24-Hour race revs up this weekend

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club president Glenn Hollingshead calls the KTM/Perry Mountain 24-Hour Challenge a different type of race.

Motorcycles mixed with cross-country and a daylong test of endurance ensures racing fans of all types will have something to look forward to.

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This year’s race could potentially be one of the most competitive in its six-year history.

“Right this moment, this particular event is one of the biggest we’ve had yet,” Hollingshead said. “We have another race later on that’s even bigger than this one, but as far as this race, it’s right up there with some pretty good numbers.”

Currently, a total of 532 riders have signed up for the race.

Although pre-registration is closed, riders can and likely will enter hours before this Saturday’s 10 a.m. start.

The race is run on a 10-mile course at Reynolds Pasture in Maplesville. Jumps, water, woods and most importantly, their own ability to stay mentally focused for 24 hours, will test the riders.

Teams of up to six riders can enter, but there is a class of riders brave enough to take on the challenge themselves – the Ironmen.

“Right now, there are 58 Ironmen signed up for the race, and we expect more,” Hollingshead said. “That’s unbelievable. It’s hard enough for a team to finish the race. When only one person wants to ride a motorcycle for 24 hours straight, I don’t know about that. I guess they’re more man than me.”

Not quite. Four of the solo riders entered are female. The class got so big this year, it had to be split according to bike size.

Hollingshead said so far that format seems to be working out pretty well.

One of the more unique aspects about the event is night racing.

For certain fans and drivers, it seems to be a preferred portion of the race.

“Saturday evening when the sun starts going down and the lights come on, it’s nice to see,” Hollingshead said. “It’s cooler; some of the drivers say they can concentrate more on the course.”

No matter what their strategy, Hollingshead said riders need one essential thing to be successful – sound equipment.

“You need to start with a good motorcycle. The equipment is so good these days. Of course, you can blow anything out if you’re running it for 24 hours, but riders need to maintain the bike while they’re racing.”