Sunday, August 02, 2009

2009 Laramie Enduro

I have not done anything but XC races since 2005, and that was the Brian Head 50, taking less than 4 hours, I registered for Laramie in February, since it was only 60 bucks and would be easy to walk away from if I decided to pass on it. Well Team Revolution had about 25 register, then we got a block of rooms at the Fairfield, so I became more committed. Having done that, I was convinced that I would have no chance of an overall Expert series win, however, circumstances proved other wise.

Friday morning after breakfast at Eggs in the CIy with Lyna, We loaded up the Wedge mobile with Jim, Steve, Alison and my self and headed to Laramie. We registered and as we were getting ready to go spin on the wild roads of town, the storm started, so we went to feed on pasta with 15 of us, The rain kept up and we hit the sack early.

We woke up at 5:00, headed down for the free breakfast fixins and headed out to the race site. I think I got about a 10 minute warm up in, not that it mattered. My goal was to stick with Brad Pilling as long as possible, We lined up on the 2nd row and when he start went, I took off at a sub XC start pace, there was less than 1/2 mile of service road to one track and I wanted to avoid as much craziness as possible, Brad says 'That was unnecessary!' A quote that would bug me for a while. So for the first 10 miles or so I was in the first chase group, I think about 5 or so were off the front. Brad catches me at about mile 8 and I ask him if I cut him off, he says no, whew. I then get on his wheel, he motors ahead on some flats and I catch back on on the rises. Then he gets a 20 second gap and we hit the Mile 10-20ish headwind fire road section, I get in with a group of 15 or so, Brad is 20 seconds up in a group of 4, In my group it is me and 2 Chipotle Titus riders doing all the work, finally I Jump across to Brads group and we get more people doing work. I felt like I was going a bit too hard, but knew being in this group was pushing me down the road a whole lot faster and would pay off in the end. We broke up as we hit the Singletrack when we looped back to the start singletrack area, I still had Brad about 10-20 seconds up and we were keeping a steady pace. Right before aid station 2 I saw SHannon on the side finishing up a flat fix, I stopped at the aid station to fill up a bottle and Got back on as Shannon went by, I held onto his wheel on doubletrack, rough cow trail and one track for about 4 miles or so, Miles 36-47 or so were the hardest part of my day. I dropped off of Shannon, and started feeding, I wanted to back down because I knew the last 20-25 miles were the hardest. I passed Ryan Ashbridge right before Aid 3 fixing a flat and he blew by me a bit later, as I came into aid 3 he was still there, Aid 3 was where our drop bags were, so I swapped bottles, grabbed my food, grabbed a handful of animal crackers and headed out, Ryan came up on me and I said I was in recovery mode and to get around me, he did, and took off (for a top 10 overall finish). I got passed by probably 15 people in this 11 mile section. I just let them go. Finally, hitting a doubletrack climb at mile 48, my legs came around and I stepped it up, my HR track shows about a 10 BPM drop in those 11 miles, the rest off the race, before and after was right around the same average. Of course, this started the last 20 miles of the race, which was the hardest. The doubletrack climbing was great, I was able to sustain power and go steady, not getting passed by anyone, but, my knees were aching, quads, fine, knees burning, so single track climbing was bad, technical singletrack climbing, worse. Aid stations 4 and 5 included me grabbing boiled potatoes and chips, filled up with water and heading out, at aid 5 I asked when the next downhill was, there was nervous laughter, well there was like 2 screaming fast downhills on service roads, about a miles worth, top speed 40mph, followed by, oh 800 feet of technical, rocky, rooty one track climbing in 2.5 miles, My legs felt great, but my knees were not feeling great, I walked a lot of this section, The decent off the top was a blast and took less than 9 minutes, done, race time 6:02:59. 34th place in the overall Open-Pro. Only 20 minutes behind Ryan who finished 10th, Brad finished 12th and Shannon 15th. The Mile 35-48 lull likely cost me a top 20, but that is how endurance racing goes, good spots and bad spots. My actual moving time was 5:52. I stopped for 4 pee breaks and stopped at 4 aid stations for a total of 11 minutes. But, I never bonked, was well fed and hydrated and had no issues, the Carbo Rocket made the day, 6 bottles of it plus 2 of water. My Fly socks kept me warm in the early am temps and kept my feet happy regardless of mud, water and cowpie. The Zaskar was fast, smooth and flawless.

The course was fun and challenging, countless un-rideable mud (cow poo) bogs, flowy one track, fast fire road, cow trails, waist deep creek crossings. The course was very well marked, if you kept eyes forward, volunteers were awesome, filling my bottles for me, cheering me on. Fellow riders were kind and encouraging, even if they wheel sucked :) The Registration took seconds, the food post race was awesome and they even had industrial strength action wipes for post race cleaning. Jen took second in her group and won 200 bucks, Brad took 2nd Open 40-49 and also won 200. I guess my name was called for a sweet raffle prize, but we had already left.

Everyone on Team Revolution finished and we only had a few flats, the weather was good, sunny skies and the post race dinner at the Chop house successfully put us in a Coma. I'll be back next year.

Now to decide whether or not my knees are willing to do the PCPP race.


Ski Bike Junkie said...

Strong work, Bob. Sounds like a fun course. I'll have to think about that one for next year.

Brad Mullen said...

Sounds like a fun Leadville alternative. Glad to see that you did so well, and you stayed upright. Congrats.

Hold said...

thats a strong finish in a long race.....but waist deep river crossings?