You couldn’t help to notice the two die-hard women on the Northeast 24hr course…Both women lap after lap in the afternoon light to the pitch black of night carrying on into the golden rise of the morning sun. They passed me on the trail effortlessly – no display of their inner struggles or hardships – they were committed to continue – their goal not yet met – the race was tight and exciting – we all looked on encouraging both as they throttled on…
I feel their journeys should be documented, they are inspirational and we can all learn from their experiences and celebrate their efforts and talents!
Team #701 Morgantown Powersports/ MCI Racing
24 HOURS ~ 21 LAPS = 252 MILES
- Where do you call home? Brownsville, Pennsylvania
- How old are you and how long have you been riding? I’m 29 yrs old and have been riding dirt bikes for 9 yrs.
- How did you get into riding (how old were you and what was your
first bike)? In 1999 (I was 13), my dad took me to watch my first Pro MX National Race at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, PA. After that, dirt bikes were an addiction. For Christmas 2000, I received a brand new Yamaha 250 Bear Tracker! (Not a dirt bike, but hey beggars can’t be choosers, right?!)
My husband Tony actually bought me my first dirt bike in 2007 (I was 20) a TT-R 125. From there I went to his hand-me-down YZ125.
Then I got an ’02 KTM 200 and began racing hare scrambles, AWRCS Race Series, and my first race was a muddy mess and it took me 2hrs – 30mins to complete ONE LAP! I remember finishing and Tony telling me that was the toughest race that he had ever raced also and if I could finish that one, I could finish anything!
- What race series do you follow? I’m currently racing The New East Coast XC (NECXC) where I race in the C24-29 class and Mountain State Harescramble (MSHS) Series where I race the women’s class.
I haven’t had the opportunities to race much of GNCC this year in 2013 we did the entire series and I finished 2nd in the year for the Women’s Amateur class.
This year I made an appearance at the GNCC Snowshoe race (my favorite) and sadly snapped my chain approx. 1 mile into the race. I’m planning on attending the closer GNCCs this year.
- What made you decide to Iron-woman the NE24hr race? My buddy AW DeMott actually recruited me for this event. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to but I contacted my sponsor, Morgantown Powersports (MPS) they have always been great… They really stepped up for me on this one, especially helping me out on lighting for my bike, That was a big expense. I knew I would have the heart to finish as long as my bike held up. I have always done well with endurance for very tough races, the great Barry Hawk once named me “Tuff Tiff” and that has always stuck with me!
- Have you ever done anything like that? Not a 24hr race, I have done 100 mile races at AWRCS race series which are typically 4 – 4 1/2hrs long.
- What were some of the things you did to prepare yourself and your bike for such a feat? Well my bike certainty needed some TLC, my husband Tony is my mechanic and did a fresh rebuild and new chain and sprockets along with additional maintenance. DGS Suspension did my suspension. Again, MPS and Task Racing worked together to get my lighting. I contacted my local gym, West Brownsville Athletic Club and told them about this upcoming event and they were great,.. They sponsored me with a 6 month gym membership, I was thrilled, it’s a really great facility!
- What bike did you ride for this race? HAROLD! That’s right, he has a name! He’s a 2006 KTM 200xc!
- Have you ever ridden at night before? I went on a few short evening trail rides with my friends a few weeks prior. The Wednesday night before the race a group of us went out till after midnight for a test-n-tune on our lights.
- What was that experience like for you? Badass! I plan on doing a lot more night riding for sure! Dust is an issue, which there was plenty of that at the 24HR! lol
We learned throughout the race that the amber lights help slightly in the dust as well.
- How did you stay motivated throughout the 24hrs? Well I think people will tell you I am just naturally motivated when it comes to racing. Even under the worst conditions I seem to still have a smile on my face. I just took it one lap at a time. My pit crew really made it fun as well, at night for instance, they took glow sticks and zip tied them all over my wheel spokes and all over Harold!
- Did you ever “hit the wall” so to speak – can you remember a time that you were really struggling to ride and ride safely? I really focused on pacing myself for this one. My forearms gave me the worst problems, that was hard to push through. We actually took youth riding socks, cut the feet out of them, pulled them over my forearms like a compression wrap and duct taped them there! It helped. (I wasn’t out to win any fashion contest) lol Around 1am I really started to wear down a bit and my buddy AW asked if I would like to try some “Thrive”? I told him I would try anything he gave me! lol It’s slightly hard to explain but basically it’s a combination of 2 capsules, a shake and these patches that you place on you that have vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc… etc… Well hell, I went out feeling completely refreshed! I give a lot of credit to that Thrive for getting me through the race, and when I got home ordered some immediately, I am a believer in the stuff!
- Most memorable part of the race? The pink flamingo pit and the pit with the couch!
We will be stepping up our pit area for next year!
- Did you have any mechanical issues out there? Around 2am I crashed hard on the 2nd mile hill, busted my radiator, had to finish the rest of the course back to the pit and just praying I didn’t hurt my bike. But we made it back and Tony got it changed out for me! Then right before sunrise, not far from the 1 mile marker, my bike just bogged out, I didn’t have any tools with me. I waited around but didn’t have a track sweep come by so I figured I wasn’t far from the pits, so hoofed it back to my pit, Tony came and we changed my spark plug and got it running but I went another mile and it bogged out again. So thankfully a track sweep came through and got someone to tow me back up to the pits, Tony then had to clean out my carb, my main jet was plugged. But he got me back out there!
- How much fuel did you use? 15 gallons
- Did you have to change tires? No
- Any advise you would like to share to someone who is contemplating taking on this challenge? Just pace yourself, stay hydrated and HAVE FUN WITH IT!
- Are you interested in doing this race next year? Absolutely!
- Looking back is there anything you would like to do differently next year? This was defiantly a learning experience, we have many adjustments that will be made for next year….
- Who would you like to give a shout out to – people you’d like to thank?
- *God for keeping me save and giving me the strength to do what I love, my husband Tony, my pit crew, all my friends at home that have helped me prepare for this race, Morgantown Powersports, DGS Suspension, MCI Racing, 343 Graphix, Sparky, Momma Lisa, West Brownsville Athletic Club, GP Graphics, 303 Masonry, AW DeMott and the Bunch-a-Drunks team, and the Second String team and Thrive.