OGRE 2013 POST-RACE COMMENTARY

newogre8

4/25/2013 - POST-RACE UPDATE

The first annual OGRE (Ozark Gravel Road Expedition) 150 headed out at exactly 6:01 am on Saturday, April 20th.   With a Linn Creek police escorted roll-out, cyclists left Big Surf Waterpark at daybreak with bike lights flashing and the dream of completing one of the toughest gravel grinder courses in the Midwest.   100 riders registered to compete, an ASTONISHING 60 riders completed this grueling course!   It was an exhausting day of physical and mental challenges for riders from 11 states.

The OGRE lived up to its name, and it was indeed a BEAST of a ride.   Passing through 4 counties (Camden, Laclede, Pulaski, Miller), riders experienced native Ozark topography of steep up and down hills, switchbacks, loose and packed gravel, washboards, and numerous low water crossings.   It simply just kept coming.   But through it all, the weather was ideal!

After a couple of miles of paved flat to downhill riding, riders proceeded over varying terrain with the first uphill test coming at about the 7 mile mark.   The field started to spread out as stretches of long ridges and long valleys with a few steep ups and downs sprinkled in for good measure were introduced.   Eventually, riders completed 37 mile Segment 1 and made it to Checkpoint 1 at the Decaturville Church where riders could take a bathroom break, eat snacks from Paul's Supermarketand/or take on water supplied by Bridal Cave (Steve Thompson & Lucas Thompson) & Tan-Tar-A Resort (Rosa Powell).

Segment 2 started with the rolling hills of Mt Horeb Rd where after a creek crossing, the riders were introduced to what was likely the steepest hill on the ride - a curving grunt to a top that seemed to be just out of sight.   Once on top, riders were rewarded with relatively level riding and the pavement of highway D. A left on to Tunnel Dam Rd led riders to the most magnificent view on the ride - high above Tunnel Dam with spectacular views in all directions, including what appeared to be a line of cars on a nearby hilltop.   The vehicles were actually the Pit Crews at Pit Stop 1.   The catch was to get there, riders had to descend a long steep hill.   And what goes down must go up.   And that's just what was in store.   Back up to the top to the reward of Pit Stop 1 at Tunnel Dam Gardens at mile 50 where riders were refreshed and bikes were repaired.   Here riders learned the Niangua River was still not cooperating so the afore mentioned possibility of a high water reroute became a reality. The map for Segments 3 and 4 and the green "O" slap band were distributed.

Segment 3 was a retrace of Segment 2 back to the Decaturville Church and Checkpoint 2 at mile 65.   You should have seen the looks of riders still heading to Pit Stop 1, unaware of the reroute, thinking the returning riders had finished the 15 mile loop on the other side of the river (which they had not).   Eventually their stress was relieved as they too learned of the reroute.

After CP2, the majority of Segment 4 represented the high water reroute.   This was still a challenge as riders were taken on a roller coaster of a ride with multiple creek crossings.   Riders eventually made it back to the designated course and were greeted by more forgiving climbs and descents.   A quick roll through Montreal, MO led to Pit Stop 2 at the Buffalo Prairie Church at mile 88.   Once again, the riders refueled and repaired.   The Map containing Segments 5 and 6 were handed out and riders received their gray "OG" slap band.   Then it was off once again.

Segment 5 started with a nice long recovery descent before the race began to resume its trademark up and down nature.   At the end of one longish descent the riders were treated to an area landmark, the Grand Glaize swinging bridge.   This is really a cool spot that many riders wished they had time to explore.   But there was no time as there were many more miles to ride. After passing the 100 mile mark, another series of roller coaster hills were present on Barton School Rd. But once conquered, riders pulled into Checkpoint 3 at mile 107 at the B&M Market.   Here riders received water and the opportunity for a bathroom and/or snack break at the market.

Then it was on to Segment 6.   Let me repeat that.   Segment 6.   Did you say Segment Sick?   Need I say more?   This was by far the toughest segment on the ride.   It starts out pretty tame but then comes Uncle Dee, Black Locust, Buckeye and various other climbs to many to mention.   These names will live in infamy as do many Civil War battles.   It was two steps up, one step down, then two steps up again.   This segment was the true test of the OGRE.   What seemed to many to be a never ending series of hills ended with a nice level paved ride into Pit Stop 3 at the TLC C-Store at the 128 mile mark.   This was an all out full service stop where riders met Pit Crews and/or went inside TLC for sandwiches, pizza, drinks and all sorts of calories. Once replenished, riders received the map for Segments 7 and 8 and the black "OGR" slap band.

