There was a new type of road race on Saturday, March 18, in Irvine, CA. It is called a Hunkr Race. I have no idea why it is called that, but I went there to check it out. It’s not a USAC sponsored or sanctioned race. But it was still a hard race. It had some good and some bad aspects. You line up by your expected finishing times, on an honor system. Not by age or Category. (Maybe, if these types of races become more popular, they will know where you should line up.) Then there was a mass, neutral start for about a one-mile circuit. It was chaos, like a technical crit, with everyone trying to move up on a narrow, twisty, crowded road. Then you crossed over a starting sensor that records your actual starting time, no matter which group you lined up in. This narrow circuit was repeated two more times before dumping the riders onto Santiago Canyon Road.
Once we got onto Santiago Canyon road, things settled down, and the real racing began. It's a nice route. Lots of short, not too steep rollers. I got into a very nice group and it swelled to around thirty after the first of three laps. Kal was in the first group, but could not stay with all the surges on the first lap. We caught him on the second lap. That second lap really hurt me, but I managed to hang on. No more pulls for me! Kal and I nearly got dropped on the last tough hill, but he made an incredible pull on the downhill to get us back to our group, that by now was down to about 15. Kal out sprinted me, but for some unknown reason, he did not get any official time. I took second in the 61-65 group. Because he started ahead of me, I may have had a better time. We will never know.
Age group winners got medals. Over-all winners got $1,500!
I liked the race, except for the mass start on narrow, windy roads. I think the three starting laps were just to get the total distance up to 100 km.
I also like the timing system (I’m sure Kal doesn’t think so). Results are posted very quickly. I would do another one.
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