Thursday, October 30, 2014

12 Hour Nite Nationals Race Report

Having raced Double Dare the weekend prior and still carrying quite a bit of fatigue, I was not overly motivated about this one.  But, the weather forecast improved as the week went on; with a low of 52 and 0% chance of rain, I was doomed to race throughout the night.   The equal payout was very enticing:  $1500, $1000, and $500.  So I pretty much did a gut check and headed down to Auburn, Alabama.

All business.

The turnout was disappointingly low.  There were only 3 women and 5 men in the money classes.  Chainbuster Racing does an outstanding job and has quality races.  Perhaps it wasn't promoted enough outside the Southeast.  Maybe college football takes precedence over racing, although I find that hard to believe.  It has been a long season and what with the gazillion races to choose from, it is possible everyone was just as tired as I was.

The day leading up to the 9pm start was the ... longest ... one ... ever.  I did my best to stay off my feet.  I tried to take a nap, but failed.  I ate a big breakfast and lunch and went light for dinner.  The cup of coffee at 7 pm was a perfect fuel additive for my engine.  By race start, I was primed.

No better way to lose a night of sleep.

The course was 11 miles long, 700 feet of gain, and 99% single track.  It was held in Chewacla State Park.  The local SORBA group, CAMP (Central Alabama Mountain Pedalers), worked long and hard to get this course in tip top shape.

Here is a summary of my race by lap.

Lap 1:  Jill Martindale, a Mini-Me of Danielle Musto, had go go gadget legs.  I barely held on to her wheel.  During the more technical second half, I was able to take the lead and get the fastest lap award ($100).

Lap 2:  This was my settle down and maintain lap.  I really had no upper end power, but could crank out a steady aerobic endurance pace.

Lap 3:  Around mile 8-9, I swore I was pedaling through a Bath and Body Works.  And around mile 10, the odor of  cinnamon rolls elicited a Pavlovian response.  Your sense of smell and hearing are much more keen when night racing.  The flowery smell persisted all night long.  This was motivating, as I knew I was close to the finish of each lap.

Lap 4:  The first half of the course was on the aptly named  For Pete's Sake Trail.  It was equivalent to a person's small intestine.  5+ miles of so much twisting and turning that I could not tell if the lights around me were racers in front of or behind me.  This was the "Dr. Hyde" section.  I just kept telling myself that this evil would lead to pleasure ... Falls View and Creek View Trails.  These were "whoo hoo" fun.  Fast flowy descents with a few small rock gardens interspersed.

Lap 5:  Glowing eyes and large crashing sounds through the woods just next to me.  Hoping the deer, Sasquatch, or whatever it is doesn't decide to jump in front of me.

Lap 6:  Finally finding "zen" with the trail.  Knowing when to brake, when to accelerate, when to coast, and which lines were the smoothest.  In a race of this length, it is not just about the power you can generate, but using your engine efficiently.

Lap 7:  I started naming the roots:  Little Focker #1, Little Focker #2, Little Focker #3 ... you get the picture.

Lap 8:  The most painful lap.  Everthing was beginning to hurt:  taint, upper back/neck, feet ... in that order.  I began to daydream ... err, nightdream, to not think about the pain.  I tried to name all of Ursula's 5 dogs and 6 cats.  I designed my dream truck.

Lap 9:  Began to go through some mental calculations to determine how many more laps I would need to secure a win.  Try doing math in your head at 5 am with 95 miles in your legs!  At least it made the lap go by quick enough.

Lap 10:  The sunrise lap ... my favorite lap of these type events.  It is amazingly beautiful  how the trail slowly comes to life and you begin to see the terrain you have been riding through the past 10 hours.

The Jet 9RDO made for a much smoother ride.

Lap 11:  Came through the pits after the 10th.  I was told Jill was about 30 minutes behind me.  What with the time remaining, I had to go out for this 11th one.  Tired of carrying a Camelbak, tired of carrying lights and batteries, I shed all this equipment.  I didn't even want the weight of a full bottle so I drank about 8 ounces at the pits and rode away, "bare bones" style.

I finished at 7:52 ... plenty of time for a 12th lap, but not necessary.  Jeff, my teammate, finished 2nd, and James won the Ultra division.  A great showing for SuperSport!

C.A.M.P.  treated us to a delicious breakfast.  Bacon, sausage, eggs ... had I died and gone to heaven?

$150 per lap 

A special thanks to NiteRider for being the title sponsor.  This race could not have happened without their support.

1 comment:

KAT said...

Great read Carey! Congrats!