Crawl For a Cause: The Venture Does 48 hrs of Driving!

Fri, 15th June 2018

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We've all seen various challenges involving our RC cars and trucks, far beyond doing "just" the one-hour championship-level races that top-level pro RC racers attend every year. We've seen 6-hour, 12-hour and even 24-hour race events, as our own HPI Baja Challenge races! - but NEVER have we seen a 48-hour challenge...and this one didn't even take place on an RC track! This 2-day challenge occurred in the wet and wild woods of the northeast corner of the United States.

Here's a fascinating insight into how Venture Trail Team member Kyle St Peter, aka FotoGuyRC, got ready for his 48-hour challenge, why it was so important to take part, and what it took to get himself and his Venture to that magical 48-hour marker. 

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Montgomery, Vermont, USA - Every year, Radio Controlled East Coast (RCEC) hosts what is called the "48 Hour Challenge- Crawl for a Cause" - where participants drive their rigs for 48 hours straight, only stopping for food, battery swaps, and possible repairs.

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The event is held as a benefit for someone in need each year, with this year's "Guest of Honor" being Gail Perkins who is battling severe Abdominal Adhesions. After being given a year to live, Gail has continued to fight for four years now - but it hasn't been without struggle, having faced multiple emergency surgeries in the last year.

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The reasoning behind a 48-hour crawl is that, while it obviously doesn't come anywhere near as challenging as having to battle an illness day in, day out, it gives us a glimpse into the struggles and serves as a reminder for all that we take for granted every day.

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I personally "got my feet wet" with the 48 Hour Challenge last year (2017), when I attended the event for a few hours to take photos and video. It gave me a small preview of what the event entailed, and how grueling it could be. This year, I decided I wanted to get more involved and actually attempt to drive the full 48 hours with a rig of my own.

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I was skeptical that I would be able to complete the full 48 as I had recently recovered from a back injury and I knew hiking in the woods on various terrain for such a long period of time would take its toll on my body, but I wanted to at least make an attempt. We set off on the trail starting at 9 am on Saturday morning, meaning our finish time would be 9 am that Monday.

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For the first portion of the event, there was a fairly good sized group crawling with me, which helped keep me motivated to continue going. However, as the hours ticked away, more and more drivers dropped off, and the mental aspect of the event really started to show itself. Being physically fit and capable of staying awake and hiking the trail for 48 hours straight is one thing, but being able to mentally handle the challenge is another battle in itself.

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When you're in a large group, laughing and joking your way through the trails, you tend to lose track of time and the next thing you know five hours have gone by- but once the driver numbers start dwindling and you find yourself in smaller groups, or alone, it can become mentally taxing after so many hours. The night hours can be especially difficult, when it's just you, the woods, and nothing but darkness; and your body just wants to sleep.

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In the final portion of the event, it was mostly just myself with a couple other drivers on the trail. We were all exhausted, sore, and time seemed to stand still. I am not normally a morning person, but seeing the sun rise that Monday morning was a very welcoming sight.

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My Venture FJ was amazing throughout the entire 48-hour crawl. Besides upgrading the stock servo to a Reefs RC 422HD and swapping out the stock tires for a set of Boom Racing Hustler MT-X MC1 Hustler 4.19 tires, I wanted to keep the rig mostly stock so I could get a good feel for its capabilities. The FJ saw zero mechanical issues over the course of the event, and its performance was superb.

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I was able to wheel it right along with other, more modified rigs, and tackle some very difficult New England terrain. Facing off against slimy rocks, stream beds, waterfalls, and mud pits, the FJ just continued to impress no matter what terrain I threw it at.

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I received many comments from those who saw it in action at how impressed they were with it - with multiple people stating the Venture would be their next rig purchase. Of 22 rigs to start the event, only 2 successfully ran the full 48 hours - both were Ventures!

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I am proud to have been a part of this event and ecstatic that I was able to go the full 48 without issue. I absolutely love that we can use our "toy" trucks for good such as this - In total, we were able to raise over $1600 for Gail!

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To wrap things up, I would like to take this chance to thank a few people who helped me succeed at this year's challenge:

  • Jonathan Baskins and Powershift RC Technologies for providing my FJ with a great lighting setup.
  • Robert Kuck and Helios RC for providing me with the power to keep the FJ going over the course of the event.
  • Erik Steel and Speedball Bearings for their donations on my behalf to our Guest of Honor, Gail.

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 - Kyle St Peter

Thanks, Kyle! For more info on the 48-hour Crawl for a Cause and Kyle's New England crawling efforts, check out Kyle's RC blog FotoGuy RC. You can find Kyle and his Venture next at the Conquer the Ledge weekend! 

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