There were many residents of Morgan County who participated in this year’s LOTOJA race, but one racer made a big impression on fellow cyclists.
15-year-old Jeremy Lucas entered the LOTOJA race after only about a year of training. Lucas’ mom, Becky Lucas, said, “He trained all on his own. He decided he wanted to be a pro and just started riding.”
Jeremy was the youngest competitor in the full 206-mile race from Logan, Utah, to Jackson, Wyo. Finishing a race of this magnitude is a huge accomplishment for someone of his age and experience level, but he didn’t want to just finish. Lucas’ finishing time was 9:11:30, which translates to nine hours, 11 minutes and 30 seconds.
Racers are categorized by skill level. Category 1 and 2 racers are elite, professionals. Even though Lucas was a Category 4 racer, his amazing finish time put Lucas in front of even Category 1 racers. He finished in 31st place overall and sixth place in his division. Over 1,500 riders participate in this event, so these standings are quite extraordinary for any racer, but especially a first-year participant.
In the middle of the course is a race within the race called King of the Mountain. This race takes place in the Montpelier to Afton stretch. The steep, four-mile climb at Salt River Pass pushes even experienced riders to their limits. Lucas finished with a second place win in his division.
Lucas’ aunt, Sherry Peterson, commented on how proud she was of her nephew. She said, “He didn’t even stop to refuel.” Jeff, Lucas’ father, and Gerry Peterson, his grandfather, were his support team along the course. Jeremy trained his dad and grandpa on how to get him food and water without stopping. His mom said, “He packed and labeled everything all on his own.”
Jeremy participated in several local races, and is even on the Morgan MTB mountain biking team. His coach, Ryan Nielson, remarked on how dedicated Jeremy is. “He shows up for every practice and race, and still found time to train for his road race, which is much different than the mountain bike races.”
Neilson said he was incredibly impressed with Jeremy’s finish time. He said, “I was blown away by this amazing accomplishment, but at the same time it didn’t really surprise me. Jeremy is an extremely hard worker and dedicated cyclist. He puts his all into everything he does.”
Jeremy was thrilled with his finish time. After it was all said and done, he took a well deserved six hour nap.