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2008 Suzuki 24 Hours of Big Bear webcast

Athlete Spotlight: Liz Baumgardt-Kays & Joe Alligood

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Gas prices be damned! Live Life to the Max

For those that believe the intrinsic value of an experience is about the journey, not the destination, Liz Baumgardt-Kays, her husband Randy Kays, and Joe Alligood have to be role super-models.

Liz and Joe are the racers, Randy is their support crew. The trio hail from Loves Park, Il., and Milwaukee, Wi., respectively. And since life so often comes down to

travelling trio
Left to right: Alligood, Baumgardt-Kays, Kays

that gritty choice between 'now or never,' this year they're ignoring gas prices and hitting all the events in the Suzuki 24 Hour National Point Series... by car. Big Bear Lake will be their fourth ever 24.

It all started with a string of good results in the WORS series in Wisconsin in recent years. That got them looking farther afield for adventure, and having heard the legend of Moab, last October they drove cross country to eastern Utah.

"We'd seen the 24 Hours of Moab in the magazines, and we just decided to go. We had no idea what we were in for though," recounts Liz.

Well, the trio had such a great time at Moab last year, and they were enjoying the road trip so much, that on the long drive home they decided that in 2008 they'd do what it takes to race the entire series.

"Exxon Mobil should be our sponsor," jokes Liz, who owns a machine shop. Alligood owns a construction company, and there you have it: the flexibility to go on the road for a year.

Neither Alligood nor Baumgardt-Kays seem overly concerned about results. They say their aim is having a great time on some of the best mountain biking courses in the nation.

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