Course Records, Results, and History

This race was founded in 1983 by the godfather of ultracycling, John Marino, who also created the Great American Bicycle Race and the Race Across America (RAAM). It was then known as the John Marino Open.

Originally created primarily as the qualifier for the Race Across America, the John Marino Open was first staged in May of 1983. The 762-mile course made seven and a half laps around the 100-mile loop formerly used in the second half of the Hemet Double Century in Southern California. The winner of the inaugural race was Michael Secrest. The race was held again in May of 1984 and May of 1985, then it was moved to Arizona so that the race could be run in a format with support vehicles and time stations, like RAAM.

The event next became known as the John Marino Open West, as Lon and Susan Haldeman had begun staging a JMO Midwest in Illinois. The first Arizona race was 750 miles from Tucson to the Grand Canyon and back, where its first champion was Scott Fortner. Subsequent editions of the AZ races went from Tucson to Flagstaff and back, a distance of 542 miles. The race was run seven times in Arizona and changed its name to RAAM Open West to foster a more evident affiliation between RAAM and all its Qualifiers.

The race moved back to California with the April 1989 version of the event covering 508 miles from Valencia to Death Valley to Twentynine Palms, a route suggested by the 1987 Race Across America winner, Casey Patterson. Reasons for the relocation included the desire for a quieter, safer course and increased accessibility to the race by riders, crew, and staff. The first champion on what we know as the Furnace Creek 508 course was John Hughes, who also won it again in 1993.

In the fall of 1990, John Marino granted the rights to the event to Chris Kostman, then operating as Kostman Sport Group (now AdventureCORPS). Chris was a finisher of the May 1985 Hemet and October 1986 Arizona John Marino Open proto-508 races as well as the 1987 Race Across AMerica, and had worked on the JMO staff in 1984 through 1989 and the Race Across America staff in 1985, 1986, and 1989. (See more about that history here.)

In 1991 Chris changed the name of the race from RAAM Open West to Furnace Creek 508, or more simply as "The 508," to aid in promoting the event worldwide and enhancing its distinct identity as something much bigger than just a RAAM qualifier. The totem system was begun in 1993, giving a new outlet for racers to identify themselves both during the 508 as well as in other races and in "real life." Over the past twenty-five years, The 508 has become recognized as the premier ultracycling race in the world and "The Toughest 48 hours in Sport."

In 2013, the race was abbreviated to a 353-mile route from Santa Clarita to Trona and back, due to the Federal Government shutdown which prevented the race from passing through Death Valley National Park and the Mojave National Preserve. Two hundred and forty-nine racers competed, the largest in race history, and the route was so popular that a new sister race was born in 2015, The Trona 308, which was first held in May of 2014.

In 2014 the 508-mile race was moved to the great state of Nevada, providing racers and crews with a breathtaking and challenging new route on which to continue the 31-year legacy of the event, now organized under the moniker "Silver State 508."

This 508-mile bicycle race is revered the world over for its epic mountain climbs, stark desert scenery, desolate roads, and its reputation as one of the toughest but most gratifying endurance challenges available, bar none.

Below are the race reports, results, and course records from throughout the 25 year history of the event on the Furnace Creek-based route. All new records in all divisions will be set in 2014 and beyond with the new Silver Stage 508 route.

If you'd like to write history instead of read it, apply to compete in the next edition!

For all the historical data, results, totems, and much more from every year of this race, from 1983 to the present, visit the Results Database.


