2000 Furnace Creek 508 Report

Basic Info

Race Route, including an elevation map, course description, and Time Station locations

All finishing times were updated/corrected on October 18, 2000

Solos started at 7:00am and Teams started as 1:00pm, Saturday, October 14, 2000

Finish Line is in Twenty Nine Palms, CA: Mile 508.50

2000 Race Report by John Hamster Hughes, with rider commentary by Steve Beaver Born from the Ultra Cycling Forum

At the Furnace Creek 508 on October 14-16, 2000, 45 solo riders, two tandems and eight 4-person teams started in benign conditions. Temperatures were in the 80s on Saturday with little breeze - the windmills on the second climb were barely turning!

The men's tandem "Red Robin" led from the start. Roehl Caragao and Bob Smith from Bakersfield are both team veterans and attacked the course, arriving at TS #1 in California City a minute before the first solo riders: Kaname Sea Lion Sakurai, Istvan Mackska Makk, and Andrew Blowfish Bohannon. The mixed tandem of Mike Mosely and Cindy Staiger was fourth through the time station. RAAM veteran Fabio Bunny Biasiolo was in fifth and Barclay Beetle Brown, riding a faired recumbent, was sixth, only 11 minutes behind the Red Robin.

In the women's race, Jeanie Barnett had the lead, less than 40 minutes behind the first riders. Marie Handrahan was second and Carol Trevey was third. Unfortunately, Kathleen Rogers crashed just before the time station and dropped out.

Caragao and Smith continued in the lead to TS #2 in Trona, covering the 152 miles in eight and a half hours! Sakurai was second with a four minute lead over Makk and 12 minutes on Bohannon. On this leg Barnett built an hour's lead over Trevey, who arrived a few minutes ahead of Handrahan.

Team Armadillo (Texas), was the first team to TS #2, arriving in just under 6.5 hours, with the Screamin' Eagles (Bakersfield, CA) chasing hard.

When the race arrived at TS #3 in Furnace Creek (252 miles), riders had climbed the four thousand foot climb up Towne Pass (with sections of 10-13%) and then blasted down at 55 mph in the dark! Faired recumbent rider Barclay Brown overheated his rims on the descent and blew a tire - his skin, clothing and fairing all required patching. At Furnace Creek Sakurai was in first place, seconds ahead of Bohannon, with a 30 minute lead over Makk. The men's tandem was 26 minutes back. Jeanie Barnett rolled through just after midnight, two hours ahead of Trevey.

By the half-way point, Team Armadillo held a 38 minute lead over the Screamin' Eagles.

The race through Death Valley is tough, climbing over steep alluvial fans, and then in the wee hours of the morning, riders must climb Jubilee and Salsberry passes out of the valley. Fortunately, conditions were mild - in the 50s with no wind.

Bohannon roared through the valley and over the passes - at TS #4 in Shoshone (325 miles) he had a 55 minute lead over Sakurai. The men's tandem was third, 63 minutes behind Bohannon, with Makk another 16 minutes back.

Barnett rode steadily overnight, reaching Shoshone just after dawn on Sunday. The last rider through the time station was Chuck Hanson, age 70, who checked in at 2:18 a.m. on Monday!

The stretch to TS #5 in Baker (381 miles) has one minor climb and, if racers can maintain their focus, they can pick up time.

Bohannon build his lead to 90 minutes over Makk, with Sakurai 10 minutes behind. The men's tandem moved into second overall, still an hour behind Bohannon. Barnett was the eleventh rider, with a comfortable four hour lead over Trevey.

In the team race the Armadillo had almost a three hour lead.

TS #6 (429 miles) is at the top of the Granite Mountains, the penultimate climb. Bohannon rode by at 9:13 a.m. Sunday morning with a comfortable two hour lead over the nearest competitors. Hanson checked through at 8:26 p.m. Tuesday evening, determined to finish.

