The course is 60 K long (37.3) and starts out tame on some paved sections, flat dirt roads, and smooth rail trails. Then it happens. It kicks up a bit on a tractor trail with fist size rocks. Bottle neck, mud, and running. Then for the rest of the race, its into the small slivers of ankle deep muddy single track. Slick muddy 2 track trails, and some nice size rollers. Then the fun begins. Steep cinder block strewn downhill mud chutes. Freshly plowed corn field, peoples driveways and front yards, and a drainage ditch. And if that's not enough, you climb up the 3/4 mile + 11 % grade Martin Road to the finish line. So with the rain on top of all this, it was a challenge to say the least.
I was feeling like a rock star at the start. But was near the back of the starting grid in wave 1. So I had my work cut out for me. I went LT right from the start and made up some huge ground. As I kept going, I was bridging gaps to several groups one by one. Things were going well despite all the mud in my eyes and mouth, but this is racing so it didn't seem to phase me. The we hit the single track sections. One right after each other, and the mud got thicker, deeper, and clung to every thing weighing the bikes and riders down. I pushed as hard as I could to maintain my position. Then about an 1:15 into the race I realized I may have lit too many matches in the early mud, and had to back off on my pace because I could feel the beginning of cramps forming. This sucked! I was doing everything I came to do, but the conditions were starting to get the best of me. From here I played it smart and tired to salvage the best time and result I could. I ran when i had too, rode as hard as I could, and drafted every wheel I could come in contact to. I was feeling a little better toward the end, but knew I had to maintain. When We got to Martin Road, I gave it all I had. Near the top and the steepest grade, there were people lined up and cheering like crazy. All my body wanted to do was stop and walk, but I was too proud to walk with all those people watching, and determined to make it all the way. My heart rate was peaking into the 190 range by now, and the top of my quads were knotting up like crazy, but I fought through. Came across the line in 2:18:38. This was good enough for 38th out of 284 in my age group (Men 30-39) and 138 overall out of 1307! I tried to set some goals going into this race, even though I never done it before. I wanted to get top 30 in my age group, but fell just short. But considering the conditions, I am very happy with the result, and plan to be back next year for sure!
Great job to my TSB Team mates Todd, Jay, and Pat on the race and for making this a great day trip! And congrats to all the other Miscene'ers Adam, Clint, Mike, Jay, Shaun, and a few others. You all represented all of us well.
The next few weeks will be busy racing, as I take on Yankee, Pontiac Lake, and throw my hat in the ring for the first time at Cone...