Race Statistics, Results, and Webcast Links

Click Race Date Total Entrants Solo Finishing Rate Team Finishing Rate
October 5-7, 2013 249 52 of 59 = 88.1% 188 of 190 = 98.9%
October 6-8, 2012 234 56 of 70 = 80% 158 of 164 = 96.34%
October 8-10, 2011 217 49 of 67 = 73.1% 146 of 150 = 93.33%
October 2-4, 2010 202 57 of 82 = 69.5% 110 of 120 = 91.67%
October 3-5, 2009 179 29 of 59 = 49.1% 98 of 120 = 81.67%
October 4-6, 2008 211 67 of 81 = 82.7% 128 of 130 = 98.5%
October 6-8, 2007 192 44 of 78 = 56.4% 114 of 114 = 100%
October 7-9, 2006 179 50 of 75 = 66.67% 100 of 104 = 96.15%
October 8-10, 2005 148 59 of 78 = 75.64% 66 of 70 = 94.29%
October 16-18, 2004 117 31 of 59 = 52.5% 56 of 58 = 96.5%
October 11-13 2003 106 37 of 60 = 61.66% 40 of 46 = 87%
October 12-14, 2002 112 35 of 58 = 60.3% 48 of 54 = 88.9%
October 13-15, 2001 94 32 of 48 = 66.6% 46 of 46 = 100%
October 14-16, 2000 80 28 of 49 = 57.14% 28 of 32 = 80%
October 9-11, 1999 88 22 of 48 = 45.83% 40 of 40 = 100%
October 10-12, 1998 68 26 of 44 = 59.1% 24 of 24 = 100%
October 4-6, 1997 67 20 of 39 = 51.3% 24 of 28 = 85.7%
October 19-21, 1996 72 24 of 40 = 60% 32 of 32 = 100%
October 21-23, 1995 75 26 of 39 = 66.7& 32 of 36 = 88.9%
October 22-24, 1994 59 22 of 39 = 56.4 20 of 20 = 100%
October 2-4, 1993 45 14 of 33 = 42.4% 12 of 12 = 100%
October 17-19, 1992 28 9 of 28 = 32.1% NA
October 26-28, 1991 32 18 of 32 = 56.25% NA
April 13-15, 1991 6? 6 of 6 = 100? NA
October 27-29, 1990 25 10 of 25 = 40% NA
April 7-9, 1990 12 7 of 12 = 58.33% NA
October 21-23, 1989 27 11 of 27 = 40.7% NA
June 3-5, 1989 6 2 of 6 = 33.3% NA
April 15-17, 1989 25 9 of 25 = 36% NA
TOTALS and STATS
29 Total Races 2955 852 of 1366 = 62.4% 1510 of 1590 = 95%
Males,
Solo and Team
2442 (82.85%)
Females,
Solo and Team:
514 (17.15%)
Finishers,
Solo and Team:
2362 (79.9%)
DNFs/DQs,
Solo and Team:
594 (20.1%)

For all the historical data, results, totems, and much more about Furnace Creek 508 from 1989 to the present, as well as the 508's predecessor races - 1983-1985 John Marino Open and 1986-1988 RAAM Open West - visit the Results Database.


Nationalities Represented since 1989, by # of entrants

Argentina = 1
Australia = 14
Austria = 14
Belgium = 1
Belize = 1
Brazil = 2
Canada = 50
Denmark = 9

 

Finland = 3
France = 11
Germany = 14
Guatemala = 1
Gumbyland = 1
Ireland = 1
Israel = 2
Italy = 11

 

Japan = 3
Mexico = 1
Netherlands = 1
New Zealand = 1
Philippines = 1
Poland = 1
Romania = 1
Singapore = 1

 

Slovenia = 1
South Africa = 1
Sweden = 7
Switzerland = 9
United Kingdom = 18
USA = 2090
Unknown = 2


Solo Course Records (Furnace Creek 508 route)

Category Rider Name Rider Totem Year Time Notes
Men's 10+ Yoni Nazarathy 1991 38:17:28
Men's 20+ Justin Peschka Panda 1997 28:42:02
Men's 30+ Michael Emde Alpine Ibex 2008 27:28:01 2nd Fastest Solo Time
Men's 40+ Kenny Souza Fast Truck Gecko 2005 27:15:21 Overall Solo Record
Men's 50+ Terry Lentz Chesapeake Bay Retriever 2010 29:19:35 On a Classic Bike!
Men's 60+ David Holt Mudcat 2012 31:29:13
Men's 70+ Charles Hanson Honey Bee 2000 73:40:37 Honorable Mention; Unofficial
Women's 20+ Laura Stern 1989 32:48:00
Women's 30+ Seana Hogan Hoopoe 1995 28:46:34 Overall Women's Record
Women's 40+ Catharina Berge Bumble Bee 2008 29:43:01
Women's 50+ Carol Chaffee Chickadee 2005 33:14:58
Women's Fixed Gear 20+ Emily O'Brien Archaeopteryx 2005 44:24:27
Women's Fixed Gear 40+ Susan Forsman Scarlet Macaw 2010 41:38:55 Overall Women's Fixed Gear Record
Women's 40+ Classic Bike Nicole Honda Gyrfalcon 2 2011 41:10:46 Overall Women's Classic Bike Record
Women's Recumbent 30+ Sara Kay Carrell Yellow Labrador 2011 44:56:!2 Overall Women's Recumbent Record
Men's Fixed Gear 20+ Adam Bickett Rock Rabbit 2010 42:43:16
Men's Fixed Gear 30+ Barley Forsman Boar 2004 38:24:00
Men's Fixed Gear 40+ Terry Lentz Chesapeake Bay Retriever 2007 30:13:05 Overall Men's Fixed Gear Record
Men's Fixed Gear 50+ Sam Beal Seal 2006 36:37:27
Men's 30+ Classic Bike Felix Wong Asiatic Wildcat 2011 39:14:59
Men's 40+ Classic Bike Jim Swarzman Gyrfalcon 2010 38:57:50
Men's 50+ Classic Bike Terry Lentz Chesapeake Bay Retriever 2010 29:19:35 Overall Men's Classic Bike Record
Men's 10+ Recumbent (Stock) Alexander Kohan Kakapo 2008 40:49:52
Men's 30+ Recumbent (Stock) Michael Wolfe Flicker 2006 35:49:13
Men's 40+ Recumbent (Stock) John Lauer Flying Chamois 2008 32:13:18 Overall Stock Recumbent Record
Men's 50+ Recumbent (Stock) John Schlitter Blue Racer 2011 34:01:31
Men's 30+ Recumbent (Superstock) Eric House Hedgehog 1994 35:24:29
Men's 40+ Recumbent (Superstock) Timothy Woudenberg Werewolf 2006 31:50:35 Overall Recumbent Record
Men's 50+ Recumbent (Superstock) Ron Bobb Banana Slug 2000 42:32:56
Men's Tandem (30+ or 40+?) Wolfgang Erhart, Franz Kasserer Tandem Wolves 1998 29:58:18 Overall Tandem Record
Mixed 40+ Tandem Craig Robertson, Jennie Phillips Tandem Relucent Phoenix 2005 31:26:51
Mixed 50+ Tandem Marlies Radtke, Patrick Seeley Tandem Lionfish 2012 43:26:52

