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Saturday, August 25, 2001 - Sunday, August 26, 2001 -- Lake Tahoe, CA
Toyota 24 Hours of Tahoe (iPO Event Id#: 4605)
Story and photos by Dave McKain

[Details] [Coverage]

Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8]
[Complete Race Results]

[Pic Group 2] [Pic Group 3] [Pic Group 4]

Stay tuned for several hundred more pics coming later this week!

24 Hours of Tahoe
It takes all kinds for
24 hour racing with Granny
iPlayOutside headed out West with the Granny Gear crew to help them with race timing. Check out what we've been up to with the latest RealTime® Scoring from Tahoe! While we were out there hanging at the Northstar-at-Tahoe, we spent some time trying to capture the flavor of the race through images.

For those of you from the left coast who are unfamiliar with iPlayOutside - a brief history. Don "Boss" Parks has been involved with mountain biking for many years including racing in some of Laird Knight's (head of Granny Gear) Canaan Mtn Series races and raced in several 24 Hours of Canaan's. Several years ago, Don started a personal web page covering the biking scene in West Virginia. With the help of volunteers he started (West Virginia Outside) - the forebearer of iPlayOutside. In addition to covering biking, the site covered running, paddlesports and snow sports (outdoor participation sports open to the public) in the state. Reporters traveled to events with camera in hand to take pics, get results, and get the scoop. Afterwards, all this info was posted on the site and made freely available to the public. Eventually, the site expanded to cover the states surrounding WV including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Kentucky.

Race Pic
The madness begins
One of the biggest outdoor participation sporting events in West Virginia just happened to be Granny Gear's 24 Hours of Canaan (now Snowshoe) which iPlayOutside has faithfully covered since 1998. Feedback from the participants and organizers proved that the coverage was very much appreciated. In 2000, we sent a reporter to Moab, UT for the 24 Hours of Moab - outside our normal coverage region - and the response was very positive. In the winter of 2000/01, Laird approached iPlayOutside with a proposal to develop a timing system for Granny Gear to use in its 24 Hour events. After a lot of hard work the system was unveiled at the 2001 24 Hours of Snowshoe. With fingers crossed (software and hardware for the system having only been completed in the days leading up to the event). As the last racers logged off the course at the end of the race, the computers were still running and doing their job - keeping track of racers, teams and their lap times.

Since the system is still in an evolving stage (we instituted changes on the fly during the Snowshoe race), myself (Dave McKain) and Tommy Molecule headed out west with the system for its second run at the 24 Hours of Tahoe. Since we were going to be there, why not bring along the cameras and take some shots while (hopefully) the hardware and software hummed along in the background. Fortunately, all the systems worked as planned (especially since Laird decided not to use the leader boards).

Race Pic
Hitting the dusty trail
Firstly, I was struck by the atmosphere. Being from the east, I had not experienced just how dry things could get in the region. Luckily, I brough along plenty of lip balm and blistex for the trip. I was told that it hadn't rained since April which was stunning. You could definitely tell from the conditions on the trails. Dry, dusty conditions only got worse as the race went on. Instead of dealing with mud and slippery roots (as I was used to), racers plowed through thick dust layers which hid nasty rocks - ready to deflate tires and throw the racers off course. One thing that did remain the same was the level of fun. While the 24 Hours of Snowshoe has Team Hugh Jass and their perpetual biking shorts (one pair of unwashed riding shorts for the whole team that have seen multiple 24 Hour races), Tahoe had some crazy revelers supporting a solo effort on the way to the "Burning Man" event (not sure what the heck it is but sounds crazy) who kidnapped Granny Gear employees and, in general, terrorized and entertained the participants and spectators.

The competition in the event was fierce with teams from four different classes finishing in the top ten overall. In my favorite class (Solo), Rishi Grewal put in a whopping 14 laps on his way to a victory. I was particulary impressed with Clif Bar and their support of multiple teams (5) at the event. As usual, there were a myriad of emotions on the course. Determination at the start, discouragement from victims of the trail, terror from those approaching hazards, fatigue from about everyone, glee from those on their last lap and joy at the finish line. Congratulations to all who took on the course and themselves, you all deserve it.

PS - I got back to WV and welcomed the debilitating 95% humidity. Of course, the evening I got back it rained up to three inches in the area. Time to go and visit my friends and reintroduce myself to some fresh mud. I'll be posting more pics as I get them edited. If you have a story to tell from the race and want to share it with the public feel free to e-mail it to us and we'll put it up.