Monday, August 13, 2007

Ore to Shore Report

Another Ore to Shore has come and gone. It was the hardest edition that I've participated in so far. The sand was relentless. My day started off well enough. Hugh, Doug, Will and I were able to secure great starting spots before warming up on our road bikes for about an hour. The gun went off, and Hugh and were able to maintain our spots in the first 100 or so for the first hour. Things began to unravel a bit at that point. I was cruising along paralell to some railroad tracks about two spots behind Hugh when I went down and landed on the railroad ties. It wasn't a bad crash, but by the time I got up and going again Hugh was nowhere to be seen. I was still feeling okay when Doug caught up to me, and we rode together until the start of Misery Hill. I was still feeling good at the end of those powerline climbs, but it wouldn't last for long. On the next section of road I noticed a serious drop in power, and I was having a hard time even drafting in small groups. By the time we hit the dirt again I was out of food and down to less than half a bottle of Heed with just over 15 miles to go. Needless to say, this is not the ideal situation to be in. Both my legs began cramping at this point. It got so bad that I would unclip one foot and pedal with one leg until it started to cramp and then switch to the other leg. I could do this a few times until they both got so bad that I'd have to get off and walk for a few minutes. By the time I got to the last aid station I was a complete wreck. I pulled over and asked them to fill one of my empty bottles. I also consumed a cup of some energy drink, two cliff shots, a donought hole, and a couple of orange slices. I don't even want to think about what would have happend if that last station hadn't been there. The rest of the race was still a perfect picture of agony with the continued cramping and unrelenting sand. I crossed the finish line, rode over to the group, let my bike fall to the pavement and collapsed (see attached photo). I was just coherent enough to tell them I didn't require medical attention. I stayed down there for a few minutes, slowly summoning the strength to sit up. I came around after a little while with the help of a nice recovery drink and rode my sore ass over to the scoring tent to see how poorly I did. Suprisingly, I was only 5 places short of my goal: 25th in the 30-34 group, up from 33rd last year. Considering how crappy the race went, I was quite pleased with this. The rest of the team all had way better rides than I did. Hugh dominated his class with a 2nd place finish. Doug had his first mechanical free O2S in I don't know how long and ended up beating me by something like 15 minutes. Rob completed is fist 48 mile race in just a hair under four hours. Matt had a good old time in his first time out racing. Sarah is actually starting to race now. She was talking about looking for places to make up time and really pushing herself when she was feeling good. I ran into Scott Q. after the race. He was riding the soft rock pacing his girlfriend, and one of the first things he said to me was how impressed he was with Sarah's descending skills. All in all, the team was able to represent well despite the fact that one of our own was stuck in the hospital. I called Chris after the race on Saturday, and he sounded like he was in good spirits. They'd moved him out of the ICU, and hopefully he'll be home by the end of the week. WNR at Boyne this week. Until then, ride well and be good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that your ok, Pete. Have you ever thought about leaving all that biking behind and switch to something less painful----VIDEO GAMES !!!!!