to lug all of the SAG bags, tables, tents, mechanic tools, food, and water...oh the water hurt. Each five gallon jug weighs 42 lbs.

We barely had the supplies up to the SAG location when the first of the hundred mile racers came flying through, but luckily they did not want to stop. I couldn't rest yet as I had to get down the road to fix some course markings that had been tampered with ovenight. I kept having a feeling that the lead riders were going to come up on me any second as I hung more arrows and ribbon on a section of forest road. Sure enough, just as I finished that section Jeff Schalk and Jeremiah Bishop came charging through! Luckily, by the time I arrived at Northstar Bicycles SAG 4, they had everything under control. I watched as Jeff, Jeremiah, Diego and Thomas came through. Their speed was amazing, they were moving like it was a cross country race and they still had 60 miles to go!

The rest of the day was a blur. The festival was in full swing, the hundreds of 50 mile racers were finishing, the hundred mile racers were heading back out for the second lap, lunch was served, the bands played, prizes were given out, many pints of Sweetwater and Terrapin beer were had, the Bike29 guys led a big-wheeled ride and gave out some cool schwag, and finally the last of the racers were accounted for. The evening was spent catching up with friends and making new ones. The band played a second, more mellow set while the hardest of racers and festival goers hung out well into the night. Bonfires were lit and the party continued. We pulled it off!

The race may have been over, but the work continued for days. The festival carried on through Sunday and SORBA took over the reigns so we could clean up our mess. Over dinner with Rick & Cathy Plite (Lumberjack 100 promoters) and Jason, we shared stories about the weekend from many points of view. Namrita & I tied up loose ends for the rest of the week. She also started school and work that Monday, as if she needed something else to do that day. That is life around our house though.

Directing a race is very rewarding, but not always as "fun" as racing, ourselves! Both of us have been ready to race again so Namrita decided to race solo at Gone Riding's 8 hours of Labor at the San Felasco Trails in Florida. I managed the pit crew duties for the day and Namrita rode strong and steady to take the win in the women's solo class. I'll be out there next week when I attempt my first 24 hour urban road race in downtown Atlanta.

On a not-so-happy note, we recently received an email from our main sponsor, Vassago, stating that they were prematurely ending their contract with us. We couldn't help but feel this was a response to a less than stellar performance at 24 Hour Nationals. Bad races happen to everyone, but fortunately we learn from them and there are always good ones that follow the bad ones. However, this now puts us in a tough spot for the 24 Hours of Moab, which was going to be our last race of the season.

Namrita & I are still close to winning the Granny Gear points series, but we have to place well at Moab to seal the deal. Making it to the race is going to be difficult with our limited resources at this point in the season. Still, we are looking for a new sponsor and are keeping our heads up about our chances of getting out west to race one last time in 2008. Stay tuned.

Thanks to our sponsors that have been very supportive: Ergon USA, Twin Six, Hayes Disc Brake, Thomson, Addictive Cycles, No Tubes, Tifosi, Beyond Clothing, PowerBar, Dedicated Athlete, Squirt Lube, BURN Energy Drink, Wicked Fast Sports Nutrition, Lake shoes, Light and Motion, American Classic, and last but not least, Paceline Products. We'll see you at Interbike!

Stay tuned for more!
Eddie O'Dea
www.eddieodea.com
www.namritaodea.com

The LeMans start

Busy as ever

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 08, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:35 BST

It's been awhile since we wrote, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy! We directed a very...

August 9, 2008

It's been awhile since we wrote, but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy! We directed a very successful Burn 24 Hour with a record attendance in May and then traveled to Michigan for the Lumberjack 100. The Lumberjack 100 was a huge disappointment to say the least. I crashed badly two days before the race while doing an easy spin with Danielle Musto.

I wasn't wearing gloves and my hands slipped off the bars while descending the last trail of the day. I thought I fractured my femur. Fortunately I didn't, but it took a trip to the emergency room to figure that out. Either way, I couldn't even make it to the starting line!

