138 miles completed. Very weird experience starting at midnight. Riding at night on powdery dust trails with a few hundred other riders was surreal. At certain points when riders were grouped I couldn't see the trail from all the dust picked up in my light, like a whiteout blizzard. By first light at 6am I had 62 miles in the first 6 hours and was thankful for daylight. I crashed just twice (both right hand turns, of course, just like Temecula) at mile 25 and again at mile 30, then went incident free for the remainder of the ride.
Having formed visions of what the area may look like throughout the night (I hadn't seen one inch of the course beforehand), it was bizarre to actually see the landscape and trail at dawn after riding it for 6 hours in pitch blackness. Oddly, I was turing pretty fast laps in the middle of the night and was consistent on times through the ride with my fastest lap coming at the 114 mile mark. I realized that I went from using pure power on faster sections and climbs at night while being a little cautious in sandy tight sections to being more fluid and efficient in the daylight - both translated into nearly identical lap times.
By around mile 120 I wasn't really into it anymore and getting a little careless (likely from mental fatigue of being up for two days straight without sleep). The bike was awesome, no mechanical problems and just a chain clean and fresh lube every 25 miles. The body and endurance still felt good, no cramping, riding every climb and still trying to be competitive with the team riders. There were only like 18 solo riders and the other hundreds of people made up teams of up to 6-8 people, so as I turned more and more laps and felt more and more tired, there seemed to be an unending assembly line of fresh riders out there cranking past me. I decided to ride two more uninterrupted laps and finish at 138 miles, have a beer, get cleaned up, hang out bleary eyed with my adopted folks Mary and Dennis, and sleep.
The event is great and well organized. The course is a blast - very different than the Temecula 12 hour with fast, flowing sections. I'm torn on the midnight start. I think I prefer and will probably stick with 12 hour events that start early in the morning. Hope I don't get criticized by armchair endurance readers for liking 12 hour events over 18 or 24 hour ones. That said, I could see myself doing this particular event again next year. I can now see the fun in doing it as a two person team. I'm sure Tan and I would do over 200 miles and have a blast. So, Tan, start looking into time off work this time next year.
Slept like a drugged up rock star last night (so mentally out of it!) and other than obvious soreness from my neck to my toes I feel solid today and will be up for a run tomorrow. Not too many times I can say that after running a 100 miler where I can't walk correctly and am swollen and beat up for several days
All in all, the last 14 days of running a solid 100 miler and riding a 138 mile effort leaves me feeling pretty decent about Leadville's Leadman, which was the purpose of those events.