This was a finely tuned machine of a event. Race times are kept like nowhere else I have raced. Well done!
Hoppe and I did the 12hour duo, the hippy and Bradbob did the 6hour duo. JP, Gary M. and J Smikahl did the12 hour 3man.
(Did ya get it out, BradB?)
My personal hero, the Hippy started his day off with a pre ride of some of the course and found out that the first section of downhill was slick. We were just getting our gear together as he comes riding back to the tent covered in mud and blood. He went down hard before the race even started. Going to be a long day..
The race started with a lemans start like it always does, but a bit nicer than last year. It is usually an uphill start, but with all the mamby pambys complaining Doug Long decided to change things up.
Hoppe had me start the race because his old man knees can’t handle any running. I had a pretty nice start, took off and got to my bike and was in the top 15. We hit a portion of long double track/ mowed field that took us to the single track and the pace was not that bad at this point. Once we hit the single track the carnage began.
Once we hit the first rocky/root covered downhill I shall now call the Hippy tumbling area there were folks off the trail everywhere.. It was pretty nasty, especially once people have been riding over the area and covered the rocks and roots with mud from their tires. It was a little sketchy getting through those sections on the first lap with traffic all around you. Once we hit some smooth single track the pace picked up and people started flying…
The first couple of laps were not that bad.. I did not feel great, but not that bad either. Hoppe was turning out some pretty consistent/fast laps.
It was about the 3rd lap that the cramps started to show up and we would have to fight them for the rest of the day. That mixed in with a mixture of prepetuim that was making me feel bloated and hard to eat made the 6 hour mark quite unpleasant.
We had quite a competition going with the eventual 2nd place team. Hoppy would go out and come back in first place, I would go out and lose it. I was in survival mode at this point, was pretty deep into the hurt locker at this point. The cramps were manageable as long as you could keep pedaling, as soon as you mess up and have to put a foot down or anything your whole leg would seize up..
Throughout the race I was having stomach issues which was making it very difficult to take in calories. Each break it would take me the entire 50min to force down anything I could. A banana, clif bar, part of a sandwich. Its really hard to force yourself to eat in these situations.
My only respite between laps was this faucet that me and several other overheated riders found to cool yourself off.
(as pictured here)
My 5th lap out there became one that I will never forget. I felt a little better that the last because there was a cool breeze and it was finally cooling down. However about 1/3 of the way into my lap I got that, dude, something aint right feeling in my stomach. Great, its bad enough that we have a head to head battle going on, I have to ride this lap having to take a crap. Well, a couple of miles down the track, things were not getting much better. Even a couple more miles down, I was walking my bike up some of the climbs at this point when the inevitable hit me. Hard.. I was going to crap my bike shorts… So here I am in the middle of a race, 2nd place guy is hammering it to catch up with me and I am here taking a crap in the woods. I don’t think I have ever in my life, EVER, done this..
Somehow I managed to finish the lap (ironically, it wasn’t even my worst lap of the day) and b-line it to the porta-bathroom where I spent the next 15min.. So a lesson learned that powders and gels eventually take its toll on your stomach…
In between this lap I said the hell with taking anymore of that crap and choked down a cliff bar with a coke. You know what? Was the best I had felt in 6 hours… Took off for my 6th lap with the lights on and felt pretty darn good. Good enough to hold off 2nd place for good. Handed it off to Hoppe with a 5 (ish) min lead and he came back and the long day had finally come to a close and we took 1st place in the 12 duo by 10 min…
Hell of a day….