Written by Ben Norris Tuesday, 13 October 2015 00:00
The weather was beautiful. This is the 3rd year in a row that the conditions were dry. The conditions were going to make a fast and fun race. The race started at 6:05 for me. The temperature was a pretty chilly 40 deg. The full moon made for good visibly, although I had a light anyways. After the normal amount of shivering the race started.
I started off conservatively and didn't push myself too much on the first climb. I was going hard just not in the red. During the first really steep section of single track I walked my bike. There were a few guys trying to ride it but I was walking next to them. In my opinion this is a waste of energy.
After the first 5 miles I was fully warmed up and I started to pick up some speed and started passing some riders. At around mile 20 I stopped and took some layers off. I always feel like I over dress for this race.
I was riding with a pretty good group and making good time but then at around 3 hrs, I started to cramp. Not the cramps that stop motion and have you off the bike, but the ones that you can ride through as long as ease up and keep things smooth. I slowed a bit and lost my group. After nursing my cramps for a few miles, drinking all the fluids I had, eating some Gu, and stopping at and aid station to eat a handful of pickles the cramps went away. My stomach was angry at me, but I could live with that instead of cramping.
At this point I started to recognize some landmarks and knew that I was getting close to the finish. The single track towards the end of this race is awesome. My legs were back and with the conditions this year it was super fast.
As I got to the last aid station I did a quick calculation in my head. 3 miles to go and if I could do it in 20 min I would be sub 5. Ok doable if I was fresh. But could I do it at this late in the race. I was going to find out. The first 1.5 miles of the last 3 is a moderate single track climb. I was going pretty good and passed several riders on the climb. But my speed up the climb was still not good enough for sub 5. I was going to have to let it all out on the descent. The last mile or so of the race is all downhill and I had it pinned. I came in to the finish line at 4:59.06!
I paid the price for my efforts because even though I was hungry it took me a few hours just to eat a banana and most of the day to start feeling good. It was worth it. I know where I'll be May 25th, 2016 at 7 pm. I’ll be sitting in front of a computer, credit card in hand, signing up for the 50.
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