Fixed Relay Team Course Records, 2004 Onwards (Furnace Creek 508 route)

This new stage race fixed relay format began in 2004.
There are still some categories in which the record has not yet been set

TWO RIDER TEAMS
Category Totem Year Time Notes
Men's 10+ Two Rider Team Team TwoCan-JDRF 2011 35:40:00 Two brothers, aged 17
Men's 20+ Two Rider Team Team Platypus 2006 28:16:00
Men's 30+ Two Rider Team Team Panda Goat 2008 26:06:22
Men's 40+ Two Rider Team Team Hammerhead 2007 25:56:28 Overall 2x Record
Men's 50+ Two Rider Team Team Flying Voles 2012 27:40:05
Men's 60+ Two Rider Team Team Flying Voles 2011 30:39:58
Men's 70+ Two Rider Team Team Leatherback Turtles 2004 39:55:55
Mixed 20+ Two Rider Team Team Colossal Squid 2009 33:22:29
Mixed 30+ Two Rider Team Team Gallus Gallus 2006 28:20:31
Mixed 40+ Two Rider Team Team Pickled Herring 2007 27:34:29
Mixed 50+ Two Rider Team Team Gulo Gulo 2008 30:16:17
Mixed 60+ Two Rider Team Team Leatherback Turtles 2006 33:18:13
Mixed 70+ Two Rider Team Team West Coast Puffins 2010 43:50:31
Women's 20+ Two Rider Team
Women's 30+ Two Rider Team Team Rock Ewe 2011 31:26:43
Women's 40+ Two Rider Team Team Rock Ewe 2008 29:43:28 Overall 2x Women's Record
Women's 50+ Two Rider Team Team Chupacabra 2005 32:39:46
Women's 60+ Two Rider Team
Women's 70+ Two Rider Team
Men's Recumbent 30+ Two Recumbent Team Team Mussel 2007 29:31:10
Men's Recumbent 40+ Two Recumbent Team Team Orthros 2008 28:14:56
Men's Recumbent 50+ Two Recumbent Team Team Werewolf 2009 42:05:57
Mixed Recumbent 30+ Two Recumbent Team Team Sea Dragon 2008 35:58:54
Men's Fixed Gear 40+ Two Rider Team Team Missing Lynx 2009 37:48:40
Mixed Fixed Gear 40+ Two Rider Team Team Pair O' Ducks 2011 32:54:09 Overall 2x Fixed Gear Record
Women's Fixed Gear 30+ Two Rider Team Team Blue Footed Booby 2012 36:55:35
Men's Classic Bike 50+ Team Team Protoceratops 2009 43:53:04
Mixed Classic Bike 40+ Team Team Golden Gyrfalcon 2009 36:23:34 Overall 4x Classic Bike Record
 
FOUR RIDER TANDEM TEAM
Category Totem Year Time Notes
Men's 40+ Two Tandem Team Team Scarab 2009 31:25:12 Overall 2 Tandem Record
Mixed 40+ Two Tandem Team Team Mustangs 2010 32:42:03
Mixed 50+ Two Tandem Team Team Northern Spring Peepers 2012 33:15:44
 
