Thursday, February 27, 2014

ChainBuster 3 Hour Race Report

Photo Credit:  Mary Omstead

This race almost did not happen.  The day before, the skies opened up and dumped 1+ inches.  Kudos to the local SORBA chapter for working non-stop (even the day of) to get this trail in shape for the race.  The race was held at the Allatoona trail system.  With the trails being closed for pre-riding the day before, I got there a bit early Saturday morning.  After driving my vehicle through a muddy river (so glad I did not wash her the day before), I registered and then hopped on my bike to ride a lap.

The course was 6.5 miles in length.  Although only 350 feet of climbing per lap, the ups were short, punchy, and always seemed to occur after a sharp turn, so you had no momentum going into the climb.  It was also super tight and twisty with not much passing room.  This would have been a great single speed course.  Unfortunately for me, I only brought my Niner Air 9 RDO as I thought there would be a long flat parade lap that would have put me on the tail end going into the single track.  It turned out that Kenny shortened the parade lap due to a super soggy field.  Grrr!

Tyler Martin calculating the # of brownies to lap ratio.  Tyler Murch deciding if he want to go for 5 laps or finish with just 4 laps, so he can get to the brownies quicker.  And Jeff already stashed 2 brownies away, so he doesn't care.

I knew the start would be crazy and luckily I narrowly avoided a pile up.  Going wide to avoid going down, i lost a few places heading into the single track.  However,  the racers I were behind were a fast bunch, and I was able to ride at tempo.  The first lap was a bit squirrelly as some of the turns were wet and slick.  I was glad to have gotten in a lap prior to the race and knew when and where to proceed with caution.  This allowed me to pass a fair number of racers on lap 1 as they slid off the trail.

I was running Specialized Captain tires. They hooked up in the mud and shed it reasonably well, too.  For the most part, I ran my bike as a single speed, only changing gears in the few flat sections.  Surprisingly, my first lap was my fastest.  Although I could feel the fatigue settle in towards the middle of the third lap, my lap times were pretty consistent.  I did stop after lap 2 and 3 to refuel, probably costing me 20 seconds each time, but I was NOT about to race with a hydration pack.  I will save that for those crazy insane Pisgah all day (and night) romps through the woods.

The race was pretty straight forward to me.  Being in a build period, I was not especially "sparkly,"  but nor was I beat down from the weight room sessions I have been doing.  The legs barked just a little, but livened up when called upon.  I am pleased with where I am now in my training (as opposed to last year when I was recovering from a gluten episode).

Overall Women's Podium

I had a good day in the woods, managed a 1st place, and a REAL set of racing tires, Maxxis Ikon EXO 29'r!  Now this is some rubber I will use.

I like this 3 hour format.. It will fit quite nicely in my lead up to XC Natz in July.  It seems that the older I get, the less time I like spending going around in circles.  I used to love the 12 hour formats in the early 90's, the 6 hour races in the 2000's, and now I am quite happy with only racing 3 hours on a lap course.

I love my SuperSport team!

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