I guess I’ll start with the course. It was a brutal course that could have been SO much fun. The course was 5.6 miles with 825+ feet of climbing per lap. The climbs for the most part were technical and steep. A fair amount of the single track on the climb was new, so it was a little soft. They did seem to get a little better as the weekend wore on. Once you got to the top of the climb there was a really fun section that could have been even more fun if you were not completely dead from climb. The decent back to the start area was just technical enough to prevent you from ever getting a recovery and then right back into the climb. This course could have been so much more enjoyable if I had only been racing 2-3 laps, not 12 hours.
Lap 1 – The race started with a 100 yard run to the bike. Looking at the video that a friend recorded, it would seem that I was one of the last 3 or 4 people to get on my bike. I didn’t want to bust my ass that quick into the race. That was a big mistake, because the long climb turned into a long hike a bike in the woods. The lap was fairly uneventful 52 minutes.
Lap 2 – At the start of the second lap I dropped in with a friend and rode with him for most of the lap. Near the top of the climb I started to get some light cramps. That was not a good sign, as I would be fighting them for the rest of the race. On the decent I took a pretty good tumble when a cleat broke and I slid of the pedal. Had to have the cleat replaced at the end of the lap. Lap 2 was around 55 minutes.
Laps 3 – 6 – Really started to fight cramps during these laps. They were just getting a little worst each lap, and I was taking longer and longer breaks between laps trying to get rid of cramps.
Lap 7 – I took a 2 hour break before this lap in an effort to deal with my cramping. It didn’t work. At the top of the climb I was hit with cramping so bad that I ended up laying on the ground still clipped into my pedals. I had to wait for another rider to come by and ask for help getting my feet of the pedals. After another 15 minutes of sitting there, I finally managed to get back to the start/finish area.
Lap 8 – This ended up being one of my better laps. I was taking my time on the climb and was feeling pretty good, and wanted to keep it that way. I was a little over ¾ of the way up the climb when my light started blinking that the battery was almost dead. If I didn’t finish the lap, then I would be a DNF. It was surprising how much you can ignore when you are worried about being stuck in the woods without light.