Rate It: (5 being the highest rating)

Team Yak repeats at 2005 Furnace Creek 508

Written by: Jim Knight

The 2005 Team Yak stamped down a new record in the Mens 4X 50+ division at the grueling Furnace Creek 508 held October 8-9, 2005.  This race is considered by many to be the toughest two-day race anywhere.  The race starts in Santa Clarita, near Magic Mountain in LA, then proceeds through Mojave, Furnace Creek, Badwater, Death Valley, to the finish in Twenty-Nine Palms.  There are solo and team categories.

The race route is divided into eight unequal distance time stations.  Relay teams must navigate the course in a set order passing a baton at each of the eight time stations.  The race is famous for its desert winds, high temps, 35,000 feet of climbing, and energy-sapping rough road surfaces.  Add to that:  a non-stop race, which means riding all night with the lights of the following crew vehicle providing the only sign of humanity for hours at a time.

In 2004, then rookie Team Yak, consisted of Larry Gitman (58) and Jim Knight (43) who completed the course in a record-setting 30 hours 43 minutes 7 seconds for the Mens 2X 50+ Divison.  For the 2005 race, the two grisled vets added Mark Erwin (52) and Jim Woodman (46) to form a solid Mens 4X 50+ team.  The conditions were fairly mild by Death Valley standards and Team Yak rode away from its nearest division competitors, securing a victory and a course record in their category in a time of 26 hours 45 Minutes 34 seconds.


Mark summits Spunky Canyon            Larry enroute to Trona                    Jim Knight nearing Townes Pass climb


Jim Woodman in Death Valley              2005 Team Yak Champions with Race Director Chris Kostman (far right)