DSR 2024 Race Report

The great thing about gravel racing is that it’s not only the top finishers, but those personal stories and goals for racers that may not be finishing in the top 10. The ones that are back for vengeance to reclaim a DNF. Those that have put in extra time and effort into training to prove a personal best. Or just being there for a rider.

This was my third year ‘racing.’ My training was lacking miles on the bike compared to years past. However, I have been in the gym 3-4 times a week since December doing spin, HIIT classes, and strength training. If anything, that is what carried me through this year’s race.

Just looking at moving time, this was my was fastest race averaging 13 mph compared to last years 12 mph. Which doesn’t seem like much until you average over 64 miles and 3500 ft of climbing.

What slowed me down for 10-15 minutes was a rider that went down on one of the fastest gravel downhills. He had wiped out and was laying in the middle of the road. Another rider was helping move him to the side. I stopped to flag riders coming down the hill to slow down and move over to avoid him.

His bike was okay, but his jersey was pretty shredded but was fortunately not bleeding. He did say his head made contact with the ground.

We asked him his name, what day it was, and how he felt. He could recite everything but was breathing heavy and still lightheaded. There was no cell service and the other rider and I were perplexed on what to do next. She offered to ride ahead and see if there was a SAG vehicle. As she rode away, another guy came up and started evaluating him.

He started asking him questions, asking him to squeeze his hand, and let him know, “You’re in good luck, I am a brain doctor.” After telling him to lay down on the ground for a while, the guy came back to life and was much more with it. Since the possibility of a SAG vehicle coming to where we were was near impossible, I offered to ride with him. I kept with him for a while and then lost him on a hill climb.

I looked him up, he did end up finishing the race.

If you have had a moment on the trail where you’ve been incapacitated, you know how much you appreciate any help you can get.

This was a great year for weather, we had a huge crew from the Springfield area, and this race was more fun than ever. And of course, I want to go back next year and improve.