16 August, 2009

Race Report: Mountainview 9 hour relay

Alright, another race report - again at Mountainview, but this time a different format: 9h relay, tag team and finally a dry mtb race.

I woke at around 5:30, opting to consume breakfast during the long drive rather than loose sleep. I picked up my teammate for the day, followed by a coffee and breakfast sandwich at Tim Hortons and we were off. 2.5 hours later, we arrived at the race venue with plenty of time to get signed in and casually prepared for the start.

Ryan started off the day with a fast couple of laps, which I followed with two of my own. Our plan was to do this until we came up with a reason not to. More on that to come. 6 laps and a few hours into the race and the first results posted had us in first place with Lapdogs charging fast behind. It turns out they weren't slowing down much, and we were. That left us in second, but on the same lap and a lap up on third.

About 7 hours into the race, the heat and hours on the tough course got to me, and on the second lap of my double I had a terrible leg cramp about 2/3 of the way up the switchback ski hill climb. I pushed the rest of the way up with a mix of running (walking) and riding, but on reaching the top I realized it wasn't going away, and I coasted down the service road to get Ryan out on the course in my place. So with a wasted 10 minute partial lap, and a cramping leg I was a bit worried about the remaining 2 hours left in the race. Not wanting to leave the rest of it up to Ryan, and not wanting to concede our 2nd place standing I knew I had to get back on the bike so I set to work on refueling and nursing the leg. This took the form of a pepsi, a clif bar and a handful of bacon, as well as much massaging of the muscles in question. Ryan came by after one lap and I told him I'd be good to go next time around.

Back it came to my turn and I was actually feeling good. I told Ryan I'd try to do a double, but we'll see. After 1 lap at a pace much slower than the day had started, it looked like we had time for just one more. Both of us quite tired, we used rock paper scissors to decide who would go, and it was me for one more. Off I went.

It wasn't too far into my lap and I noticed a woman coming up on me quite fast... hmm, is she on that 3rd place tag team? I'd better get moving in case. This turned out to be a good thing, as I arrived back at the finish with about 2 minutes to spare, and just under 2 minutes over our competitor. Ryan had time to do one more. As it turned out so did the woman on our rival team, as she came in about 10 seconds before the clock ran out. Ryan's last lap was a repeat of mine, realizing that the rider on his tail was our competition, and picking it up to finish ahead.

We concluded the day with less than a minute over 2nd place, before bonus time. Bonus time you say? Oh yes, this event, in addition to 9 hours of riding includes four bonus events. This year that consisted of a bike limbo:

pie eating contest:

as well as a slingshot game and feedzone competition (collecting numerous bottles while riding without dropping any). The bonus events netted us 15 minutes off our time, while our rivals in third only got 3 bonus minutes. Our result would stand, after some good racing against the teams in front of and behind us.

Photos care of Ryan, except for that last one which is stolen from Matt's blog (congrats on winning the solo race!). Ryan's race report can be found here, along with more photos.

11 August, 2009

Mountainview O-Cup Race Report

So, again with a delayed report... some copy and paste from mtbr as well as new comments:

Preriding Friday was good, though I would have liked a bit more time to spend on a 3rd or more laps. I like the topography of the hill, and all the climbs are nice except the opener (that's going to hurt). Some of those descents are steep and fast - know your line and stick to it, more or less. The locals are indeed going to have an advantage, but I'm hoping to get around the course in a relatively quick manner on Sunday, if I can.

It's super dusty, maybe even powdery right now so some rain will do wonders. If it gets a bunch Saturday and then the skies are friendly on race day, I'll be super pleased. Even with lots of rain I don't see much potential for a slop fest.
Boy was I wrong! My post following the race:
That was "fun"

Really, I enjoyed myself... but it hurt a little, like a good race should, and I definitely got some mud in my eyes (and every other possible location) A giant 1 metre stick in my derailleur toward the end of lap 1 definitely cost me a few spots, and most definitely the last 1.6 upgrade points I needed... alas, I will seek them at Kelso.

Back to Mountainview for the 9h, and as long as it doesn't rain I couldn't be looking forward to it more - such a great venue that I really only got to experience dry in a couple preride laps Friday.
I'm really looking forward to going back on Saturday, and so far the forecast couldn't be better. Of course that means it's going to be terrible... oh well!

As for that 1.6 upgrade points... well I just feel it's really stupid that a stick held me back for enough time to make the difference. Oh well, with this race in the mix my performance at Kelso doesn't really need to be any faster - another race like I had at Boler or Mountainview will get me well over 260 - hurray for hilly courses!

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