In the Canyon Race Report by Vern Alary

24 In the Canyon Race Report, Palo Duro State Park- May 30-31 2015.

3rd Place 50+ Geared: 14 laps, 113 miles. New PR’s for longest ride on a bike, road or dirt and the most time in the saddle, 13+ hours.


This was my first attempt at a 24 hour race solo after doing two on Grande teams.
The Niner Air 9 worked great the entire time. Lubed the chain and added fresh Stan’s on Friday. Josh cleaned and lubed the chain again on Sunday morning. This was a 100% self-supported race for me but I tried to have everything ready to go and never really had any issues. My Skratch drink mix was adjusted once or twice. I ate my peanut butter chocolate chip rice cakes, Skratch brownies, a few bananas and yogurt with granola.

I started out not drinking enough and started to cramp on lap 3. Shawn told me to get a least 2 bottles per lap down when he saw me on the side of the trail before too long. Once the cramping was under control I found my designated walking zones and on every lap did what I needed to keep the wheels rolling.



After lap 11 and riding with Luke on his first lap at midnight, I took a 3 hour nap. Fresh clothes and new day greeted me as I rolled out before 6 am. After getting back I checked the timing to find I was in fourth place, one lap behind Phillip and 3 laps ahead of the guy behind me. I saw that the BirdMan was done and packing up and after talking with him realized I needed one more lap to equal his total and another to move ahead and get on the podium. Two laps needed and 4 hours to GSD


My unofficial goal was 12-15 laps and getting 14 was a great  accomplishment for this weekend warrior who has ever been  a competitive person and the experience of doing this event was always the motivation but to end up on the podium with all my teammates was something I’ll always remember.

Thanks to THE best team ever for all the advice, encouragement and camaraderie.
And to my unofficial help/sponsors/coaches – RichFIT, Richard Drew (Skratch Labs), Sun & Ski Frisco, Trail led and mostly my wife, Robin – Thank you for everything.

About the author

Husband, dad, mountain biker, road biker, triathlete and runner. Spent the last 17 years here at Sun & Ski, working for the greatest company on Earth!