Event Recap: The Last Enduro King- 48 Hour Challenge Crawl For A Cause

Event Recap: The Last Enduro King- 48 Hour Challenge Crawl For A Cause

I wasn’t sure if I would make it. My body hurt, my feet were on fire, I was tired, a migraine was setting in, and at hour mark 42 I almost threw in the towel and went to bed. I pressed on though, not wanting to give up on myself- not after coming so far. If it wasn’t for my fellow RC/EC teammates Trevor Patch and Glenn Hobbs going out on the trail with me and keeping me company in the final hours, I would have never made it to the 48 hour mark. Twenty-two rigs started the event, with only two completing the full 48 hour run.

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The event started off rough, not only did rainfall the night before flood my tent and force me to seek cover in the cabin (Thanks for the couch Trevor!), heavy rain started falling shortly before we were to head out on the trail. Once under the cover of trees the rainfall was broken up a bit, but it was still fairly miserable conditions with everything turning into a muddy, slippery mess. Thankfully though, the rain only lasted a few hours, leaving behind some awesome streams and waterfalls for us to play in with our tiny trucks. The Montgomery location is great for an event such as this because there are so many different paths and trails to take; you’re not just limited to one, set route the entire time.

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I won’t give you an hour by hour breakdown of my run, I couldn’t even if I wanted to- after 48 hours on the trail everything starts to blend together anyway. We’re coming up on a week since the event and I’m still feeling a bit of the “fog” that previous Enduro Kings have experienced. Physically, I was surprised at how little soreness my body experienced after the event- I even played hockey the following night! There were times during the event that I could feel it in my back and ankles though, mostly in/around the area of a previous back injury, but thankfully it was never anything painful enough that would force me to quit the run. I knew going into the event that if anything was going to prevent me from finishing it would most likely be due to my back injury flaring up, so I am glad that it handled the hiking relatively trouble-free.

It was the mental aspect that almost did me in around the 40 hour mark. As RCEC teammate Trevor Patch put it, I just hit a wall. At that point, I’m pretty sure I was just walking the trails based on pure muscle memory from previous loops. Whereas the first few hours of the event just flew right by, the final hours just dragged on and on it seemed. I tried to avoid looking at the time on my phone as much as possible, but it didn’t seem to make time go by any faster.

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My rig of choice for the event, a HPI Venture FJ, was about 98% stock. As I’ve mentioned in previous writings, I did however add a Reefs RC 422HD servo and a set of Boom Racing Hustler MT-X MC1 4.19 tires. Other than those additions, and some scale cosmetic add-ons, I wanted to see what the rig was capable of in a mostly stock form.

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Even in stock form, this rig did not disappoint. It pulled lines I expected it to falter from, it followed in the tire tracks of other, more modified rigs without hesitation, and tackled what has been dubbed “Shred The Ledge Terrain” without too much concern. The Venture gave me a good balance between challenging and fun over the terrain- not too hard, not too easy, but just right. The Reefs RC 422HD servo turned the sticky Boom Racing Hustler MT-X’s with ease and kept the truck going where I pointed it. Speaking of the MT-X’s, I was pleasantly surprised with their performance over the course of the event. They gripped almost everything I threw at them, from mud to slime covered rocks. The one area I did notice them struggle a bit was when trying to climb the large waterfall. Some of that may be due to the light weight of the Venture itself, but they just couldn’t seem to gain any grip when in the direct path of the flowing water and I had to maneuver my way around.

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I will admit, I was a little concerned about attempting to tackle an endurance crawl such as the 48 Hour Challenge with a fairly untested rig. My spare parts stash was pretty bare for the HPI, so a mechanical failure that could normally be replaced or repaired, could potentially mean the end of the line for my run. Thankfully, regardless of how much time I spent playing in the stream, or climbing up and down the waterfall, or bogging through the mud pits, the Venture never failed me. At one point somewhere in the 30-40 hour range the motor did start angrily squealing, but then the problem mysteriously went away after a few minutes and did not return- we chalked it up to possibly a piece of rock or some other debris getting caught in the motor can.

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At the completion of the event it was announced that after four consecutive years running, this would be the final 48 Hour Challenge. While I am sad to see it go and the memories it brings (such as Adam Wilhelm calling in the owls on one late night run), I can now proudly say I completed the challenge before it became no more. Just completing the challenge is gratifying enough in itself, but I do have the honor of one additional feat- being The Last Enduro King.

A big thank you goes out to those who sponsored and/or donated on my behalf, as well as a special thank you to April Brown for cooking meals for all of us throughout the weekend. It is much appreciated and goes a long way in helping a wonderful lady in her battle with illness, in total we raised $1,654.54 for Gail!

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