Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Boyne Mountain XC Marathon

Holy crap, was that ever a tough race. The course itself was hard enough, 11 miles a lap with just shy of 2,000 ft. of climbing. The heat (high 80's for most of the race) and the fact that I was running the singlespeed made it even harder.

Lap 1: I went off in the Advanced Singlespeed division with 5 other racers. I slotted into third place for the fist couple of miles, but as soon as the first climb started the dude behind me came around. I kept up a probably slightly higher pace than I should have through the first half of the lap. Eventually, things started to string out a little and I backed off the gas just a touch. It's right around then that I noticed my right grip was starting to loosen up. After a couple of more minutes, it really started to loosen. Like you're bombing down a steep technical section of trail and all of a sudden your right wrist is pretending that your bike has a throttle. It was kind of sketchy, but more annoying than anything. I finished off the lap without incident and stopped long enough to dig out my allen wrench and tighten it down (or so I thought).

Lap 2: Not too much happened to start off the second lap. I was tired to be sure, but I felt pretty good all things considered. This is the lap where Lianne wanted me to try and push my pace a little. I was trying to lift it a little, but anytime the trail turned up or we rode out into the sun I would start to overheat. I was okay around 164 beats a minute, but anything much higher and things would get real fuzzy real quick. Then my fu**ing grip started loosening up again. I stopped at the top of a particularly long hike a bike and went to tighten it up, again. I realized then that I hadn't loosened it up enough after lap one to get it all the way back on before retightening. I did that this time, and the grip was no longer an issue for the remainder of the race. The second lap finished much the same as the first. A ripping fast descent down a paved cart path to the bottom of the course and through the village to the start/finish.

Lap 3: I actually felt pretty good on the last lap. My legs were constantly on the verge of cramping, but I kept sipping on the Heed and H2O and they never did. Instead of getting passed, as was happening from time to time on the first two laps, I was passing people. The heat and climbing was definitely taking it's toll on some of the racers that maybe started off a little too fast. It's a difficult distance to pace for, very similar to xc ski marathons. You can't go quite as fast as a normal xc race, but you can go a lot harder than you would in a 100 miler. Anyway, I finished up in 3:33 (4th of 6). I was in the car with the a/c pumping within about 5 min. of my cooldown ride. I had a sandwich while Sarah drove me back to town, and then I went to work.

HTFU

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