TS #7 (479 miles) at Sheep Hole summit featured cut-out palm trees and officials wearing leis. Arriving just after noon, Bohannon didn't stop to party, but pushed on to 29 Palms, finishing first in 31 hours 17 minutes. Sakurai was second, in 32:31. He won the Death Valley Cup, having taken third in the Badwater to Mt. Whitney foot race this summer. Smith and Caragao were the third finishers in 33:36. Makk finished nine minutes later. Bohannon and Sakurai are RAAM veterans; Makk was the first to qualify for RAAM. Other men had to finish within 115% of his time in order to qualify for the race. Only five men qualified for RAAM.

Barnett finished in 39:08 and qualified for RAAM. Trevey was the second woman; she needed to finish in 45 hours to qualify for RAAM. She finished only 10 minutes off the mark. As the first female rookie finisher, Trevey won the Nancy Dankenbring award. The award honors Nancy Dankenbring who took second in 1998 and qualified for RAAM. She passed away later that year.

Despite his crash, Barclay Brown set a course record of 40:49:31 for an HPV. Ron Bobb, 55 set an age group HPV course record of 42:32:56 and qualified for RAAM.

Armadillo (Bret Crosby, 28, Dallas, TX, Stuart Green, 37, Austin, TX, Will Klein, San Antonio, TX, Michael Olstad, 52, San Marcos, TX) won the team race in 23:39. In second place at 25:03 were the Westchester Screamin' Eagles (Ron Jones, 40, Bakersfield, CA, Courtland Keith, 32, San Jose, CA, Curt Kunzmann, 41, Bakersfield, CA, James Poteete, 40, Bakersfield, CA) and the Bikemasters Basenji (Bernie Barge, 39, Paso Robles, CA, John Barlow, 46, Templeton, CA, David Nakai, 44, Fallbrook, CA, Shawn Varner, 31, Paso Robles, CA) took third in 27:51.

The women's team Red Rockettes (Susan Barr, 45, Vancouver, BC, Canada, Muffy Ritz, 43, Ketchum, ID, Anne Snail Darter Schneider, 52, Davis, CA, Lulu Wildcat Weschler, 52, Colts Neck, NJ) finished in 29:50:17 and Whippet 60+ (Joe Brown, 56, Simi Valley, CA, Jewett Pattee, 77, Long Beach, CA, Shorty Ramos, 54, La Mirada, CA, Ron Worm Way, 65, Downey, CA) set an age-group course record of 31:37:38.

Furnace Creek always has a high attrition rate. This year 18 of the 39 solo men, three of the five solo women, and one team dropped out. Charles Hanson was the last finisher at 8:30 on Tuesday morning. He was declared an Honorable Mention Finisher and became the first 70 year old to complete the course solo.

Rider Commentary by Steve Beaver Born:

