First-hand accounts from last year’s overall winners
From a young age, people think of riding a bike as a means of transportation or as a fun physical activity to enjoy with friends. Most reach an age though, when they trade in two wheels for four, and the days of careless bikes rides become a thought of the past. For competitive mountain bike racers Kyle Taylor, Carey Lowery and Jill Martindale though, their outlook on biking is the complete opposite. Riders Taylor, Lowery and Martindale have a true passion for riding and love every minute they can get on a bike.
Taylor, Lowery and Martindale’s love for riding has been expressed through various races they have competed in. Nite Nationals, a 12-hour race that takes place at Chewacla State Park, is one of those races. Not only have they competed in this strenuous race, but they all placed. Taylor was the overall male winner, Lowery was the overall female winner, and Martindale was the female runner up.
The race consists of multiple loops of a 10-12 mile circuit over a 12-hour period. Participants choose to race the event solo or as a team of two or four people, and the object of the race is to cover as much distance as possible over the 12-hour period.
This unique racing experience is sponsored by NiteRider and is hosted by Chain Buster Racing. According to Lowery, Kenny Griffin of Chain Buster Racing hosts a wonderful event.
“Kenny Griffin runs a top notch race,” said Lowery. “The course was well marked, the volunteers were numerous, the post-race breakfast was unending and spectacular, and the payout was equal and enormous.”
Since the race is 12 hours and goes through the night, one might think you have to be a seasoned veteran to participate, but think again. Although experience is helpful when it comes to gearing up for an endurance ride, especially at night, beginners shouldn’t be afraid to take on the challenge. Nonetheless, training is important and getting a help from a friend or coach never hurts. Both Lowery and Martindale trained in order to prepare for the race.
Although Lowery had a good base from racing for several years, she still relied on her coach, Lynda Wallenfels, to prep her for the event.
“My training rides focused on shorter, more intense efforts versus long, slow rides,” said Lowery. “Coach prepared me for racing hard and fast for 12 hours straight.”
Martindale also trained for the event and says she was lucky to have an experienced endurance racer as a friend and mentor to help her.
“She helped me plan my training days by riding intervals, doing long gravel and single track rides, planning active recovery days, and riding at night,” said Martindale.
So whether or not you’ve been racing for years, plan to train and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.
When asked about his favorite part of the event, Taylor mentioned how special it was for his parents to be there supporting him.
“My parents had not been able to make it to a race in two to three years, so I wanted to win in honor of my Father,” said Taylor. “He stayed up the entire night and his encouragement always kept me going.”
Martindale’s favorite part of the race was completing the last lap and seeing the sun rise, especially since the race kicked off at night. She loved observing the park in the daytime prior to the race, but it was something different entirely to watch the sun rise as she pedaled to the finish.
“It felt really sneaky to be racing all night, seeing all of the headlights and taillights from other riders zipping through the woods, and to finally have all of the trees, the river, and the rocks unveil themselves through the morning fog,” said Martindale.
Whether it was late at night or in the early morning hours of the race, Nite Nationals brought out different emotions and feelings from all riders, but one remained the same: the appreciation the riders had for Kenny Griffin and Chain Buster Racing.
“Chain Buster Racing did an incredible job putting the race on,” said Martindale. “Everyone was really cool, friendly, and encouraging before, during, and after the race!”
If you’re an experienced rider or just getting started, Nite Nationals is a great opportunity to challenge yourself and experience a race like none other. Nite Nationals will take place on August 29, 2015, at Chewacla State Park. Online registration closes at 8:00 p.m., Thursday, August 27, 2015, and late fees of $10 will be applied after 11:59 p.m., Sunday, August 23rd. Click here if you’re interested in learning more about the event.
Come out to Nite Nationals 2015 for the ride of your life!