The Baja 1000 is a grueling off-road race considered by many as the most challenging and exciting in the world. The race dates back to 1967 when it first ran as a promotional event for an upcoming movie.The original course was 400 miles long but has since grown to 1,000 miles. Baja 1000 is famous for its treacherous terrain, unpredictable weather, and the high speeds drivers must reach to complete the race within the allotted time limit.
The 55th SCORE Baja 1000 was particularly challenging after Hurricane Kay left a wake of exposed rocks and deep ruts.
The Pro Ironman class consists of motorcycle riders who cover the entire course solo with no relief riders. Twenty-three Pro Ironman entrants started the race but only eight finished. The 2022 winner, Tanner Janesky from Hurricane, UT riding a KTM 450 XCF-W, completed the race in 23 hours and 55 minutes.
Although Ike’s dream of competing in the Baja 1000 this year did not materialize, he was fortunate to join Jeff Benrud and his crew on their fourth attempt in the Baja 1000 Pro Ironman class.
Jeff is one of only three people who have officially completed the Baja 1000 solo three times. Jeff won the race in 2017 and crossed the finish line in 2015 and 2016.
Jeff, unfortunately, did not finish the race this year. He had around 100 miles left when he had to stop due to severe hyperthermia. It became too dangerous to race given his disoriented state.
Jeff intends to make a comeback in 2023, the 50th anniversary of the Baja 1000. For the first time, the 2023 Baja 1000 will begin in La Paz and end in Ensenada. The race will take place between November 13 and November 18, 2023, covering over 1,100 miles.
Watch a recap of the 2022 Baja 1000 Ironman training and pre-runs with Jeff Benrud and Ike De Jager.