Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Just as we finished the race, I will be concluding my race report after Dicky.

Having never seen the course before I wasn't looking to blaze ahead myself, so I decided to grab a wheel and follow. The pace we settled in on was a tad slower than I wanted, but it was ok. Two riders came up and passed quick, I thought about jumping on their train, but I lost the opportunity to pass my leader so I stayed put. 

As another rider came up and asked to pass I made the decision I would follow him. He got up and around, and I got my pass in after some punchy climbs and got to chasing my new carrot down. 

Up ahead I could see a rider jumping back into the frey (dunno if he had stopped or crashed) but I was on his wheel as he was getting back up to speed. I had found my pace mate. For the majority of the first lap I chased him down. He'd get a little room as we flew through the trail, and I'd instantly pounce on him with any incline. He asked if I wanted to get around but I admitted that I didn't think I'd be able to stay in front at the pace we were going given I didn't know the trail. Being able to see him enter turns I was unfamiliar with allowed me to maintain much more speed. I did make a deal with myself that if we were together for the second lap that I would do my duty and pull. 

I was enjoying the trail immensely. Until i noticed my seatpost had been slipping. All of a sudden this took over my focus. Whenever we hit anything straight my eyes were down between my legs trying to figure our how much it was slipping and, if i would need to stop and address the issue, instead of staying on the guy I was chasing. I was starting to lose ground as we came up on (what would be) the last big climb. I had a rider catching up fast behind me so I let him get by before the climb because I didn't want to slow him down. As we cleared the climb and I powered to catch back up I could tell my pedal stroke had been shortened too much - this wasn't going to work. 

I resigned myself to the fact that I would stop as we entered lap 2 to fix the problem. It was so hard to let them go, but I pulled up and got to getting my saddle back up to height and tightened it up, hoping this would solve the issue for the remainder of the race. By now I couldn't see anyone. I thought I heard someone coming up behind so I gave a quick look (didn't see anyone) and jumped back on the Glow Worm and took off. 

The second lap got tough. I had no one to chase down, and I realized I hadn't drank enough as my leg started to cramp as I stood to climb.  I started downing my first of two bottles in hopes that it would keep the cramps away. I tried to stay on top and keep pushing, but I could feel myself give up speed without that extra push. Then my back started killing me. Motivation to push was all but gone. Between moving around to try to loosen my back up while on the saddle (nearly impossible) to worries in the back of my head that my legs would seize up in a giant ball of cramps on the next climb, I couldn't help but slow on climbs. 

Every now and again I would catch speed through the flow of the trail and would be able to maintain it and get back on top of my gear. I had a flicker of cramps again, and quickly got back to drinking. Now that I knew the course I could space out the Osmo I had left and successfully beat my cramps back down. 

As I was struggling to stay in the race in my mind I has to reflect that 1. this trail is awesome and 2. the heavy rain we got was much needed for the race today. You could tell the trail could get sandy in spots, but with the pour we got the afternoon before everything was settled and solid. It was glorious. 

Before I knew it I was on the last climb. I grinder my way up and then got to finding the finish line. I wasn't exactly sure where they would have us finish (would they make us ride the road all the way back to the start?) and all if a sudden I come around a corner and see a woman standing by a tree. She is pointing in the direction of the trail and says "you're all finished."

It kinda seemed anticlimactic. I could see the finished riders sitting around in the parking lot, and I needed reassurance so I called out to confirm that we were done. I was told I could do another lap if I wanted, but that I was good to go. And good to go I was!  I ducked under the tape and enjoyed being able to stop. 

I finished. I wasn't top 3, I wasn't last. They weren't keeping time, and I don't know exactly what place I came in among my age group, but it doesn't matter. I had fun. I was happy with my first lap. A little disappointed in my second. But I didn't walk anything and I learned I need to be much better with hydrating (a 20 mile race is MUCH different then the shorter Car3 XC races I am used to). 

I do want to thank the Faster Mustache guys for putting on a great event. It was fun all around!  I've found a new beer to enjoy - that Terrapin Hopsecutioner was amazing! And I even got to chat with Dicky, who had less hate for the fat bikes then I would have expected. 

Will I be back next year? YES. And you should come to!

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