Was I ready for a 50 mile mountain bike race with elevation over 6000 feet? Not really.. But is it a good workout preparing for the toughest race of the year? You bet it is!
Anna and I drove down a day before. Oh yea, Bundi tagged along in the back of the Prius as well. We camped out at the city campground that was just about overflowing with campers. It was a really clean place though and race's vibe was in the air. There was bikers everywhere, testing their rides, pre-riding part of the course. Have I told you how much fun it is to sleep in the same tent with Bundi? She was so creeped out about everything that I bet she didn't sleep a bit. For every little noise, light she got up and looked out through the window. Good times.
There was some 600 riders from across the US. There was many professionals both in the geared and single geared division. I started with the first wave right at 7am. I planned to get back to Spearfish by 11am, to break 4 hours for the 50 mile race. I guess it was a bold hope/prediction.
Right after the start before we could have even broke into groups the start had started. That climb nicely scattered the wave apart and into smaller groups. After a few miles of hard riding with heart rates up in the 160-170s I decided to take it back a notch so I had a chance to get through the race. Some steep uphills also included technical sections over rocks and as I have never ridden the course before they came as a surprise and rather slowed me down. From that on I really played safe. Although I never crashed I still had a few sections where I could have. I managed to maintain a good pace and the 600 calories I ingested was about just enough to prevent me from bonking. I suppose I could have easily finished farther back and honestly it was just luck that I ate as much as I did. I noticed that I was much slower over the technical and downhill sections while I made up ground uphill and on the flats. The full suspension Specialized Epic Comp Carbon worked smoothly and got me through this race without a trouble.
I ended up finishing 38th in the geared division and 42nd overall. It's not too bad considering I have never biked this much in a race and the course was everything but familiar. I also used this race as a workout and so without hesitation I say I could have gone a good 10 minutes faster even.
Next up: XTERRA USA Championships in Ogden, Utah on September 21, 2013.
Age Group RESULTS