Friday, November 30, 2007

24 Hour Solo

I thought Ironman was hard. Try mountain biking for 24hrs straight! I went to see the movie 24 Hour Solo at the Normal Theatre which was part of a fund raiser by Jeff Wells and the Livestrong Foundation, and all I can say is "AWESOME"! Check out the trailer. This movie was a documentary about Chris Eatough and his quest for a 7th straight World Championship title in the 24 Hours of Adrenaline series. This guy is an animal. Rides his bike every day, all year in preparation for one thing, the world title. Only problem is, everyone is gunning for him. And the 2006 race was one of the toughest ever. Incredible story and an incredible, surprising, finish. You have to see this!

OK I'll go ahead and give you the quick rundown on what happened. Australian Craig Gordon was a fierce competitor and kept the pressure on the whole race. Each lap was about 40 - 45 min or so. That meant they would be doing about 32 laps total. The course was incredibly hard terrain and lots of climbing. During the night, Chris stopped to change his battery packs for his lighting. Craig zoomed passed unnoticed. He ended up gaining time through the night and when morning came, he was more than a lap ahead. Chris never gave up and toward the end, Craig started complaining about his calf hurting. He was riding with one leg for parts of the lap. Near the end of the race, Craig stopped and said he couldn't feel his leg. He was basically beyond hitting the wall. His body was shutting down.

The camera man wasn't supposed to get involved but Craig's safety was more important. He decided to call back and report his status. Chris Eatough had already completed his last lap (you can't start another lap if it will take you beyond the 24 hours) so the camera man asked if Craig needed to complete his lap to secure the win.....nobody knew the answer! While they scrambled to get an answer, Craig was suffering more and more. He was trying his hardest to get back on the bike and race but was struggling. The official word was yes, he had to finish the lap. Craig miraculously rode to the finish. Think Julie Moss without the crawl. Once he crossed the finish line, I couldn't believe it, they sat him in a chair and wanted to do an interview. What!!! Get this guy to a hospital. They finally got the hint and wheeled him off.

Most of the movie you see Craig sitting in a hospital bed as he recounts the race. You really don't know what the deal is and why he's there in his gown. He finally reveals the result of his hospital stay. His leg was so stressed that his calf muscle had started to break down and the proteins started entering his blood stream. This made his blood toxic and this was why his body was shutting down. The guy could have died out there but he had the fortitude to get back on his bike and finish. Simply amazing. That's what it takes to be World Champion in the 24 hours of adrenaline series.

1 comment:

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