Segment 7 began with a nice, long level to downhill recovery.   But rider beware!   As announced in the pre-race meeting, on the map, and at Pit Stop 3, mile 131 was not to be taken lightly.   On a nice downhill run, the road took a sudden dip down a rough and loose stretch culminating in a short but deep creek crossing.   Fortunately, a SLOW sign posted just above the dip gave riders enough warning to prepare for the dip and crossing.   Many if not most dismounted to ford the creek.   After that, Segment 7 continued to be the reward for conquering Segment 6. Segment 7 had forgiving stretches with a few climbs sprinkled in for good measure.   Riders happily pulled into Checkpoint 4 at mile 151.

Segment 8 started with a short half mile ride on double track to avoid the expressway.   At the end of the double track, riders had to dismount and push up a steep, loose embankment to make it to the home stretch, highway 242. From there, it was a paved bike path to within eyesight of the finish.   Riders had one last climb that was made easier by the sight of the Bonk Hard arch, the signature sound of Bonk Hard cowbells, the kuat flags flying, and cheering spectators in front of OZ Cycles.   And what was all this pain for?   An OGRE mason jar (favorite drinking glass of OGREs everywhere - provided by race sponsor, kuat), the famed OGRE 150 sticker, and the final, blood red "OGRE" slap band!  Was it worth it?   Ask any finisher and the answer will be a resounding YES!

After a quick photo op, it was into OZ Cycles for food, drink, and a lot of story swapping.   Finish or not, ALL RIDERS deserve a medal for tackling this course.   It was a leg-aching, tough, brutal, soul-sucking ride that in the end, no matter where you left it, invokes a deep sense of accomplishment and calls you back again.   Congratulations to ALL RIDERS who started on this OGRE of an adventure.

Awards were handed out to the following:

OVERALL:
1st Place - Tyler Cordia
2nd Place - Pierre Echasserieau
3rd Place (tie) - Jamie Wynne
3rd Place (tie) - Jim Phillips

SOLO MALE OPEN:
1st Place - Tyler Cordia
2nd Place - Pierre Echasserieau
3rd Place - Jamie Wynne

SOLO MALE VETERAN:
1st Place - Jim Phillips
2nd Place - Scott Hofer
3rd Place - Darren Gilmore

SOLO MALE MASTERS:
1st Place - Doug Long
2nd Place - Nick Perrow
3rd Place - Michael Somers

SOLO FEMALE:
1st Place - Melisa Lemus
2nd Place - Loreen Mattson

SOLO SINGLE SPEED:
1st Place - Tyler Moore
2nd Place - Ray Porter
3rd Place - Steve Friedman

TANDEM:
1st Place - Fast Frog Racing - Yuri Cook & Lorinda Putter

TEAM: COED OPEN:
1st Place - Uncle Perv and the Pervette - Jeff Sona & Emily Korsch

TEAM: COED VETERAN:
1st Place -Dirty Dogz - Don Daly & Barbie Miller

TEAM: MALE OPEN:
1st Place - The Other Guys - Aaron Lackman & Jim Smith

TEAM: SINGLE SPEED:
1st Place -Mangy Dogz - Curt Carlson & Marc Thierry

SPONSORS:
The 2013 OGRE presented by Oz Cycles & Kayaks, once again delivered an AWESOME raffle prize - a $1,099 Trek CrossRip bike!  It was Josh Brown who rode off on a sweet ride at the pre-race meeting!

Also, one lucky rider is coming back for a FABULOUS weekend retreat at Tan-Tar-A Resort that includes accommodations for 2 , rounds of first class golf, entrance to TimberFall Indoor Waterpark, and breakfast at the Black Bear Restaurant!!!   A $588 weekend get-away!

Six lucky riders took home tubes of coveted Zanfel relief!

And never underestimate the value of a Rubber Chicken!   One chicken winner received a bike floor pump, and another an iPod Shuffle.  

kuat, the king of bike racks, placed a kuat key ring in all racer OGRE bags and created the finish mug (popular mason jar) for all finishing OGREs. 

Many thanks go out to our SPONSORS who make our races possible.   Please visit their stores or engage their services for top quality products. 2013 OGRE Sponsors are:

Oz Cycles & Kayaks - Lake of the Ozarks' hometown adventure store!  Bikes, kayaks, supplies and services for outdoor adventures.   Stop by Oz Cycles when you visit the Lake!

kuat - Makers of the best bike racks on the planet!   Checkout their new products that just keep getting better. Easy load, easy unload, incredible design. kuat racks make your mouth water.

