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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Calvin's Challenge

Central Ohio Ultra Cycling welcomes you to the 17th Calvin’s Challenge. While the ownership of the race has change, not much else has. The same great route, the same great weather and most importantly the same great racing that makes Calvin’s Challenge the premier 12 hour race on the UMCA calendar.

The following list is things that you may or not need to know depending on the event you are signed up for. We seemed to keep finding things that we feel you need to know to make your race the best possible.

While the 12 & 6 hour races are drafting legal, we praise the accomplishments of the individual racer. We encourage you to set a goal, train for it and do the best you can come race day. You will face many challenges, from weather( always perfect) mechanical, intestinal issues, and plain old fatigue. But no matter your final score, know that we are proud that you came and put forth your beast effort. Learn from your mistakes and come back next year stronger and better prepared.

Change of Start time for the 6 hour race, from 08:00 to 08:30. We determined that we needed more time to set up after the 12 hour race goes off.

The timing clock operation has been changed. Instead of counting down to 00:00:00 at 7:30 pm, it will now read the real time in 12 hour format. (Eastern time). The 6 hour and 100TT necessitated this change.

NEW! Pace vehicle to lead the 12 hour group to the first checkpoint at South Solon. We know that a good amount of the “What were you thinking” racing happens during that first leg to S. Solon. Hopefully with “Big Brother” watching the goings on we’ll have a safer race.
We really don’t want to disqualify anyone, but at the same time we don’t want anyone killed or injured either. Guess which path we are going to take.

At the call for the 100TT (08:35) we need for those racers to move toward the starting line. We will get you out on the course as you line up. No pre determined start roster to worry about. We will send you out at 30 second intervals. 100TT racers must stop at the checkpoints to have their scorecards punched just as the other classes do. Remember, No drafting in the 100TT. If you find another racer drafting you, please tell them that you are in the TT and not to draft you. You will not ride any of the 7 mile loops as part of the 100TT. Since we don’t have a history with the 100TT, the awards will be handed out as best we can determine who the winners are. Bear with us as we fumble our way through this first year.

The Fun ride will start after all the races are out on the route. We hope this will be at about 9:00. That doesn’t mean that you have to start your Fun Ride at that time, but we ask that you don’t start before then. Feel free to ride any of the loops as much as you want. While the racers are restricted as to when they can be on the 7 mile loop, you are not. Please do not jump into the race group (s) as they pass you out on the route. The rules forbid them from drafting you, thus you could cause them to be penalized by you being in their group.
The Fun Ride riders must obey all the same safety rules as the racers. The Fun Riders will not be scored. At the checkpoints, tell the marshals that you are a Fun Rider. We want you to have a safe ride and hopefully come back next year and enter one of the race events.
12, 6 hour and 100TT racers, please be courteous when passing the Fun Riders. Giving them a heads up that you are passing will go a long way in preventing an accident. Remember that they look up to you with admiration and awe of your abilities. Show them that you can be fast and nice at the same time.

To all: The route goes through farm country. You may encounter equipment out on the route. Be careful when passing, much of the equipment has sharp and pointy things on them.

There is at least one turn on the route that is always vandalized, it’s become kind of a tradition. We will put road markings way before the turn (more like the left of a “Y”) and markings on the wrong way.

There are some deep pot holes on the 7 mile loop. Hopefully they will be filled by race day, but maybe not. We marked them with paint, but if you ride into one of these holes, you’ll go down.

No parking behind the school. There is a school activity going on the same time as the race and we have been asked to share. The school has been very kind to the race, so please, let’s do everything we can in return.

Bicycle One and Bacchetta Bikes are giving test rides of their recumbent bikes throughout the day. Most people have seldom seen a recumbent, now is a great chance to test ride one. Maybe a recumbent is just the bike to get your spouse riding. Think recumbents are slow? Not anymore. The 2007 UMCA 24 hour champion and 2006 series 24 hour champion rode a recumbent, the 2007 UMCA 12 hour race series (best of 3) champion rode a recumbent. The 2008 Heart of the South 500 mile race (with over 30,000 feet of climbing) was won by a recumbent rider. The modern recumbent may just be the perfect ultra distant cycling tool.

Hammer Nutrition Endurance Fuels and Supplements has been very kind to Calvin’s Challenge this year by supplying the race with a generous amount of product for you to sample. Hammer Nutrition is the leading fuel supplier for the UMCA. I encourage you to ask one of the Race Directors if you have any questions about any of the product line. We have been Hammer Nutrition customers for years and they have successfully fueled all of us through many races and events.

If you are new to ultra racing, we encourage you to check out It is the definitive source for long distance racing information. Learn about RAAM, RAAM qualifiers, 12/24 hour races, double centuries and how you can participate in a national points championship. The UMCA is the sanctioning body for cross state records. If you found that you like this kind of event, we can recommend a few others.

Most importantly, we could not do this without the many volunteers that do everything from helping you park to punching scorecards and keeping you safe on the route. Keep in mind that many of them were racers at one time, and are now are giving back to those that helped them to reach their goals by helping you reach yours. When you have reached your goals, please consider volunteering at a race or event so that the success that you have enjoyed can be passed on to the next generation of ultra racers.

We want your feedback. We will have a page on the Calvin’s website blog that will allow you to make comments about the race. While we hope you will have some good things to say, we also need to hear about any problems you may have encountered so that we can make improvements for next year.

On behalf of the Race Directors Jeff & Julie Stephens, Christine & Larry Graham we want to thank you for supporting Calvin’s Challenge and hope the rest of your season is safe and you reach your goals.

the site is here...


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