|Leatherback Turtles||2006||48||Two Mixed||FIN||33:18:13|
|Mighty Millipede||2007||49||Four Tandem Mixed||FIN||28:11:04|
|Gulo Gulo||2008||50||Two Mixed||FIN||30:16:17|
|Hammer Frogs||2009||51||Four Woman||FIN||32:39:33|
|Hammer Frogs||2010||52||Four Woman||FIN||33:43:22|
I am dubbing myself a Furnace Creek 508 “Team Queen.” I currently (9/2011) hold 5 course records with 5 different team configurations. I have been a Leatherback Turtle, a Mighty Millipede, Gulo Gulo, and twice a Hammer Frog.
My 508 adventure started with Gerd Rosenblatt from Berkeley, CA asking how old I was. My age at the time was 48, he was 72. He convinced me to do the Furnace Creek 508 because all we had to do was finish and we would set a course record for a 60+ Mixed 2 person team. Gerd is a sweet man and a wonderful rider that I met on a Transcontinental bike tour in 2005. I couldn’t say no. And besides, he had experience, the crew and all the logistics worked out. I just had to ride. He took the odd sections, I was even. His rationale was that he didn’t ride so well in the middle of the night.
I will never forget the first time I saw the long long line of the blinking flashers on support vehicles strung up like leftover Christmas lights on Townes Pass as they hovered behind the riders up the tortuous climb. I felt like I had entered the “Twilight Zone” and that I belonged there.
My 508 destiny started with buying a bicycle for my 42nd birthday and the sequence of events in my life now placed me riding through Death Valley in the middle of the night with a full moon… like a long awaited coming home for my soul. And I keep coming back. It is a surreal adventure like no other.
I am “All Glory, No Guts” because I know that a solo effort is beyond what I want to do. But the team effort has been truly wonderful. I enjoy the camaraderie and support of team mates and crew. For me the Furnace Creek 508 is a fun, amazing adventure. I salute all the solo riders for their fierce determination and desire to challenge the most challenging of environments in Death Valley on their own. I, however, hope to continue to “get by with a little help from my friends”
- Lori Cherry