Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pisgah 36 Race Report

So, after 40 minutes spent at my vehicle prepping for Stage 2, I headed out of Cove Creek Campground.  I was headed towards Pilot Cove Loop Trail to grab the first mandatory, Slate Rock Overlook.  This was a new to me trail and I wasn't sure where the CP was, but pretty sure I would know it when I saw it.  I set a nice chipper pace up 276 to 1206.  1206 was closed to traffic, so no worries in straightening that road on the descents.

No tracks in front of me ... first one to this CP.

The snow was beginning to melt.  And so it stuck to my tires and shoes, which made for slow going, both pushing and pedaling.  I was still in a happy place, however, looking for the CP.  I had to make several stops, checking my map, making sure I was on the correct trail.

Slate Rock Overlook

From there, I headed to the next mandatory, taking a short 20 minute detour to grab an optional CP.  The last time I was on Cantrell Creek was during the inaugural Pisgah 111.  At that time it was wet, muddy, and overgrown.  Today I could see the thousands of baby head rocks!  I pinballed my way down the trail to the next mandatory CP, Cantrell Creek Lodge.

Warm and happy!

At this point I was 4 hours into this stage ... and at the lowest elevation.  I had a long arduous climb out of this hole.  This was the first time that I began to show signs of fatigue.  I made a mental calculation of kcal consumed and determined that I was taking in enough fuel.  But I was also into my 12th hour of racing!  The longest ride I had done this year was The Snake Creek Gap TT, a little shy of 3 1/2 hours.  1/3 down 2/3 to go.  I headed back to camp via Squirrel, South Mills, and Buckhorn.  The trails were in awesome shape.  By the time I hit the horse stables I was out of water.  Not a pressing issue as I just had another 30-35 minutes back to Cove Creek campground.

Once I checked in, I grabbed the Stage 3 passport and headed back to my vehicle to eat again, this time chicken and a sweet potato.  I thought I was feeling pretty good and eager to tackle the next stage!

2 down, 4 to go!

Distance:  51 miles
Elevation Gain:  5800 feet
Average Temp:  48 degrees

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