Written by Doug Southwick Monday, 10 August 2015 22:40
Aug 2, 2015
The 2nd annual Churney Gurney is a mountain bike race at Gurney Lane park in Queensbury, NY which is an easy one hour drive from my house. All proceeds go to fund campers at Camp Under the Woods for kids on the Autism Spectrum. The location has a new and expanding trail system and is not even 10 minutes down the road from Lake George (which ABC news has ranked as the most beautiful lake in the United States).
I am confident my fitness took a big hit in July due to two week long colds and a case of Plantar Fascia which for a short period made it difficult to even walk (so I wasn't expecting a great result). I had a few delays the morning of the race and arrived much later than I planned which limited my warm up to biking maybe 500 feet to the nearby rest rooms as everyone else was headed to the start line. There was a small turnout for the race (maybe everyone else was 3 hours down state racing at Stewart?) so all expert classes and the Pro/Open field lined up together.
We are off, and the beginning of the lap was on wide double track which is a great way to avoid bottle necks. Almost immediately there was a gap in front of me to a good size group, and not much longer they were gone. I had one guy on my wheel and I jokingly asked- "we are not last, right?". He confirmed- "not last".
We entered the single-track, and the trails were in great shape. The trails were fast and had great flow with some climbing, but nothing that big. My new "friend" was stuck on my wheel and I told him "if you want to pass, just let me know". He said he was good. The course was well marked and we hit different sections, but they were super fun, fast, and flowy with some jumpable bumps and big rideable rocks/boulders. The last section was mostly down and I got a small gap on my "friend" and finished the lap in 40 minutes, him catching up shortly.
Lap number two was basically a repeat of number 1, but along the way I discovered my friend was not in my age group which took some pressure off. I finished lap two in 41 minutes and, feeling good, decided to see if I could push hard enough on my 3rd & last lap to set it as my fastest lap of the day. This effort was what it finally took to pull away from my "friend". I did feel good the entire lap and when I finished I saw the lap was around 40 minutes which I am very pleased with. Note: I checked Strava later, and saw my 3rd lap was only 5 seconds slower than my first.
They provided us with a BBQ lunch and I was busy eating and not really concerned about results, but I soon found out that most of the group I started with was going after cash in the pro/open class. It turns out there were just two of us in the Expert Cat 1 30-49 field and I actually pulled off the win!
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