Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Smith Optics bikers ride high at Moab

24 Hours of Moab endurance race

They call themselves "a bunch of desk jockeys," at Smith Sport Optics, a 43-year-old company based in Ketchum and Sun Valley. But they still pedal pretty well in big events.

During the 14th annual Suzuki "24 Hours of Moab," mountain bike race Oct. 11-12 in Utah, the Smith Optics team of Eric Carlson, Scott Robinson, Lars Erik Johnson and Greg Martin finished fifth in Men's Expert and 14th overall.

Starting at noon Oct. 11, the Smith bikers took turns on laps and ended up completing 18 laps in just over 24 hours. They rode 268.38 miles with 24,480 feet of elevation gain. The individual laps by each ranged in length from one hour and 10 minutes, to one hour and 34.

Team captain Carlson is 38, Robinson 38, Johnson 39 and Martin 36. Johnson and Martin did five laps, and the others four laps. Their jobs at Smith are vice president of sales and marketing, vice president of product and design, general manager of the Elite division, and public relations and communications manager.

Captain Don Wiseman, 53, led the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation foursome to sixth place of 50 teams in the Men's Sport class and 44th overall. They did 17 laps and 253.47 miles over 24 hours, with a vertical gain of 23,120 feet. Wiseman finished five laps. Doing four laps were Scott McGrew, 31, Matt McNeal, 28, and Baird Gourlay, 51.

Ketchum firefighter Rebecca Rusch, 40, joined the Colorado-based Designs for Women quintet in the "Just for Fun," class at Moab Oct. 11-12. Rusch is the 2007-08 24 Hours of Adrenalin solo world champion. She did two laps as Designs for Women (10 laps, 149.1 miles) finished 46th in its class and 282nd overall at Moab.

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