|Formerly known as Mr. 24, aka Banned From World's, aka Jeff Kerkove|
24 hour racing was a "big deal" back then. Gravel road racing was about as well known as Jimmy Hoffa's grave site, and "ultra-endurance" stuff like the Great Divide Race was almost unfathomable by most folks. XC mountain bike racing was still around, but not what it used to be. That was the scene back then.
Well, something happened to Jeff back in 2005, a year before I last spoke of the "World's" here on this blog. That event, I think in retrospect, was a watershed moment for the both of us. It wouldn't be long before neither one of us had much to do with 24hr races, and the subject went off my radar, (and off a lot of folks radar screens), until just yesterday when I saw the a link to this posting on Facebook.
So, what do I think of that? Karma? Justice served? No......nothing like that at all. I was shocked, and actually, a bit sad for those who were busting their butts to do this event. I know what it meant to Jeff back in the day, and I saw first hand how hard he worked to get there and have a good result, if possible. I saw him handle the situation with grace and aplomb when the carpet got jerked out from underneath him. He moved on to better things.......
No, I think it might serve as a signpost that the 24hr racing genre, which is not dead by any stretch , has maybe waned like XC racing did. Maybe the grassroots racing scene, like the gravel racing events, has taken a bite out of the base of participants for 24hr racing. I don't know for sure, but it seems that way to me.