As most of you know, we recently went to Texas to race the Gutbuster 24 hr endurance race. As if that isn't hard enough, my buddy and I decided to do it solo. And if that isn't tough enough, we decided to do it on XR650's.
I am no stranger to riding 650's and I have soloed the Baja 1000 on one before so I figured this wouldn't be that hard. I am in pretty good shape right now and I can handle a bike alright so I thought I would just grit through it and get a decent result.
Well.... That didn't go as planned.
I am not going to make excuses for my performance, I was just not physically ready for the beating that took place but I will describe the conditions and what happened.
The weather was beautiful in Texas, sunny, warm, light breeze. But days before it had DUMPED rain and saturated the low Texas ground. There were campers and trucks getting stuck all around us in the pits. We figured that it would dry out, tack up and get really good as the race progressed like it does here in Colorado. That couldn't have been farther from the truth.
We started the race at noon on Saturday in perfect weather. The first few miles of the track were perfect with a few slimy spots but nothing big. Then my trouble started. There was a big rock pile in front of me, I thought "really?? in a 24 hr race??" What I didn't see initially was the alternate route around it. So I rode up into it and stalled the big girl. "No biggie" I thought. I jockeyed the pig around and finally got it started amid all the rocks and headed back off. I wasn't worried, this was a long race. Then going into the first really wet spot I pushed my front end out and crashed right in the mud. UGH!!!! "Come on Spradling" I said in my helmet. I got going again and proceeded to find a ridiculously deep hole to sink my big girl into!! After 15 minutes of pulling, digging, and screaming I got it out and back going again. Sadly that set the mood and pace of my entire race. I struggled for 12 hrs (including some long breaks) and finally threw in the towel at midnight.
I have never quit a race before and I hate to admit my failure but it has motivated me to focus, train and come back next year ready for the beating and to put forth a real effort.
Mark Weeks who put the race on did an amazing job as did all the workers. The other person to mention is Jason Lesure, my friend who went with me. He absolutely crushed it on his 650. He completed 33 laps in that madness and emerged 2nd overall iron man, just one lap down to a young gun on a 250 2 stroke. Jason is the true definition of a MAN!!!
Below is a short video showing how poorly I rode the first part of the race. ENJOY WATCHING ME STRUGGLE!!!