All about the challenge!

June 24th, 2022

Everything you need to know about the National 24 Hour Challenge!

Previous National 24 Hour Challenge Directors (L to R):
Skip and Diane Obermeyer 1983-2007, Lew Persenaire 2008, Pete and Kathy Steve 2009-2017


Executive Director Position
A Note From Gary

Executive Director Position

The National 24-Hour Challenge is looking for a new executive director. Current executive director Gary Goscenski has resigned his position effective July 1, 2022. If there is to be a National 24 Hour Challenge in 2023, a new executive director will need to step up soon.

Candidates should have a love of cycling, preferably with some history as a rider, crew member or volunteer and should be based in West Michigan. Candidates will work with a host of volunteers to stage the world’s largest and finest ultra-marathon bicycle event. This position is ideal for a couple, a retiree or someone with significant schedule flexibility. The executive director position requires a commitment of about 250 hours per year. Skills in negotiation, written and verbal communication, as well as office computer operations will be vital.

What exactly would you be doing? Tasks include rider communications, government permits, sponsor relations, registration information preparation, volunteer communication, etc. Preparations take place all year long. There’s a well-defined structure for the event and we have developed a year-round timeline. The experienced, hands-on board of directors will remain in place, providing support, wisdom, and continuity.

Registration season runs from January through June, so the details of the event need to be confirmed by December. As spring progresses, supplies such as medals, patches, 1000-mile jerseys, 5000-mile jackets, door prizes, and fruit will need to be ordered and purchased. Support services need to be secured including police, medical, schools, portable toilets, cones and barricades, food services, portable lighting, etc.

We have an equipment trailer that comes out of storage in May for staging. On Friday morning of our weekend, the trailer is moved to the school campus for setup. On Sunday morning, volunteers pack up the trailer and it returns to the staging site for re-packing, then moves back to storage in July. After our big weekend, there’s follow-up to be done such as compiling and publishing results, handling lost and found requests, and paying bills.

And what are the rewards for all this?
– Appreciation from our riders is a source of tremendous satisfaction.
– Pride. We have an unparalleled history of excellence.
– It’s fun working with the board and over 100 volunteers with decades of experience to make the event happen.

The National 24 Hour Challenge is a Michigan non-profit corporation, recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt entity. The scope of our operations is purposely limited – it’s as simple as we can make it! We do not raise funds, make grants, or support any charity. Our operating expenses are primarily paid from registration fees. Our sponsors donate small amounts of cash or merchandise which is all used for rider door prizes. We are an all-volunteer organization, meaning the executive director position is unpaid.

To apply for the executive director position, please submit your resume outlining your relevant skills and cycling experience to by July 15, 2022. Questions? Contact us at (616) 953-0234 or email

A Note from Gary

To the National 24 Hour Challenge Community,

It has been my privilege and honor to serve as the executive director of the National 24 Hour Challenge for the past five years.

The decision to resign as executive director is not a decision I made lightly. The past three years have truly been a challenge, as we needed to reschedule the event in 2021 and cancel the event in both 2020 and 2022 due to circumstances beyond our control. Earlier this week, I sat down and estimated that I have dedicated over 1,100 hours of my time to the National 24 Hour Challenge as executive director over the past five years. While I am proud of all we achieved during the 2018, 2019, and 2021 events, I am disappointed and frustrated that hundreds of hours were spent planning for events that never happened in 2020 and 2022. My available time has changed and I feel a strong calling to invest the limited time I have into other less demanding passions and interests.

I sincerely appreciate and will always treasure the incredible support and friendship of the entire “National 24 Hour Challenge family” including the leadership of the board of directors, the exceptional volunteers who truly make the event happen, and all of the dedicated and passionate riders. I thank you all for the opportunity to serve as the executive director of your National 24 Hour Challenge.


Gary Goscenski