The race and the afterparty were still a ton of fun as the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) races always draw a good crowd. Since then I have been finishing up my dietetic internship this summer while Eddie has been very busy with the Wobble Naught fittings in his new location at AVX Bikes in Atlanta.

More recently we traveled back to Michigan to visit my parents, then headed over to New York to visit Eddie's parents. We even had a chance to ride over to Niagara Falls.

We just returned from racing the 24 hour Solo US National Championship Race at 24-9 in Wisconsin. We were both hoping for a top five finish. Eddie has placed fourth the last two years, and I was eighth last year due to technical difficulties with my lights. Alas, the stars were not aligned for either of us this year and we were both plagued with other difficulties.

We all have bad days, but the day of the National Championship race is not the day you want to have it! The racing has not been exactly what we had hoped for this summer, but fortunately there is a lot more of it to come this season. Our fitness is right where it needs to be as both of us are feeling stronger than ever right now; however, that also made the bad race an even more bitter pill to swallow.

The Fool's Gold 100 & 50 mountain bike races and festival are shaping up nicely! The 50 mile race will have a huge field, with the 100 mile race being slightly smaller, but only in numbers, not in names. We have a commitment from recently crowned marathon and short track National Champion Jeremiah Bishop, who is coming down to race for the US$1,000 overall prize. It won't be an easy win as his team-mates Jeff Schalk and Chris Eatough are also gunning for it along with Tinker Juarez and Georgia native Thomas Turner.

The women's field is disappointingly small; currently we only have Trek's Cheryl Sorenson committed. We'll see if Trish Stevenson, last year's race winner, shows up to challenge Cheryl and to defend her title as winner of the Fool's Gold 100.

The festival side of the weekend will be a blast with two bands scheduled, free local beers, bike demos from Pivot Cycles and Vassago Cycles, organized rides, a Bike29.com gathering of 29" wheels and their riders, games, and more. We have partnered with IMBA-SORBA for the festival and are making a donation to a land access fund that will go towards improving the awesome trails in the Bull Mountain Area, the site of IMBA's first epic ride.

There is no rest for the weary, though! As soon as FG100 is over, we head to Napa for the Singlespeed World Championship Race, which should be a blast.

There is only one more 24 hour race left for us, the 24 hours of Moab. Both Eddie and I had planned to race for the win at 24 hours of Landahl to gather more points in the Granny Gear National Points Series before Moab, but Granny Gear recently cancelled the Lanhdahl race leaving us in sort of a bind. The current points situation places extra importance on the 24 Hours of Moab race for which we are now diligently preparing.

Stay tuned for more!
Namrita O'Dea
www.eddieodea.com
www.namrita.blogspot.com

See more Cyclingnews' coverage from the 24 hour US National Championship

Eddie O'Dea rides the granite

Home field advantage

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 05, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:35 BST

We didn't have to travel far to join the second race of the Granny Gear 24 hour National Points...

June 6, 2008

We didn't have to travel far to join the second race of the Granny Gear 24 hour National Points Series with the race at the Olympic Mountain Bike course in Conyers, Georgia. This is known to be one of the most demanding and brutal courses for a 24 hour solo race, according to the pros and the weekend warriors, alike. That was likely one factor in the solo field being quite small in this race. Being that this is our "home" course, there was a bit of pressure riding on both of us for this race.

This would be my fourth time racing a solo 24 hour at Conyers, while it would be Namrita's first. My best finish at Conyers was second place up until 2008 so this time I was fighting some personal demons and looking for victory once and for all. Rob Lichtenwalner and Chuck Wheeler were not racing, so a win for me would move me into the lead for the points series. Namrita was coming to Conyers already in the NPS lead after her victory at the 24 hours of Vail Lake just three weeks earlier.

