Fastest qualifier Kurt Caselli embarking on what would be his final
race. He and teammates Mike Brown, Kendall Norman and Ivan
Ramirez stayed in first or second all night and throughout the
day, setting up what promised to be a stirring run to the finish,
until tragedy struck and Caselli went down with less than
100 100 miles to go.
owner Johnny Campbell entered the three horses he
depended on for last year’s win: David Kamo, Colton
Udall and Timmy Weigand. Unknown to most, Kamo
crashed and dislocated his shoulder while pre-running
about three weeks before. He quietly slipped back across
the border, got it put back in place, which required knocking him out completely, the next afternoon, then spent
a couple hours a day in physical therapy for two weeks
before heading south again to rejoin the team, confident
he could ride again if called upon.
Things weren’t looking good, and he got the call. “This
one’s been a handful to coordinate,” Campbell agreed
when asked about it a few hours before the start. “With
the night start, just figuring out the [estimated pit-to-pit]
times, when it’s going to get light, which rider’s going to
ride at night, which rider’s going to start.
“Then, on top of that, we’ve had a couple injuries.
David went down a couple weeks ago and dislocated his
shoulder, so we made a plan B; we got Mark Samuels on
the team to fill in.
“David was, fortunately, just a dislocation and nothing else, so he rehabbed it and rehabbed it, fortunately,
because Timmy crashed two days ago [suffering a con-cussion], and we ended up exchanging his section with
46TH TECATE SCORE BAJA 1000
Nine hopefuls started the arduous 883-mile journey knowing they had no relief. Of those, only Alexander Smith made
it all the way to the finish to triumph in the inaugural SCORE
Ironman class. His 27:04: 50 beat quite a few teams. Maybe it’s
in the genes; his dad is Malcolm Smith.
“So David’s back in, Timmy’s on the bench, so we’ve
definitely had to overcome some obstacles to get to a solid
plan for the start.”
That plan put Udall on the bike for much of the night,
from the start two minutes behind Caselli until he handed
off to Samuels near San Felipe after more than 200 miles of
hammering—first on Caselli and then on Norman.