Carl Buchanan is a relative newcomer to the sport of endurance racing. He was formerly a cross country racer and was encouraged to try out endurance racing by none other than Jeff Kerkove. Carl didn't mess around either. His first event was a solo 24 hour event at Boone, Iowa!
I wanted to interview Carl because he is a new endurance racing participant, and I wanted to know why he decided to pursue the endurance racing scene so vigorously. Carl was an easy interview. He gave me enough content for four posts (!) and he works with me, also. Here is the first part of our conversation.
G-Ted: So, you did your first race ( Solo 24 hour) in '04 then?
Carl: Yes.....24 hour solo race. That was my first introduction.
G-Ted: Did Jeff...Was he at that race?
Carl: No, he was at Worlds. ( 24hrs of Adrenaline Solo Worlds)
G-Ted: He was...oh!! He was at WORLDS!
Carl: That was a weird thing to say, "Jeff Kerkove was at Worlds.", but yeah, he was there.
G-Ted: So, you were at the race. Immediately after the event you were like, "No way! I'm not going to do that again!". So, what changed your mind?
Carl: Basically sitting down, getting food in your belly. Which allowed your brain to actually operate properly and realizing that, "Yeah, it HURTS!". I'm not going to lie there, and it's not easy. But, it's kind of...It's one of those things where, you hate to say it, but it's not as hard as it sounds. Alot of it is mind over matter type stuff, so....But I knew I could do better than what I established, and I just had to prove to myself that I can do better than that. So...I decided that the '05 season- I was going to at least try Boone again.
G-Ted: So, as far as the endurance racing versus the cross country racing, which you'd been doing beforehand, is there a balance now that it's more towards endurance and less cross country, or how does that happen for you?
Carl: Definitely more endurance. umm...I think the biggest thing is I enjoy cross country, still, but it's a different level of racing. You figure your redlining your body for 2-3 hours, flat out. And with endurance racing, it's like your redline is lower than a cross country race, because of the duration of the race. But you can actually maintain that for the entire race. So, like I feel like I'm giving it my all, but you still have that little bit more that you can give type thing with the endurance racing. So, I feel more satisfaction out of it than the cross country racing.
G-Ted: Uhh....okay. So, you're kind of leaning more towards the endurance.....
G-Ted: ..side of things and not so much the cross country?
G-Ted: So, tell me how the thing with Cannondale happened. (Carl is sponsored by Cannondale)
Carl: Well, let's see..... I got second at Boone this year, ( Actually, it was last year- '05: editor) Got a big head. Decided, you know...it can't hurt to send out a race resume'....
G-Ted: Kind of like a Head Shock big head? Or....
Carl: Not quite! But.....but.... It was one of those things. I talked to Jeff (Kerkove) about it and he kind of helped me get my race resume' written up and figured....you know, it can't hurt to try.
Carl: So, I figured I'd send it to pretty much every company that has a grass roots program and then, of course, we hit up our reps here. Just because , that way, not only does it benefit me and them, but it also benefits our store. You figure if you've got somebody in the store that's riding the product in the store- racing the product in the store- customers can see that, come in, they can touch it. They can hear all about it.
G-Ted: So, you see a direct link between you getting sponsored to race and the retail side of what you do in the store then?
G-Ted: That's cool. I think that it's kind of important for...for people who own shops to hear that.
Carl: I agree.
G-Ted: I don't think they see the linkage there sometimes though. That's....that's cool....yeah.
So, Jeff pretty much has his dirty little fingers in the getting you motivated for sponsorship thing...
Carl: He...yeah.....yeah. He kind of helped me out. Just kind of guided me as far as what to ask for without sounding like you're a little kid. You want everybody to hand you stuff, you know. So, it's kind of.....He got the mentality in me of how to approach it. And then I wrote up my resume', showed it to him, and he kind of went through it, showed me where you're getting a little bit too one sided here, type stuff. You know, you gotta kinda leave it open for them to decide, type stuff. You gotta make it personal, and things like that.
Carl: I was pretty satisfied with it, so I sent it out to a few places, heard back from a few places, you know.....not so good stuff, but not bad stuff. It was all professional. Then, of course, The_Smackdown, (The store's Cannondale rep) got back to me. And that was kind of a back and forth e-mail thing. And then it just kind of built up after that and, well....... the rest is pretty much history after we sat down and talked about it.
End of Part One. Next installment will deal with the Carl's endurance racing point of view and the influence of Jeff Kerkove.