Eddie's Race Report

Jimmy McMillan took off like he was on fire, and I followed. I felt great, the legs were moving with ease and there was no stress that this guy was attacking from the gun. I know this course like the back of my hand, and I used that to my advantage, taking all the smoothest lines and maintaining as much momentum as possible off the many short descents. Jimmy put a minute or two into me on the first three laps, and still I was calm. Finally on the fourth lap two of our crew let me know that I had passed him in the pits and he was backing off.

This meant that could I ease up on the pace just a little to be more consistent through the night. By nightfall I was just starting to feel the effects of the Conyers course. The millions of little stutter bumps that slowly wear you down. I was eating well (unlike my experience at the 24 hours of Vail Lake) and when my parents showed up with pizza, I quickly scarfed a piece down and then stopped myself short of eating another knowing what that would feel like out on the course.

Our pit crew was top notch: Richard has worked with me at seven out of 10 24 hour races (and countless shorter races), Hodge & Cody of Addictive Cycles have more race support experience than anyone I know, and my parents are always very helpful, usually supporting the support crew. I stopped in the timing tent around 2:00 am to finally check the results. I didn't really want the details prior to that, but now that course was beginning to tear up all my contact points (hands, feet, butt) I wanted to know just what pace to keep.

I was up almost three laps, so all I had to do was manage that lead until the end. The course is painful no matter how fast one goes, so I knocked a few more fast laps out and lingered in the pits a little longer than I usually do. The Faster Mustache team who was pitting next door kept us all entertained in the morning hours. Around 10:00 am, I was able to call it a day with the lead I had, so I helped clean up the pit and waited for Namrita.

I was beaming (ok, beaming as best I could after racing for 22 hours) with pride, not only for finally pulling off a win at this venue, but that Namrita and I did it on the same day! Many thanks to Vassago Cycles, Hodge & Cody, Richard Walker and Mom & Dad for all the help. I also want to thank all the locals that raced and/or volunteered that provided encouragement throughout the race. It helps so much.

Namrita's Race Report

I knew this would be a really tough race even though the women's field was small. Racing for 24 hours is always intimidating because anything can happen and, well, 24 hours is a long time to be on a bike, especially in "race" mode! I would still have to put out a hard effort because I wanted the win in order to keep the lead in the points series.

I had a minor issue, no, make that a big issue with my suspension fork acting up again. My backup bike was my trusty rigid (and pink) Vassago Jabberwocky singlespeed. I love this bike more than anything, but unfortunately a rigid fork is not the sensible choice for racing 24 hours at Conyers. It was only a few laps into the race before my right arm was really bothering me from the jarring of the dysfunctional suspension fork, and I was alternating between riding that and the rigid bike. I had to succumb to using Ibuprofen, but I made sure my hydration and fueling was spot on so I didn't have any issues with dehydration or "bonking".

I can honestly say I have my nutrition dialed like I never have before, and I owe that to everything I've learned in school over the last two years. Still, this was the bumpiest course I've ever raced on, and I was experiencing some bad pain with my right arm being inflamed and swollen. I contemplated a DNF more than a few times, but I kept telling myself that I'm not a quitter.

I would ride until I could ride no more, and then I would walk everything I couldn't ride. In the morning, I was having to walk climbs and descents because my right arm hurt so badly and I could barely hold my handlebars. I couldn't let my pit crew and sponsors down, though, so I kept at it until 11:00 am when I finished in the lead with three laps up on Liz Baumgart-Kays, who rode strong to a second place finish.

I am so thankful for having such top notch support at this one and for having such awesome sponsors. Sharing the victory with Eddie made the win a million times better, I was so proud of him! I was also really happy because now that we've both won at Conyers we never have to do a 24 hour solo race there again! Next time we will join up with a team for this one.

We now have a short break from 24 hour racing as we are planning on attending the third race of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE), the Lumberjack 100, on June 14. Our next 24 hour race will be the "big one" for both of us, the 24 hour National Championship Race at the 24 hours of 9 mile in Wisconsin, August 2-3.

