Woke up at 3am and we were on the road by 4am for the 3 hour drive. Got there, set up camp, and registered. Got a chance to talk to Chris Schotz (constant competitor at these races), Mike Minetti (strong rider from MN), and Dan Dettmer (strong endurance racer, new member of Velorochester this year). I figured this race would be one of the most competitive I have done.
They changed the course this year so we now did half the distance per lap (12.5 miles vs. 25 miles), but double the laps (8 vs. 4). The course change would also see a little more climbing and a lot more singletrack. The course was a mixture of very rooty tight singletrack, steep sandy and rocky climbs, and power dragging sand filled ski trails. The course was rough, technically very difficult in spots, and required a lot of power and finesse. It reminded my a lot of LaCrosse's course last year except not as much climbing and this seemed to beat you up more.
First lap I set out to hit the singletrack first, settle into a pace, and hopefully build a gap using my Trek Top Fuel 69'er to slice up the singletrack. I was able to do just that, but not without a couple of hiccups. There was a ribbon down that saw me lose about 30 seconds (it was fixed after the first lap), I lost air in the front tire which I had to pump up, and a nasty rooty section sent my right shoulder and thigh into a tree (very nice bruises today). I was feeling good, and probably going harder then I should have. Knocked out the first lap in about 1 hour, 10 minutes Second lap, I just tried to settle into a consistent pace. I would find out that I had about a 4 minute gap at the start of the second lap (all my splits would be over an hour old). Second lap was done in about 1 hour, 13 minutes.
Third lap saw me start to cramp. Not while riding, but if I had to put a foot down it caught my attention. After the forth lap I asked my fine wife for extra electrolytes in the bottle, and that seemed to cure the problem. Halfway through and my body was starting to tire, but 30 seconds after I left the start area the 50 miler riders started. I picked up the pace a little that 5th lap so that I was riding about 10th place with the 50 milers. The tight trails I could keep up with them easily, but I had a harder time on the climbs then their fresh legs.
The sixth lap, oh the sixth lap. My stomach had been bothering me much of the race, but it got really bad that lap. I stopped to dry heave, but nothing came out. I was getting tired, so tired. I closed my eyes at one moment and almost fell asleep!! The lack of sleep the previous 2 nights were catching up with me. All I could think about was not closing my eyes and getting back to camp for some caffeine. My confidence of finishing was diminishing. The rough course was taking its toll on my arms and lower back. I turned off the propedal on my rear shock and it made every bump feel much, much, much smaller. I got into the pit area after a long, dragged out lap. I drank down a Mountain Dew Amp Energy drink so that I maybe able to stay awake. Yeah, the trucker size. I took a longer pit than usual and set out. I had a 10 minute gap on Dan at the end of the 5th lap before(yeah, Velorochester!) and a huge gap (Becky's words) on third. I knew after the last lap I would have sacrificed much of that gap.
The seventh lap I rode at a hard pace that would give me a little extra for the end. I was feeling better, but the only food that my stomach liked was the bananas from the water stop on the course. Luckily we went by it twice and there was a guy there that hooked me up every time by. I rode well enough that I was assuming I did not give up any time to Dan on that 7th lap, but I did find out that he was only 4 minutes behind me at the end of the 6th lap. I knew Dan was getting those gaps in real time and was gunning for me.
At the start of the eighth lap, I dumped the camelback and took one large bottle. I needed to be light and fast(er). I kept doing the glance over the shoulder looking for my teammate, hoping to only see just ridden trail. The Amp Energy drink was wearing off a little and I was running on fumes. I knew that if Dan caught me it would be mentally disastrous as I had been out front all day. With only a mile left I realized that I was not going to see him. I rolled in to finish off my long day, 5 minutes up on Dan.
After 10 hours and 34 minutes I finished first in the 100 miler (woo hoo!). Velorochester went 1-2 (yeah booooyyy!!). Chris was third. Mike rolled in for forth, and CJ Faulkner followed in 5th (both MN boys).
A short lived dip in the lake near by, then a shower, and then a hot pocket (that was nasty, but warm) from the BP gas station next to the lake was my post race celebration.
Finishing up a lap.
My Baby's Momma hooking me up with some goodies. She was great all day. Yeah, I keep my jersey unzipped to get the David Hasselhoff look.
At the end of the 6th lap. Becky and myself were sure that Dan would catch me after this pit, but I wouldn't give it to him on a silver platter. Note the Amp drink in my hand.
Punching the clock after over 10 1/2 hours of rough mountain biking.
Side note: This race was dedicated to my crew from 24 Hours of Nine Mile last year where I ended early with bad physical problems. They were great and I was not that day, so here's to them (Becky, Richard, and Mark).
Sunday- Rochesterfest Tri
Well, we got to sleep about midnight in our bed from the day before. I woke up at 6am an headed out to pick up my packet. A trip to McDonald's for a biscuit with egg, cheese, and bacon was needed as my metabolism was in overdrive. Got home at 6:30 and started my prerace planning. Hmmm, what do I need? Gotta find those new shoes Becky got me, where are some swimming goggles, I'll probably need a towel, hope I have everything I need, whoosh. At 7am I popped some ibuprofen and sport legs before riding to the course a mile away. I had to set up my bike before the transition shut down at 7:35.
Met up with the Baby's Momma just before the race (I let her sleep in). Stiff and sore I was not planning on anything except trying to finish.
The swim hurt hurt the most. My arms were exhausted from the day before so they were instantly acting up. If they had'em available I would have used a kickboard they hurt so bad. I alternated between the freestyle and breast stroke just trying to not swallow too much water. I found out I was REALLY SLOW in my swim time. It did not surprise me with how my arms felt out there. Did I mention it has been years since I have really swam?
The bike felt good. The swim helped to loosen up the muscles and I was able to go harder than I anticipated, but still not 100%. I passed loads of people with my forearms on the tops of my bars.
I hit the transition for the run and saw only 2 other bikes in my area. I was heading out in third place for my age group? Well, the run was spent just trying not to walk. My "stride" felt short and clumsy, my legs hurt from the day before's ride and bruise on my thigh, but I just tried to keep myself from walking. Did I mention I have not ran since December of last year? I ended up not walking except for 5 feet at the turn around.
I ended up 22nd out of 119 male starters and 3rd out of 28 in my age group. Much better than I anticipated (even if I was at full strength). The race was fun, but I have no plans to switch over to the tri's.
The race was especially fun as it was local and I knew a ton of people. Customers from the shop, members of Trirochester, and people from the shop made it it a fun time.
Me and the Baby's incubator before the start.
Looking fly. How many years has it been since I freestyled swim for more than 25 feet?
Out of of the water, looking for my bike.
I was in the 10th wave, my age is thirty. Triathlons like to "brand" people".
This was a long tiring weekend, but I am sore and happy. My first win of the year and an unexpected good result in the tri made things more enjoyable.
Hopefully some more pictures and times tommorrow.
Time to head off to work now....