Q&A with a first time racer — 24hour

Cradle Canoe

As promised here’s a short Q&A with Mikal Davis who raced as part of Team NYARA at GOALS ARA’s Cradle of Liberty.

Q: What was the biggest difference between 24h racing and shorter races?

No sleep was the biggest difference for me. I wasn’t fully prepared for my eyes refusing to stay open. Planning for nutrition/food was also quite different. I could have eaten more earlier in the race to avoid the 3am wall-hitting.

Q: What was the high point of the race?
The first 18 hrs (maybe excluding the canoe section, which was a bit of a disaster for us–but we recovered well!) Olof was nailing the navigation, Whitney and I were feeling really strong and the team was moving at a great pace. All of that equated to high spirits and fun racing.
Q: What was the low point of the race?
The low was hitting the wall around 3am and not being able to contribute to the team as much as I would have liked. It was a great learning experience, but it didn’t feel good at the time.
Q: Was there any piece of gear that was essential for 24h racing, Especially one that is not that important in shorter races?
Apart from extra bright flashlights, I would say using platform pedals helped us out a lot. We saved on weight by not having to lug around biking shoes and I did not feel like our biking suffered as a result. I will definitely use platforms in my next 24+hr race.
Q: What did you learn from this race?
I learned what to expect at 3am and have a good idea on how to combat the drowsiness next time–better nutrition and more caffeine!
Q: Second place overall is pretty dang good your third adventure race ever. Is there anything you can see that the fast teams are doing differently vs. mid pack teams?  Also, do you have any recommendations for racers who are looking to be lead pack?
Fast transitions are an easy way to cut time. This requires lots of organization and forethought, but can cut significant time over a 24+hr race. Overall, NYARA has been great to race for in the last 2 ARs and has lots of potential in the team. I am excited to keep racing and to go to nationals for the first time this October!
Thanks again to GOALS ARA for a great race!

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