FOUR RIDER TEAMS
Category Totem Year Time Notes
Men's 10+ Four Rider Team
Men's 20+ Four Rider Team Team TwoCan-JDRF 2010 35:47:13
Men's 30+ Four Rider Team Team Mongrel Dogs 2006 27:59:15
Men's 40+ Four Rider Team Team Hammerhead 2005 24:56:10 Overall 4x Record
Men's 50+ Four Rider Team Team Yak 2005 26:45:34
Men's 60+ Four Rider Team Team Yak 2010 32:22:49
Men's 70+ Four Rider Team Team PAC Rats 2007 43:15:25
Men's 20+ Fixed Gear Four Rider Team Team Bonobo 2006 32:23:35
Men's 40+ Fixed Gear Four Rider Team Team Missing Lynx 2008 32:57:25
Men's 50+ Fixed Gear Four Rider Team Team Missing Lynx 2011 33:04:17
Mixed 40+ Fixed Gear Four Rider Team Team Pudu and the Pussycats 2012 34:45:40
Men's 50+ Recumbent Four Rider Team Team Raven Lunatics 2010 33:08:01
Women's 20+ Fixed Gear Four Rider Team Team Blue Footed Booby 2008 32:28:05
Women's 10+ Four Rider Team
Women's 20+ Four Rider Team
Women's 30+ Four Rider Team Team Swallow 2006 33:25:02
Women's 40+ Four Rider Team Team Rock Ewe 2012 28:23:30 Overall 4x Women's Record
Women's 50+ Four Rider Team Team Hammer Frogs 2010 33:43:22
Women's 60+ Four Rider Team Team Hammer Frogs 2012 38:24:00
Women's 70+ Four Rider Team
Mixed 10+ Four Rider Team
Mixed 20+ Four Rider Team Team Wild Burros 2010 36:45:39
Mixed 30+ Four Rider Team Team Sphinx 2007 30:27:15
Mixed 40+ Four Rider Team Team Sea Monkeys 2012 30:37:28
Mixed 50+ Four Rider Team Team Kites 2008 32:15:16
Mixed 60+ Four Rider Team
Mixed 70+ Four Rider Team
 
EIGHT RIDER TANDEM TEAM
Category Totem Year Time Notes
Men's 40+ Four Tandem Team Team TwoCan - JDRF 2009 34:28:19
Mixed 40+ Four Tandem Team Team Mighty Millipede 2007 28:11:04 Overall 4 Tandem Record
Mixed 50+ Four Tandem Team Team Centi-speed - JDRF 2011 33:55:54

Open Relay Team Course Records, 1993-2003 (Furnace Creek 508 route)

Note: These are "set in stone" as this relay format is no longer used; teams were added to The 508 in 1993 and this team format was last used in 2003.

TWO RIDER TEAMS
Category Totem Year Time Notes
Men's 30+ Two Rider Team Team Mountain Goat 2003 25:38:08 Overall Record
Men's 40+ Two Rider Team Team Jackalope 2001 29:24:24
Men's 50+ Two Rider Team Team TwoCan 2003 32:17:51
Men's 60+ Two Rider Team Team Silver Foxes 2003 29:53:01
Mixed 50+ Two Rider Team Team Saluki 2002 31:12:49
Mixed 40+ Two Rider Team Team Pegasus 2003 29:04:19
Women's 50+ Two Rider Team Team Queen Bees 2003 34:25:36
 
FOUR RIDER TEAMS
Category Totem Year Time Notes
Men's 30+ Four Rider Team Team Action Sports Buffalo 1995 21:47:12 Overall Record
Men's 50+ Four Rider Team Team Bicycling Magazine Peacock 1995 23:07:58
Men's 60+ Four Rider Team Team Whippet 2000 31:37:38
Women's (20+ or 30+?) Four Rider Team Team TS Technical Bat 1995 27:31:10 Overall Record
Women's 40+ Four Rider Team Team Red Rockettes 2000 29:50:17
Women's 50+ Four Rider Team Team Bakersfield Black Widows 2001 30:21:55
Mixed 30+ Four Rider Team Team Kern Hammerhead 1997 24:13:38
Mixed 40+ Four Rider Team Team Quail 1997 25:53:24
Mixed 50+ Four Rider Team Team Saluki 2003 29:38:34
 
FOUR RIDER TANDEM TEAM
Category Totem Year Time Notes
Mixed 40+ Tandem Team Team Fire Ants 2002 28:11:33
 
EIGHT RIDER TANDEM TEAM
Category Totem Year Time Notes
Women's 30+ Tandem Team Team Tarantula 1996 28:00:05
Mixed 40+ Tandem Team Kern Wheelmen T-Rex 1999 23:54:17
Men's 40+ Tandem Team Team Davis Drills 2001 22:45:22