Zanfel - A must-have for any racer, or rider in the out-of-doors.   Zanfel has been a Bonk Hard Racing sponsor for over 9 years!   Their fabulous and effective, fast-acting poison relief have our racers and riders jumping in the isles for the $35 tubes of glorious lotion.

Tan-Tar-A Resort - Lifetime memories are made at this Lake of the Ozarks icon.   Bring your family and enjoy boating, swimming, golfing, fishing, and more at this lovely resort surrounded by Ozark hills.   A super get-away for all ages.

Bridal Cave - A true treasure right here in the Missouri Ozarks. Warm in the winter, cool in the summer.   When you have finished your Bonk Hard adventure, take a beautiful underground adventure in a natural wonderland full of amazing formations. A true gem.

Big Surf Waterpark - The Lake area's outdoor waterpark providing a great day of flume riding, lazy river floating, playing in the wave pool, falls, and much more.   Cool off and make a family day at Big Surf Waterpark.

Tri- County Lodging Association - The TCLA promotes the Lake of the Ozarks area and support its many, many activities and events throughout the year.   Lake of the Ozarks is a perfect place to hold events with numerous quality lodging options, eating establishments, entertainment and shopping options.   Plan your next vacation at Lake of the Ozarks.

Paul's Supermarket - Three Paul's stores located at the Lake provide top quality groceries and catering services.   With great weekly specials and award cards to boot!   Fresh food along with service and value. Shop at Paul's.

Dynamic Earth - Hiking, mountain climbing, camping, paddling, Dynamic Earth can suit you up for your next outdoor adventure.   With a watchful eye on earth-friendly products, Dynamic Earth continues to be a supporter of our natural world while providing top notch products. 

Mother Natures Riverfront Retreat at Tunnel Dam - A beautiful riverfront campground with miles of floating options, swimming, fishing and more.   Quietly located in the Ozark hills where the views are incredible.   Enjoy an outdoor camping experience with your family or relax on your own!


Many of our PRIVATE and PUBLIC supporters may go unnoticed, but be assured they provide the framework for a well run event. Many thanks to:

Big Surf Waterpark for allowing us to start on their property and park vehicles for the day.

The Decaturville Baptist Church for allowing us to use their facility for Checkpoint 1 and Checkpoint 2 as well as a bathroom break for our riders.

Tunnel Dam Gardens / Mother Natures Riverfront Retreat - for allowing us a spectacular Pit Stop #1, that amazed riders and support crews as well.

The Buffalo Prairie Baptist Church for allowing us to use their facility for Pit Stop #2, crew support, and a bathroom break.

The B&M Market for allowing us to place Checkpoint #3 on their property and yet another bathroom break.

The TLC convenience store for allowing us to use their private property for Pit Stop #3, crew support, and a bathroom break.

Our local police officers that serve our towns and counties help us make sure that our events are safe as well as fun. Many thanks go out to those who support us each and everyday:

Linn Creek Police department - for an exciting and safe rollout start from Big Surf Waterpark to Anderson Hollow Road. What a great kick off!

The Police Officers of the following counties who kept a watchful eye over our riders during the race:
Camden County Deputies
Miller County Deputies
Laclede County Deputies
Pulaski County Deputies

VOLUNTEERS:
Many, many thanks to our volunteers who donate their time to making your race day a good one.

Diana Arendt - CP1 & CP2
Doug Arendt - CP1 & CP2
Rosa Powell - CP1 supplying water for riders provided by Tan-Tar-A Resort
Steve & Lucas Thompson - CP1 supplying water for riders provided by Bridal Cave
Dorothy Frieze - CP1, Pit Stop #1, Finish Line
Riley Thompson - Race Start, Pit Stop #1, Pit Stop #3
Oliver Thompson - Race Start, Pit Stop #1, Pit Stop #3
Joe Villarreal - Pit Stop #1, Finish Line
Dave Weber - Race Start, Pit Stop #2, Finish
Jim Glickert - Race Start, Pit Stop #2, CP4, Photos
Jordan Shoults - Pit Stop #3
Corey Thompson - CP4
Mary Welter - Photos all day long


SUPPORT CREWS:
We join in great appreciation with our riders to express major thanks to the families and friends who acted as Support Crews.   Your efforts allowed these super riders to focus on their challenge by suppling food, repairs, and much needed moral support.   Thank you for making the OGRE a huge success.


If you started this race, you are among the great. It does not matter if you finished or bonked.   You tackled a supreme course.   We are so proud of your efforts.

Anyone starting the 2013 OGRE are considered OGRE Alumni and will be invited to register in the 2014 OGRE before anyone else.   We hope you had a wonderful experience and also hope to see you at another Bonk Hard Racing event soon.

Gary & Ellen Thompson

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