24-hour challenge returns to Perry Mountain

Published 10:33 am Tuesday, May 31, 2022

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By Carey Reeder | Staff Writer

The Perry Mountain Motorcycle Club is hosting the 19th annual 24-hour challenge in Stanton on June 4-5. The event has been a staple in the club every year since 2002 with a one-year hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The race will begin at 10 a.m. on June 4 and run until 10 a.m. on June 5. Admission to watch the race is $15 at the gate. The maximum number of entries to enter the race has been met.

This year’s 24-hour challenge will feature just under 500 riders across 125 different teams. Twelve different classes of riders will be represented across the four different categories of teams — six-man, four-man, duo and ironman.

“There are some riders who are just truly seeing how much they can ride in 24 hours,” Perry Mountain media coordinator Andrew Wheat said. “But some of the successful top teams are some of the fastest racers in the country, and they are racing as fast as they can in a relay style team for 24 hours straight.”

The just over 10-mile winding trail is set through the backwoods of Alabama like an endure event or hiking trail. The team or rider in each class with the most laps completed in the 24-hour window will win the event.

“In ironman, it is not ride nonstop, but it is ride as much as you can for 24 hours,” Wheat said.

A NASCAR-style pit road is set up from riders to come down throughout the race to gas up their bikes, make a driver change or take a rest. Spectator spots will set up near the parking lot for viewers to see the race.

“We have riders that come from all over the country, and many years from all over the world, like Australia,” Wheat said. “It is just a huge, spectacular event. You have 500 racers, but on top of that you have thousands of spectators there as well.”

The race got its start between 2000-2001 after members of the club went to Glen Hellen Raceway in California for a similar 24-hour race. The members wanted to come back to Stanton and recreate their own, and the event has been going ever since.

The race has made some changes over the years. The event changed from having six-man, four-man and duo teams use the same bike throughout the race to riders using their own bikes.

The 24-hour challenge has also put in a class for riders without sponsorship funded teams to compete in, or also known as “the average joe class.”

“We are now at the point where every class you ride your own bike. There are no classes anymore where you share a bike,” Wheat said. “We have record breaking attendance now because of that. This year, we had to put a cap on the amount of entries we allowed because of that.”

Local food trucks will be at the event including dirt bike parts and gear vendors.