So, I raced for exactly 11 hours today, which was..oh...about 10 hours longer than I wanted to! Let's just say I learned first hand (again) the "5 Ps". In a nutshell, here's how my day went:
8:30 am: Arrive at Dauset and pick up number while Eddie secures primo pit location for me and Mark B. Mark B got 3rd at the FM.24.08 race two weeks ago and he was already going to attempt his first 12 hour solo today.
8:32 am: The highlight of the day...my number is....420! Woohoo, go me!
8:45 am: A guy comes less than one inch from running over my bike with his huge truck..d'oh!
10:00 am: Waiting for the Lemans start..someone tells me that we are NOT going up the gravel road like in years past, instead we are hitting the singletrack immediately. Why do I always blow off the pre-race meeting? Now my bike is staged on the wrong road and I will have to go way out of the way to pick it up after the run. UUUUGGGH.
Lap 1: In the lead, feeling good, but fork feels very stiff. I feel every dang root and there are a ton of them.
Laps 2-4: Fork is definitely NOT working properly. It's a FOX but it sure doesn't feel like one. I don't know how many times I stopped on the trail and in the pit after every lap to adjust compression and rebound settings.
Lap 6: Still in the lead, Eddie finally checks the shock pressure and it's way too low. That explains some of my problems. (Lesson: Check the shock pressure BEFORE the race)
Lap 7-9: My brakes are gone (Lesson: Check brake pads BEFORE the race). I can only sort of slow down by grabbing a fistful of front brake. My right hand is not functional because of being beat up by roots and fork issue. (plus lingering right arm tendonitis from 24 hours of conyers)..so what's left of the rear brake is kept for only emergency situations.
Lap 10: Finished one lap up on 2nd place. I had more than enough time to complete another lap but I could think of a million things I would rather have done than ride 10 more miles in the dark with no brakes and no health insurance (but that's another story!). My hands and feet were so beat up, any small root on the trail was making me cringe. Unfortunately, there are a lot of roots and a few rocks. I accidentally brought my "training" shoes instead of my "racing" shoes..and my feet barely fit into my "training" shoes. Not a good idea for a 12 hour race.
I overgeared my singlespeed for this race (meaning, I was too lazy to switch out the gear the night before) so it hurt a lot. Oddly, though, the climbs were not what was killing me, it was the flats and the downhills with all the roots. I really wasn't being pushed too hard in this race and I'm not sure what would have happened if I was. Either it would have been good to take my mind off the pain or it would have done me in pretty fast. In the end, though, I still came away with a super huge 1st place Gone Riding trophy! I wanted to quit for at least 10 of the 11 hours I was riding. I can honestly say I really didn't enjoy this one..only because I should have prepped my equipment better beforehand.
As far as I can say now, I am DONE racing for this year. I'm really looking forward to Interbike followed by some off-season chill time and then some base miles and cross-training.
Congrats to Andy Applegate (Wobble-naught fitter) and Carey Lowery and her team for 1st place finishes!
Thanks to Eddie and Mark B (who had to pull out from the race early) for the support crew help and for packing up and driving me home :)
You can always count on Mark D for the race pics..here are some
Waiting for the start with Scott and Mike
Shane, sportin' the 'stache.
It got cold when the sun went down.
Eddie reading up on the new Kona line
Mark D and his team took 2nd!
Solo women podium, check out my big trophy!
Solo men podium: Eric Watson, Andy Applegate, Marcus Seymour. Congrats!