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DETERMINED NOT TO QUIT After entering their first SCORE race and winning in the Sportsman class, the father and son team of Larry and Tanner Janesky (shown here) found a new challenge in Pro Moto Ironman By Dan Sanchez Photos by Get Some Photo Larry Janesky is a successful businessman from Connecticut who started riding dirt bikes late at age 32 with his brother. When his son Tanner turned five, Larry got him on a dirt-bike and the two have been riding together ever since. Years later, after touring in Utah, South Africa, and Columbia, the two decided to tour with Chris Haines Baja Motorcycle Adventure Tours where they first learned about the SCORE Baja 1000. The two later teamed up with Haines and raced their first SCORE Baja 1000 in 2015, winning the Sportsman Class. Tanner began looking for his next challenge. “I was into endurance racing and after the SCORE Baja 1000 win, I wanted to try the Pro Moto Ironman class,” said Tanner. “I was looking for a huge challenge.” Larry, of course, followed his son into the class. “I wasn’t going to watch,” said Larry. “It was a scary experience because the pain I had from racing in the Sportsman Class was tough. But once I decide to do something I don’t quit. I had to see it through, however, to be with Tanner, both in the class and at the starting line-up.” In 2016 Tanner finished the SCORE Baja 1000 in the Pro Moto Ironman class which gave him his first indication of how challenging it was “I was expecting severe pain and fatigue, but halfway through the course, I crashed and bruised my hands. They hurt bad,” said Tanner. “What caught me off guard was how cold it got at night going over the mountains, it was somewhere in the 30s.” It would take Larry three other attempts to finish a race in the class and did so in 2018. That same year, Tanner got his first Pro Moto Ironman win at the SCORE Baja 500 which invigorated their efforts even further, but the race win was not easy. “I was trying to go as fast as possible while dealing with the pain, not stopping to eat or anything,” said Tanner. “This makes it so much harder than riding with a team. Even if you take two or five-minute brakes, it’s a huge rest for your body. But the hardest part of that race was the cold. My Camelback water bladder froze. I wasn’t prepared for how cold it was going to be and for how long. I thought I was going to die and was concerned about other motorcycle racers.” When Larry finished the race, it made him the oldest finisher in that class. “It’s exciting to compete in this class and you need to be in shape,” says Larry. “As time goes by, however, things start to hurt and then hurt worse. Then some of it hurts acutely. In riding there’s no wide range of motion. It’s the same thing over and over, especially in the whoops sections that can wear you down. While you’re riding beat-up, a SCORE Trophy Truck comes through at night and you can’t see a damn thing afterward. Riding in the Ironman class can be discouraging mentally and painful physically. But it’s almost like a spiritual experience. You’re taken down to zero and then going way past that. The experience of being able to go farther and farther is a great accomplishment.” “Racing in this class is mostly a personal challenge,” adds Tanner. “You do it to see if you can, and it’s extremely difficult. There’s nothing that compares to the SCORE Baja 1000. The funny thing is that after every race I, as well as Larry, say we’re never doing this again. Especially after the 2019 season. Larry was saying he meant it for sure this time, but we already signed up for the next one. It’s funny how time makes the memory of the pain go away and we only remember the positive of the adventure. You get to see cool places and cover lots of ground. For us, something just clicks and you want to give it another shot.” The Janesky’s put together a short documentary on their first SCORE Baja racing experience back in 2015 when they won the Sportsman Class and called it “Into The Dust” available to watch on YouTube. They are in the process of putting together another short documentary chasing the Ironman Class, in which the first part will be out in September “Into The Dust 2” followed by parts three and four later. SJ

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