Words and photos by: Matt ‘Skeeno’ Soileau
Guest photography by: The Great Dominic Longoria
The ScaleUltra.com tour made a stop in Reno, Nevada recently, so I finally got a chance to redeem myself after having to DNF in the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro at Axialfest 2017 due to a broken servo. If you’re not familiar with this race, you can read up on it’s history here: Altra Ultra 5K History
Since the Altra Ultra 5K Enduro is a self supported race, I needed to make sure I had what I needed to finish. First up was making sure I had enough mAh to power my RR10 Bomber for over 3 miles. You can learn more about mAh/mile here: mAh/Mile I didn’t take any chances and charged up all my batteries, 15,800mAh! I hoped it would be enough. I also packed my tools and water into my hydration pack.
The next morning when I arrived, there was already a good sized crowd gathered at the Wild West Motorsports Complex.
The Altra Ultra 5K Enduro was part of a larger event hosted by CKRC Hobbies that included comp crawlers, rock racing, and scale trails. CKRC’s Jason Copeland was handling the sign ups and even had some tasty doughnuts for anyone that wanted them. I wanted them, but decided I better refrain since I was about to run/jog/speed-walk/hike for over 3 miles. I did grab one after I finished, and they were delicious.
It was easy to find the race coordinator with this sweet wrapped Sprinter van. I couldn’t resist a quick photo with my Bomber. Also, that guy is wearing my favorite Altra model, the Lone Peak 2.5.
Mr. Chris Cru Jones was already set up and taking entries. Check out those sweet decals from S.O.R. Graphics. What’s that stuff behind Chris?
Those are some sweet finishing prizes, hats, windbreakers, Camelbaks, kits, RTRs, and my favorite…
…these Axial Adventure sweatshirts. XL too, just my size.
You probably recognize these 801 legends, MikeyT and PaulieB!
Mr. Chris Cru Jones gave us a quick driver’s meeting, so we all knew the rules. The rules are pretty basic, finish as fast as you can.
Can you find the Skeeno Bomber?
Mandatory group photo of the Fourteen Fuegos. Don’t be scared to come run an Altra Ultra 5K Enduro, you don’t really have to run the entire time. My goal was to keep a good pace and finish.
Here’s a POV shot what it’s like to run a Altra Ultra 5K Enduro. It’s amazing how the difficulty level is raised when you are trying to hustle down the trail and drive at the same time. It’s hard to watch your driving line and running line at the same time. I can’t tell you how many times I center punched a rock with my front differential because I wasn’t watching my Bomber for a second.
The first part of this race was a pretty good climb to the top of this hill, 500′ of climbing in .3 mile. According to my Strava data, it was a 25-30% grade.
Luckily, there were some fun technical sections near the top to take your mind off the climbing.
Almost to the top here.
Those flags are the top, thank goodness!
I was feeling it already and this was only the first lap. There were three laps in this race.
Ok, just kidding. That wasn’t the top. It was a false peak, and there was one last climb to the summit. That’s my trail-buddy, Tony Mazza down there.
He was getting close to these flagstone kickers. It’s probably not the wise choice, but jumping was the fun choice.
I even waited to catch a photo of Mr. Mazza’s Bomber taking the jump.
We trail-raced at the summit for a while, so I could catch a few photos.
Ol’ Mista Werty was commissioned to be course marshal at the midway point. I’m not sure why he has that umbrella, I don’t see any rain clouds in the sky.
After the summit, we turned and headed back towards the start.
Mr. Mazza left me in his dust when I stopped to refuel my Bomber. Maybe I need to rethink my battery capacity. 5000mAh packs sound like a better choice than the 2200mAh packs I usually run.
You can see the start at the top, left of this picture. That’s about half a mile from here according to my Strava.
There was some fun technical sections back here. Here Mighty Mike T. pops an ollie down this section.
Mikey T. was pretty pleased with his performance, so much so that he even paused for a photo for me.
When arriving at this section the second time, I quickly ran over to the Dominic Longoria of CKRC requested he catch some photos of me while he was live streaming.
Dom took some great shots for trying to execute two film duties at once all while commentating. You are a great multitasker, Mr. Longoria.
I remember that rock trying to trip me, but my Altra Lone Peak 3.0′s kept me sure footed.
After an exciting event, I was excited to finish in the Top 10. When looking at my lap times, it was clear my decision to run lower capacity 2200mAh batteries as well as stop to take photos affected my time. These choices slowed me down, and without them, I think I would have cut almost 10 minutes off my lap times and finished several places higher. Perhaps I’ll rethink my strategy at the next Altra Ultra 5K Enduro.
So who wound up on top? Mike Thompson wearing the number 20 took home the win in a time of 1:08:21 with his personal fast lap being 22:03.7. The “Altra Hot Lap” winner was Brandon Copeland (17) who set a blistering pace of 18.44 and finished second overall in 1:09:41.1. Taking the final podium spot was Paul Blackner (19) finishing in 1:14:11.9 and clicked off a personal fast lap of 23:03. Congrats on your finishes and walking home with some impressive Axial and Altra prizes. Congratulations are also in order for everyone who participated in the event as well as the staff behind the show. Now, will we see you at the next Altra Ultra 5K?
Find out more about Altra Ultra 5K Events:
ULTRA 5K ENDURO HISTORY
Athletic RC Adventure Mashup – Inside the Axialfest Altra Ultra 5K Enduro