Last Dog Standing Extreme Event
Prairie Dogs MC at Glen Helen Raceway
By Kevin DeJongh, Brendan Crow and Sam Bangert
Photos courtesy of Blais Racing Services
SAN BERNARDINO, CA, JUNE 16, 2012
Race Report by Kevin DeJongh
After last year’s Last Dog Standing event, my goal for this year’s race was to get further than I did then. The day started with a qualifier race that had some huge bottlenecks in it, but I was able to get through and qualify to start on the 12th row for the first Last Dog Standing round.
We started on the motocross track, and almost immediately we hit the first obstacle, which was the bridge with tires hanging all through it. I was able to get through that and the rest of the loop with minimal struggle until right before the finish, where we faced a water hole with logs in it. That took me a little while to get through, but I was able to qualify for the second round – which was already further than I got last year!
For the start of the next round, we had to drag our bikes under a metal beam and then were able to start onto the course. Right off the bat, we were faced with a huge hillclimb that many were having trouble with, but I was able to get up it first try, and that fired me up and I was able to ride hard for a little bit – but then I started making little mistakes that would cost me a lot of time.
This loop was a lot harder than the first one, but I made it through the entire thing and set my sights on the finish water hole once again. When I got about halfway through, my bike had other ideas about me finishing.
My bike was dead. It had sucked water into the cylinder, and there was no starting it back up. My only option was to push and drag it to the finish. As I was pushing it out of the water, another racer’s bike died in the same place as mine, so we worked together at getting our bikes out of the water and up and over the huge concrete tubes into the finish line. I have never worked so hard for a finish in my life, and I have definitely never had to drag my bike over concrete tubes and push it to the finish before!
I crossed the finish line but was unable to continue on to round three. However, I did meet my goal by getting further than I did last year!
The Prairie Dogs MC did a great job of making the course harder than last year’s, and as of right now I’m not sure if I want to try it again, but I’m sure that feeling will pass and by next year I will want to give it a shot again!
I would like to thank all my sponsors for helping me out: Blais Racing Services, ESR Suspension, Race Tech, Leatt, Fasst Co., KTM, FMF, Troy Lee Designs, Alpinestars, Asterisk, my dad, and everyone else who helps me out!
Race Report by Brendan Crow
Last Dog Standing… I’m not sure where to begin. Well, for starters, I can easily say that I was completely unaware that so many trails weaved around Glen Helen.
Qualifying went great: I ended up 13th overall, which would start me on row seven for LDS 1 [the first round].
My first taste of the extreme stuff was brutal. I put a hole in my exhaust, overheated my bike, bent my subframe, broke my rear hub, and ended up with other assorted bent parts.
Although I expected this event to be tough, I had never done anything like it, and it kicked my butt. I did make it out of round one, dragging my bike across the finish – quite literally.
After a nice nap and some preparation, it was time for round two. I had lost many positions in the first round, so I started near the back of the group this time. One of the first hillclimbs of round two had riders strung out all over the place, making it very difficult to try and get by. I simply sat and waited my turn to get through. After clearing the hillclimb, I tumbled down a different hill – again, literally – picked myself up, and moved forward.
My next unfortunate mistake was over the water crossing. During the first round, I’d cleared it perfectly, but this time wouldn’t pan out well at all. My front wheel dropped off the two-by-four and I went shoulder-first into the wood before going for a nice swim. Luckily, my bike stayed completely dry, so after some recovery, I tried to continue. After attempting to continue, I decided that my arm wasn’t up to the grueling task anymore and I decided to call it a day.
I was beaten, bruised and sore. I know I’ll regret it, but at this point I can say I would easily try this again. This was a unique event and I enjoyed racing it.
Race Report by Sam Bangert
This was my first time racing the Prairie Dogs MC’s Last Dog Standing event. In this race, there were three qualifying heats: LDS1, LDS2 and LDS3. I made it as far as LDS2.
In the first qualifying run, right off the bat there was a bottleneck in the rock pile at the beginning of the endurocross section. We all waited there for at least 10 minutes, watching everyone throw their bikes and themselves up this obstacle. I would only get in two laps but would qualify for LDS1.
LDS1 was 8 miles long, with some gnarly stuff in it. This one would include the two-by-six across the pond; I made it across pretty easily. It would also include a wash with poison ivy hanging in your face! The hardest part was in a rock-filled wash with some crazy rock ledges. I qualified for LDS2 with minutes to spare.
In LDS2, I was the 34th person to qualify – the only one in my class, and third of only three Amateurs. This one again would start with a bottleneck, but it was a crazy uphill this time. Every time someone tried to go up, it would tear the hill up more. It took me four times to get up it. This one was really crazy, because it had a 15-foot cliff you had to get down – which, by accident, I flung my bike down, without me on it, almost hitting a photographer.
By the time I reached the tires, I was exhausted. Picking my bike up out of the middle of some tires was a hard task. I made it just after check three, and that was the end of my day.
Thanks to all my sponsors: Blais Racing Services, Speed Unlimited, Muscle Milk, ESR, TLD, Bio Tear-offs, KTM Power Sports, Asterisk, and IMS, and my parents for being there with me, and the Lord. Also, thank you, Prairie Dogs MC, for putting on an extreme off-road race. I’ll be back next year!