Monday, April 21, 2008

Cohutta 100 Report

Race Day
2:30 am: I woke to the sound of a torrential downpour. The rain, combined with the thoughts of spending 10+ hours riding in it, kept me up most of the rest of the night.

5:00 am: I got out of bed to get ready for the race. It was still raining quite hard. I left for the Ocoee Whitewater center a little before six. This left just the right amount of time to get dressed and to do a final check on the bike. At this point the rain had let up a little.

7:00 am: The race starts, and the rain starts to pick up a little. I felt pretty good in spite of the weather. After a longish 3 mile climb on pavement, we entered the first section of singletrack. It was the slipperiest trail I've ever ridden on. Imagine warm soupy peanut butter, and getting soupier by the minute due to the increasing rain. I had a small crash on one of the descents, and luckily my GPS/HRM took the brunt of it. I got off to the side of the trail, and used some electrical tape from my pack to reattach the computer to the handlebar in true ghetto style. Blood was minimal and nothing was broken. I put my head down and made my way to the first aid station on the course.

Station #1 to #2: The course was, and would continue to be on Forest Service roads for the next 60 or so miles. The rain eventually let up, and I was actually feeling pretty good through stations #'s 3 and 4. I was drinking and eating right around 250 calories per hour, and the legs were feeling good. Leaving station #4, the course flattened out and smoothed out as well. I decided to pick up the pace a little. This may not have been the best idea in retrospect. There were two more really big climbs before station #5, but I was still feeling pretty good when I pulled in for a pit. This is where things began to come apart.

Station #5 to #6: I was told there was only one more big climb before the station #6, but this turned out to be a lie. There were TWO more really big climbs. Near the top of the second one I began to feel a bit lightheaded and woozy. I pulled off to the side of the course and ate an entire Cliff Bar and chugged almost a whole bottle of Heed. This made a noticeable difference, and I was doing okay by the time I got to station #6.

Station #6 to finish: This is where the things really began to fall apart. I filled up my bottles, and headed out for what I was told was "one more climb and then all downhill to the finish." The last 12 miles of the race turned out to be really, really technical up and down singletrack. My hands were so sore, and I was really starting to fade out fast.

Finish: I made it, and a finish line never looked so good. I rode back to the truck and got cleaned up in the river. Having composed myself somewhat, I made my way over to the food tent. I ate a couple of whole wheat rolls smothered in peanut butter (it may have had poison in it, but i didn't care), about half a dozen cookies, and a can of coke. Yumm. I made it back to the yurt and was able to down about 4 beers before falling into bed. Final numbers: 11 hours and 22 minutes. 12,840 feet of climbing. Average heart rate 148. Average speed 8.7 mph. I could barely tie my shoes yesterday morning, but my hands are feeling much better today. Oddly enough, my legs actually feel pretty good. I have officially pushed my pain threshold to a new level. Thanks for reading.

P.S. WNR @ Boyne this week. Sarah told me that Benson is going to be there, so I don't want to hear any excuses.


Sarge said...

Congratulations!!! Very interesting reading your post on the race. It sounds like finishing is a feat in itself. Also, glad to hear that Benson is back out on the trail.

Sarge said...

Just checked the results... how does it feel to be racing with the big boys?

WPG said...

You're correct about the just finishing part. I'm going to have to "finish" a couple more of these before I start thinking about "racing" one. Ride well Sarge.

Anonymous said...

Way to go Pete!
under 12 hours...
You da man.

da Commodore