Most Utah State University Eastern students spend their time doing homework, hanging out with friends or binge watching the biggest Netflix series, but not professional desert racer Rachel Stout. She rides her bike and goes to the gym once, sometimes twice a day to build up stamina through cardio and strength training for the next big race.
Stout has been racing for almost 10 years and within that time has become one of the nation’s best desert racers in her class. Desert racing is a strenuous sport. As motorcyclists throughout the country mount their bikes and ride for anywhere from 80 to 100 miles at a time, they battle all the elements Mother Nature throws at them. Rain, rocky terrain, blazing sun, dust and wind all play a factor in the performance of each racer. With only a two- or three-minute pit stop per loop (40-45 miles) and only arrows and markers to guide the way, each racer must learn how to overcome the physical and mental fatigue to come out on top.
Stout has recently been promoted to the Pro Women’s Class due to her excellent performance in the past couple of series she has raced in. Because of her great accomplishments as a racer, she has gained seven sponsors that make it possible for her to get the best of the best for each race.
Stout races in what is known as the Hare and Hound circuit. The National Hare and Hound circuit is a desert racing series that holds events in California, Idaho, Nevada and Utah. Sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association, the National Hare and Hound Championship is a nationally recognized racing series with close to 500 riders throughout 50 classes. The ten-race series begins in January and runs through November annually. This past year Stout finished the racing season in 3rd place in the National Women’s Pro class.
According to Stout’s mother, JoAnn Stout, “The things that make Rachel such a good racer is her determination. She is very dedicated. She trains and practices a lot.” Her dedication hasn’t only helped her to be strong on the race course, but throughout the course of life. Stout has type 1 diabetes but even with this added challenge she has never let that slow her down as she strives to accomplish all she wants to do.
Long term, Stout hopes to make it to the International Six Day Enduro (INDE), which can be compared to the Olympics for off-road racers, as well as finish her schooling and become a nurse as she is pursuing a medical degree. In August of this year she will be racing her longest race yet, the Vegas to Reno circuit, which is a total of 500 miles long and will take all day to complete.