I was suprised at the road start, but not dissapointed because I was the first rider trailing behind the lead group knowing that I didn't want to blow up trying to keep up with those guys before the clock even started. I started catching people right off the bat at the long, sandy, almost endless first climb and was moving quite well for the majority of the lap and then along came the river created by local flooding easily hub deep and got worse with every rider going through it and was quite long as well. The next suprise was the climbing on the later portion of the lap. I was thinking that with the course being 100% singletrack maybe the first series of climbs was all there would be.....WRONG. Granted I love climbing and I expect it in most cases but I was suprised when I saw the final product of the Garmin registering 31000+ feet of elevation over the course of the roughly 100 miles. I felt pretty good and stopped to pop another gel, payday, cliffbar, swig of coke and off I go again.
2:08 was my lap time.
Again climbed like a mad man feeling no build up of lactic acid and still making passes, but decided to shut er down after the river again to make sure I had enough left in the tank so I did latch onto Scott's wheel for the remainder of lap 2. When I arrived to the pit area I felt like I had to take a deuce so bad so off to the portajohn I went that took way too much time and bad timing at that, but I did feel a little better and continued on to lap 3. 4:27 through 2 laps this included my time on the john.
I felt okay on the climbs and carried the bike through the river once again to save it from serious harm as I can't afford to replace anymore wheels, hubs, forks, etc...At this point going into the climbs I felt like puking hell I almost did like three time including in the pits going into my final 25 miles and I was already in a terrible place on the third lap already eating my "Cracked Cereal with Bonkberries" and ready to call it quits in the pit area as my lunch was on its way up to say hello I told Scott that I didn't feel so hot all of a sudden and he knew what was up and said I should get back out there quick then and finish it up (Thanks Scott) 2:37 for lap time.....ouch!
I felt like crap wrists were numb, stomach was screwed up, legs were gone and if you ride you know the feeling. I kept wanting it to end be done with and so on with every corner that I went around I was looking for the cars in the parking lot. I was glad it was over, happy I finished, dissapointed with the final half of the ride, but proud that I held it together despite the events towards the end. I mustered a 2:54 final lap and I wasn't at all thrilled with it knowing full well that I can ride much better than that. But hey you don't learn anything by going half-assed only wondering what if I went balls deep and gave it my all. With that being said lesson learned and even with bonking finishing mid-pack overall is a small victory in days and weeks of ups and downs. The important thing is to keep my eyes on the prize for 24 hour nats.
No more racing due to family functions until Levis 100 in which I am extremly excited about as I love this course I'll be interested in seeing what parts they use for the course and granted there is a map but it doesn't say nothing unless you've been more than the one time I was luck enough to visit
I have to thank the guys at EVOMO for all of their support this season and great threads, Rudy project for keeping my vision and melon in check, Nuun for electrolyte replenishment, Monster for giving me that little extra boost when I am feeling sluggish, SixSixOne for keeping the blister demons at bay and thanks to manitou for keeping the Turner glued to the track. Also, I would like to welcome aboard Fluid specializing in recovery drinks that get me back up and riding again right where I left off.