Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gunnison Growler Pre-Race Report

The team (Jeff, Sonya, Yuki, Eddie, and I) headed down to Gunnison on Friday. We stopped in Salida for good coffee and food and to visit the famous Absolute shop. When we arrived in Gunnison it was kind of chilly and overcast and we all went for a little spin of the course. Gunnison is a cool, small town. We were able to roll out of the hotel and hit the race course in just 3 miles. As soon as you hit dirt, the course starts with a bitch of a climb up a dirt road that must be 20-some% steepness. Luckily Jeff said this would be the worst climb of the day and we only had to do it once. Still, I suffered like a dog in my granny gear and started mentally preparing myself for the race-day "warm up". After that we hit some singletrack and some of the more challenging technical stuff. I wasn't really feeling it and started to get a bit nervous..still the views were gorgeous so it was a good ride. We ended the day with a good dinner with the whole team (minus Dave) and Juli and Chuck (Michigander transplants to the CO Springs).

Saturday was a hearty breakfast and coffee at "The Bean" in the AM. After that, we worked on bikes a bit and headed out for another pre-ride. Jeff and Sonya went off together, Yuki waited for his girlfriend to finish out the ultra-run, and Eddie and I went to pre-ride the more technical sections that we would encounter on the 2nd lap of the race. I did much better today and actually got to enjoy some of it. The views on the course were amazing. I knew I wouldn't be able to pre-ride Skull Pass as I didn't want to tire my legs out too much. Skull Pass was the other tech section of the course that the locals kept mentioning. After the ride, we had some head shots taken and then chilled at Gunnison Brewery. They were awesome and let us taste all the beers, my favorite was the Dirt Farmer Pale Ale. While we were at the brewery the skies let loose and the temperature dropped quickly....greeeaaat. We stood in line to pick up our numbers and super cool Growler t-shirts. Killer logo and t-shirt! Then the entire team headed to the home of Dave Wiens and Susan DeMattei for dinner. It was really great, except Dave was still on Race Director duty. Their kids entertained us and the food was delicious. Thanks, Susan!! I finished my prep for the race (basically just PowerBar nutrition products) and hit the sack early for the 4:30am wake-up call...


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