Stay tuned for more!
Eddie and Namrita O'Dea
www.eddieodea.com
www.namrita.blogspot.com

See more Cyclingnews' coverage from the 24 hours of Conyers.

Getting ready

Racing Vail Lake and the 72 hours before

By:
Cycling News
Published:
May 09, 2008, 0:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:34 BST

It was Wednesday, April 23, and everything went smoothly that morning until we had to switch...

May 10, 2008

It was Wednesday, April 23, and everything went smoothly that morning until we had to switch flights. Although we had a nonstop flight, we had to deplane and replane in Atlanta before the plane even moved...nice.

We arrived about an hour late into San Diego and the Vassago guys were there waiting. We drove around for awhile collecting some odds and ends and then someone mentioned beer. One of the greatest breweries ever, Stone Brewing Co. is located in Escondido, California. Being that we are all connoisseurs of adult beverages, we absolutely had to go.

Vassago treated us to a growler of Arrogant Bastard Oaked Ale to take with us to our hotel room in Temecula since they were dropping us off with no car. No worries, we now had lots of beer and two bikes to get around!

On Thursday, April 24, we pre-rode the race course with Eddie's local friend Orion. The temperature on the completely sun-exposed course was perfect for the pre-ride but we knew it would rise 20 degrees in the next two days. After the ride we noticed that Namrita's brand new fork was spewing oil. Uh oh!

A few hours later, we received notice that Vassago had located a replacement White Brothers fork for Namrita. Phew...thanks guys! But wait...we then found out that the UPS box with Eddie's front wheel, our sports nutrition products including the essential Saltstick tabs, extra drivetrain parts, Hayes brake pads, Eggbeater pedals, extra WTB tires, and more was officially lost. This was not good news to receive with only one day left before the race!

On Friday, the Vassago guys, Eddie, and Namrita worked all day to find replacements for everything that was in the missing box. One issue remained, though. After having the new fork installed on Namrita's bike we realized that it was a 100mm fork, not an 80mm! Her Wobble-naught bike fit that had been perfectly dialed in was based on the bike geometry with the 80mm fork. Unfortunately, we couldn't refit the bike with Wobble-naught at this point in time so Namrita was going to have to do the best she could do under the circumstances. Thanks to Vassago Cycles, White Brothers, and Brian and Carol Ann from the Path Bike Shop for their help in rallying some additional spare parts and nutrition products to make things work.

Namrita's race report

When we arrived at Vail Lake on Saturday, it was already extremely hot, mid-90s (degrees Farenheit) before the race even started. Thankfully the run was short and it seemed as though I was the first female to hit the trail. We started on a sandy bit, then hit a dirt road which would climb for three miles. This was the dam climb, or the damn climb as I like to call it. The climb was steady but there are a few long steep pitches. I rode most, if not all, if it on my first lap but being with a single gear, I opted to walk some of the steeps on the subsequent laps. I was passed early on one of the flat sections by Terri and Liz. I wasn't concerned as I was able to catch up quickly once the road turned upward. They were climbing smart and steady, but with a singlespeed there is not always a smart and steady option.

After the dam climb there is a bit of technical ridgeline singletrack that rolls through some rocky terrain and has two steep loose powder sand descents. I found out later most (if not all) the other women were walking these. Thankfully I rode it through each lap with almost 100% success because that increased my lead every lap. The rest of the course had more descending and some rollers where I was also able to gain some time and have some fun.

I was a little nervous after my first lap that I wouldn't be able to handle the heat. It was now in the upper 90s but I was not sweating. I didn't feel like I was able to cool myself at all so I decided to drop the pace so I was not killing myself in the heat. Despite this, my lap times were pretty steady and I was able to stay in first for the rest of the day. I played it smart with my pacing and my nutrition and thankfully it worked out.

