|Promoted by adventure racer extraordinare, Lisa Randall.|
This 6 hour is unique in that it starts at 3 pm. All laps must be finished by 9 pm or it doesn't count. Chris, Lisa's husband, does the timing (he created the program) and what is really cool is that the results are "real time" and anyone can access them through the wireless feed at the venue or at an external website.
I was coming off a peak, but still feeling really good, and it was a no-brainer to race SS in the Expert Women's field. This course is super duper SS friendly and there had been some work done since I last raced here in 2011 ... like big swoopy berms! I decided on a 32 x 20, same gear I had run before. It was a little spinny on the Dwelling Loop, but perfect for climbing the VMT 8 times!
This was a low key race for me and after my insides had been turned inside out at XC Natz, I was happy to have no butterflies or other critters fluttering about in my stomach. My only concern was not being trampled to death at the Lemans start, which was about 100 yards long. I was able to position my bike close so as to not run so far.
|I had a decent start.|
The temperature was a humid 86 degrees at the start, but was not too bad in the woods. Coach told me to just "go have fun" at this one. My plan at the start was to go hard to avoid as much cluster as I could. When Lisa said, "Go!" I felt like a wildebeest during a croc infested river crossing. Elbows wide and short steppin' I managed to avoid going down. However, someone behind me was not so lucky. All I felt was a hand hit my lower back and slide down (seemed like slow motion) my butt, legs, and then hit my shoe. I never looked back!
And in keeping with tradition, I will briefly summarize each lap.
Lap 1: Why is there always a few who must make those stupid passes so soon into a 6 hour race? (I will use you for traction should you go down!) Settle, Carey, settle. Your time will come. And it did. I was rocking and rolling on Dwelling when suddenly I spun the cranks and nothing happened. Dropped chain! You got to be kidding me! Spent two minutes figuring out how to get it back on: big ring, little ring, back spin, and it's on.
Lap 2: Hello, my good friend Momentum!
Lap 3: People I did not even know were congratulating me on my National Championship win and running off the trail to let me on by. Wow, I was amazed! And then my (expletive!!!) chain fell off again! Put it back on in record time, but now, my mind went from focusing on the trail to a bunch of "What if's?"
Lap 4: Started doing the math and realized that I would be able to do 8 laps. "Oh, goody," I said as I felt the first signs of fatigue set in.
Lap 5: Please let me make it through this lap before my cranks fall off!
Lap 6: Red Bull does give you wings!
Lap 7: Heckling some fellow racers as came up on them, all in good fun. "Suffering is good for your soul!" "You can rest when you are dead."
Lap 8: Pumped up a burped tire and stuffed my light into my pocket. Goal was to try to keep up a faster pace than the setting sun ... I lost. I did not want to stop and mount my light so I leap frogged from racer to racer, using their lights to see the trail.
I ended up with the win and some cool prizes, including this sweet podium shirt.
I met some FB friends, face to face, as well as some other cool SS'ers. Courtney Smith, one of my FB peeps in the flesh, was also riding a single speed but with a rigid fork. I was most impressed by her skilz. It is good to see other women riding one gear.
Even though I had several mechanicals, I was able to work through them and keep the hammer down. I was just so thankful THIS did not happen at Nationals. I think I have met my mechanical quota for the year.