  1. Andrew Bohannon - 31 hours 17 minutes. Stayed in the top three through the first 250 miles but simply crushed the field with an absolutely insane split from the time station in Furnace Creek (#3) to the next time station in Shoshone. This is a 75 mile stretch over two tough climbs, Jubilee and Salsberry Passes. Andrew arrived at the Furnace Creek time station in a tie with then race leader Kaname Sakarai but put on the gas and never looked back. Fantastic effort.
  2. Kaname Sakarai - 32:32. Held the lead until the Furnace Creek time station. Fell to third place until sometime after time station #6 at the 430 mile mark but rallied and finished another stellar race. Most impressive though is that Kaname finished in 3rd place in the Badwater ultra running race less than a month earlier and won a 100 mile running race two weeks prior to the start of the 508! The guy's an animal!
  3. Istvan Makk - 33:45. I originally had "Ish" picked to finish 5th. He was among the top finishers in the Cal Triple Crown series of 200 milers but had never done anywhere near this distance. He was never out of the top three the entire race. Rode one of the best rides ever by a rookie and could definitely win it with what he's learned with this experience.
  4. Dan Jordan - 34:19. I had never met Dan nor did I know too much about him prior to this race but I sure do now. Dan rode an intelligent race, pacing himself flawlessly. He arrived at the first time station in California City in 8th place, moved up to 6th place at time station #2 in Trona, dropped back down to 8th by Furnace Creek, but arrived at the Baker time station back in 6th place. By the last time station (#7) near the summit of the grueling Sheephole Mountain pass he had positioned himself in 4th place with a 22 minute pad and increased it to the finish. An excellent tactical race.
  5. Peter Pop - 34:50. After a victory at the Badwater to Durango race under horrible conditions I wasn't sure if there would be enough time for Peter to recover completely. Well, I was wrong about that. As far back as 11th place in the early stages of the race, 508 and RAAM veteran Pop rode his usual consistent race, focusing on his strengths as a climber to complete another top five 508 finish.
  6. Valsesia Nico - 35:09. For awhile a couple of the race officials and I were calling him "the other Italian" simply because we had no previous knowledge of his abilities. Every time I saw him though he looked strong and remarkably fresh. Another consistent performer, always in the top seven throughout the entire race.
  7. Sam Beal - 35:39. Finishing a place higher than his previous best the year before (an excellent 8th place finish overall), Beal is the epitome of consistency. This year's time was very close to last year's...only a three minute difference between the two! Was in the top five all the way to Townes Pass and maintained a strong pace to record another top finish.
  8. Jeff Martin - 36:49. Another rookie in the field, Jeff was of particular interest for me in that we spent a lot of time over the past few months designing and fine tuning a supplement and fueling strategy for this race. It's always great to see a rider who starts the race with fairly conservative goals and eventually goes beyond his previous expectations. When I think of the word "focus" Jeff definitely comes to mind. Climbed the Sheephole Mountain Pass faster than anyone I've seen before to move from 10th to 8th maintaining it to finish to become the 4th qualifier for RAAM in this year's race.
  9. Steve Winfrey - 37:10. Steve is now three for three in the 508 and although his time was a bit slower this year, he looked very strong and fit, climbing extremely well. His strengths on the flats was quite impressive as well. Has a great attitude to go along with his abilities and could do well in RAAM should he ever decide to give it a go.
  10. John Williams - 37:33. A Team RAAM veteran, solo RAAM veteran, Team 508 veteran, and solo 508 veteran, John's done it all. Rode strong throughout the first 400 miles, faded slightly, then came back strong with another top finish.

Top female this year, Jeannie Barnett was consistent with a capital "C". Every time I saw her she was steady and fluid and always enthusiastic about the whole experience. Her excellent time of 39:08 placed her in 12th place overall.

Official Finish Line Results for the 81 Entrants

Solo Men (19 of 39 finished officially):

1 Andrew Blow Fish Bohannon, 38, Sunnyvale, CA 14:17:57 Sunday = 31:17:57
2 Kaname Sea Lion Sakurai, 36, Nagoya, Japan 15:31:56 = 32:31:56
3 Istvan Mackska Makk, 42, Antioch, CA 16:45:10 = 33:45:10
(first non-previously-RAAM-qualified)
4 Dan Jackal Jordan, 34, Liberty, MO 17:19:40 = 34:19:40
5 Peter Penguin Pop, 51, Malibu, CA 17:50:30 = 34:50:30
6 Valsesia Dragonfly Nico Dino, 29, Borgamanero, Novaro, Italy 18:09:58 = 35:09:58
7 Sam Seal Beal, 48, Mountain View, CA 18:39:09 = 35:39:09
8 Jeff Jaguar Martin, 38, Antioch, CA 19:49:29 = 36:49:29
9 Steve Scorpion Winfrey, 46, Camarillo, CA 20:10:40 = 37:10:40
10 John Warthog Williams, 52, Capistrano Beach, CA 20:33:03 = 37:33:03
11 Paul American Eagle Bonds, 51, Camarillo, CA 21:49:02 = 38:49:02
12 Rick Longhorn Kent, 44, Austin, TX 22:40:44 = 39:40:44
13 George Woolly Monkey Butler, 43, Bakersfield, CA 22:53:37 = 39:53:37
14 Arvid Leopard Loewen, 43, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 00:31:00 Monday = 41:31:00
15 Gary Bear Baierl, 33, Los Angeles, CA 00:44:44 = 41:44:44
16 Harvey Kaka Kulka, 41, Britton, MI 01:51:40 = 42:51:40
17 Ed Fearless Fly Fleming, 45, Houston, TX 03:05:33 = 44:05:33
18 Jim Sea Horse Severance, 54, Rockford, MI 04:06:39 = 45:06:39
19 James Quagga Quinley, 41, Turlock, CA 04:49:29 = 45:49:29

