Thanks to all of the volunteers who contributed to a successful 2015 MegaMonsterEnduro: Bill Bushnell, Dan Connelly, Cara Coburn, Christine Holmes, Lane Parker, Pat Parseghian, Stella Hackell, Cathy, coordinator Kevin Winterfield, and all of the Bitterwater 4Hers!
It was deja-vu for the MegaMonster Enduro, with rain to the north scaring away too many of the pre-registered riders. However, as was the case last year, southern winds kept that rain mostly to the north. But unlike last year that wind didn't let riders down when they needed it in the afternoon: the morning headwinds were rewarded with smoking fast times back north. It was almost universal smiles as riders crossed the finish.
Was it completely dry? No -- some rain did fall in small doses, in particular between Bitterwater and the turn-around on the way out, and for the latest finishers, during the final few miles back to the finish. But there was never any accumulation of the road, and so riders stayed mostly dry. "Tailwind trumps rain" coordinator Kevin Winterfield said at the finish. And it's true: a few rain drops are far preferable to the usual afternoon headwinds which cause so much suffering most MegaMonster years.
On the men's solo results, Alexander Komlik proved he is back from injuries suffered in a crash late last year, breaking through the 5-hour barrier for the first time. Corydon came within 7 minutes of cracking the same barrier to finish second, while Tom Kuhnle was a close third, just edgeing out Frank Paysen.
For the women, it was Yvonne Walbroehl winning the overall for the third year in a row with her solid 6:12 for the 100 miles. Sandra King blitzed the 100 km course in an impressive 3:39. Gilda Garreton finished third.
On the hybrid electric side, Bill Bushnell smashed his existing course record with an incredible 3:22. Edward Lyen started as well, but his hybrid electric rig, having been prepared only the night before, was destroyed in a spectacular explosion not long after take-off. Or so it was conjectured. In any case, he was unable to finish.
Suffering a similar if less spectacular fate was Carola Berger whose Powertap wheel crunched to a sudden and permanent halt after 17 miles. She was able to find a ride back to the start thanks to the help of Nina Komlik, who halted her ride to help Carola.
On the team side there was a strong turn-out this year, with LGBRC winning the mixed team category, while Tri-Force won the all-male team competition.
We once again had two tandems, like last year, but this year both rode the 100 miler. Emma and Jonathan Dixon blitzed the course in 5:06, while the super-team of Paul McKenzie and Sara Schroer finished only 6 minutes behind. Each of these teams is highly accomplished, the Dixons having completed the 1200 km Paris-Brest-Paris and the McKenzie-Schroer team having won the tandem division @ the Silver State 508 (formerly Furnace Creek). It was exciting waiting at the finish to see who would come out on top, but the Dixons held onto the top position, having started and finished before the McKenzie-Schroer bike.
So once again another super-successful MegaMonster Enduro! Those who skipped this one really missed out.