On my second night lap, one of my lights died. This made the lap quite interesting to ride as I couldn't see any of the sand or ruts. I crashed three times on this lap! It was slow but I tried walking one of the downhills and that was scarier than just riding it out. Luckily I made it back in one piece and was able to get a fresh Light & Motion battery. On one of my crashes, I lost my RFID card which I needed to make my laps official. I didn't realize it until I had already come in from my lap and they wouldn't let me go out without paying $5. The Vassago crew took care of that ASAP and I was on my way again.

The sky was incredible, I felt like I was on top of the world as I could see all the stars and there were no trees to hide them. Since I had the time to do so, I actually took a few breaks up on the ridgeline at night just to take it all in. I really was enjoying myself...not like other 24 hour solo races in the past.

At 3:00 am, I knew I was still three laps up on the field so I decided to skip the last night lap in favor of a nap. I ate a nice meal of Doritos, turkey sandwich, a burnt potato, and some Ruffles. I tried to sleep in the tent but couldn't make it happen. Then, Eddie came in around 5:00 am complaining that his knee was bothering him.

I decided to get dressed and on the bike again to ride the sunrise lap with him. However, his knee was hurting so badly that he couldn't put any pressure on it and had to walk all the climbs. Again, the desert beauty did not disappoint. I wish I had pictures, the view was so incredible at sunrise. I ended up riding that lap out, plus one more. At this point in the morning, the winds had picked up and the ridge riding was getting interesting! I had to ride on the extreme left side of the road/trail at the top to avoid getting blown off to the right.

At 8:45 am I rolled up to the pit with 11 laps and they said I could stop because I was still three laps up and no one could possibly catch me. I was fine with that decision and turned in my card. I didn't wear myself out like normal at this one. Don't get me wrong, it was difficult due to the heat and the climbs, but I did about the same mileage as I normally would in a 12 hour race, not a 24 hour. Still, my mission was accomplished: A great first 24 hour solo race to start the Granny Gear points series and top of the podium for icing on the cake!

Eddie's race report

I purposely took off slowly, even on the run, knowing there was three miles of dirt road climbing to start the lap and the 90+ degree Farenheit temps with no shade on the course. I watched as [Rob] Lichtenwalner powered away early on thinking "perfect, hit as hard as you can so I can pass your withered self in a couple of hours."

Well, it didn't work out that way. The heat got us both, but it really neutralized me. My lap times were OK, but I was slowly fading through the daylight hours. My stomach was a mess, and I knew that would cost me later when I'd need to dip into the reserves.

Once the temperature cooled off, I felt better and ate as much as I could. My laps improved some, but I was down a lap from first and second. I maintained until around 3:00 am thinking I still had some legs to stage a come back when the sun came up again. Then, an ache in my knee began. I may have crashed on it (there were a number of these during the night), but it hurt when I pedaled and I still had nine hours to go. I walked most of the climbs on the next lap and was rather conservative on the descents. Some of the descents had deteriorated to powder and sand covered death traps in the dark. The sand hid the rocks and ruts underneath so I had to either take a best guess line or walk.

That lap took me about two hours and I lost another lap to Rob and Chuck┬ůso much for the comeback I had planned. I was a frustrated because my legs felt pretty good climbing, but it was not to be. I checked the results and decided to put one more lap into fourth place just to be sure I could secure a podium spot. I walked, soft pedaled, and gently rolled another lap. I was now three laps down to Rob and Chuck, and there was no point in spending any more energy on this one. I had secured third and some decent points for the national series (Rob would finish second, which keeps the series points tight).

Stay tuned for more!
Eddie and Namrita O'Dea
www.eddieodea.com
www.namrita.blogspot.com

See more coverage from the 24 hours of Vail Lake.

Author
Eddie & Namrita O'Dea

Eddie and Namrita O'Dea are two married racers balancing the demands of professional racing and training for and even the promoting of endurance races. The duo will travel the US national circuit of 24 hour solo events while dropping in on assorted 100 milers and 12 hour races in between. Follow both into and throughout 2008 as they pursue their roles as spouses, team-mates, co-promoters and yes, even co-business owners.