Honorable Mention (1 only):

Charles Honey Bee Hanson, 70, Apple Valley, CA, finished at 08:30:47 on Tuesday = 73:30:47

Solo Women (2 of 5 finished):

1 Jeanie Bandicoot Barnett, 43, Martinez, CA 22:08:50 = 39:08:50
2 Carol Toucan Trevey, 39, San Jose, CA 04:10:22 = 45:10:22
Nancy Dankenbring Award Winner

Solo Recumbent HPV Men (2 of 2 finished):

1 Barclay Beetle Brown, 42, Alpharetta, GA 23:49:31 = 40:49:31
*established a new course record
2 Ron Banana Slug Bobb, 55, Watsonville, CA 01:32:56 = 42:32:56
*established a new age group course record

Tandems (2 of 2 finished):

1 Mens': Red Robin: Roehl Caragao, 37, Bakersfield, CA and
Bob Smith, 48, Bakersfield, CA
16:36:57 = 33:36:57
2 Mixed: Tanzilla: Mike Moseley, 46, Bakersfield, CA and
Cindi Staiger, 48, Los Gatos, CA
18:41:00 = 35:41:00

Teams 7 of 8 finished:

Bret Crosby, 28, Dallas, TX
Stuart Green, 37, Austin, TX
Will Klein, San Antonio, TX
Michael Olstad, 52, San Marcos, TX
12:39:40 Sunday = 23:39:40
Westchester Screamin' Eagles
Ron Jones, 40, Bakersfield, CA
Courtland Keith, 32, San Jose, CA
Curt Kunzmann, 41, Bakersfield, CA
James Poteete, 40, Bakersfield, CA
14:03:45 = 25:03:45
Bikemasters Basenji
Bernie Barge, 39, Paso Robles, CA
John Barlow, 46, Templeton, CA
David Nakai, 44, Fallbrook, CA
Shawn Varner, 31, Paso Robles, CA
16:51:38 = 27:51:38
Gastropod 50+
Charles Griffice, 51, Orange, CA
Dan Crain, 55, Irvine, CA
Dave Kessler 49, Santa Monica, CA
Tom Parkes, 56, Santa Ana, CA
17:35:01 = 28:35:01
Brad Atencio, 36, Richland, WA
Steve Canaday, 53, Pasco, WA
David Fischer, 50, Kennewick, WA
Bill Hanf, 51, Kennewick, WA
18:29:49 = 29:29:40
Red Rockettes - F
Susan Barr, 45, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Muffy Ritz, 43, Ketchum, ID
Anne Snail Darter Schneider, 52, Davis, CA
Lulu Wildcat Weschler, 52, Colts Neck, NJ
18:50:17 = 29:50:17
Whippet 60+
Joe Brown, 56, Simi Valley, CA
Jewett Pattee, 77, Long Beach, CA
Shorty Ramos, 54, La Mirada, CA
Ron Worm Way, 65, Downey, CA
20:37:38 = 31:37:38
*established a new age group course record

Did Not Finish (18 solo men, 3 solo women, and one team for a total of 25):

Fabio Bunny Biasiolo
Bill Squirrel Birrell
Andreis Bush Buck Botha
Debbie Dolphin Caplan - F
Dean Crocodile Crothers
Tom Dinosaur Davies
Charles Gecko Giles
Greg Guppy Giltner
Marie Hornet Handrahah -F
Eli Sitting Duck Kaczynski
Jack Moth McBroom
Thomas Malamute Miller
Robert Piglet Pogorelz
Anurang Ringtail Revri
Tom Rabbitt Rieber
Byron Raven Rieper
Tom Robin Robertshaw
Kathleen Raptor Rogers -F
Scott Sidewinder Shipman
Perry Swan Smith
Raymond Wasp Williams

Team Mongoose: Tom Baggitt, Barbara Bergin, Ben O'Neal, and Richard Rayos