VERNON - After racing his mountain bike for over 12 hours and now surrounded by nightfall, Cory Wallace admits he goes through a couple of dark moments in his mind.
"But then once the sun rises that gives you a little boost, all of a sudden it's daylight again, which is uplifting and then there are only six hours to go," he said.
The B.C. native and current 24-hour mountain bike World Solo Champion, says he couldn't comprehend racing his bike for 24 hours straight until he entered his first race a decade ago.
"The first race I did I'd never ridden longer than 10 hours before... I started with so many questions in my head... then I just thought just do one lap at a time and see what happens," Wallace said.
He's since won the world championship twice and is heading to Brazil to defend his title later this year.
He's also the main organizer in the Okanagan 24, allowing amateur bikers to take part in the gruelling 24 hour race.
The inaugural Okanagan 24 is a 24-hour mountain bike race that will see teams or solo competitors race around a 15 kilometres track at SilverStar Mountain Resort. The race starts at noon June 29 and finishes at noon June 30. The person or team that completes the most laps over a 24 period wins the race. Wallace expects the solo winner to complete about 360 kilometres.
"In today's society we live pretty cushy lives, think back to the caveman days guys would be on hunts for 24 hours," Wallace said. "It's nothing your body hasn't done before, it's just pushing your mind to different barriers."
Competitors can either enter the race solo or as a team of four or five and there's even a corporate category for teams of six to ten to improve office team building.
After a decade of competing in 24 hours races, Wallace says the challenge is more mental than physical.
"The first six hours is pretty doable for most people, then after that, you start pushing through these barriers," he said.
The race may sound like it's only for the hardcore, but Wallace says the event is very laid back and like a "good time riding with your buddies."
For more information and to register go here.
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