I have A LOT on my mind that I could write about for the 100 MTB. But I have a lot to do, think about, and plan for the 100 run this Saturday, as well as catch up on coaching work (no wifi and basically no phone connectivity in Leadville I got a little behind and I apologize to my athletes for any of the seemingly inattentiveness). Garmin moving time was 8:59, even with my unmotivated, slow 14 mile slog to the finish.
In a nutshell: The ride was going well. It was the best I've felt in two months physically. My tech ability was like the bike was on rails (hit 50.4 mph on Columbine). The bike (Hope) was outstanding. All the new parts, including the 1x10 gear set up was flawless (though tough to swallow when I needed the old granny gear - man the f**k up is what I kept telling myself). Almost all the riders around me and faster ones coming at me on their return trip were courteous and friendly. I couldn't find anyone who seemed to know what the hell a pace line is. Outbound was wind at the back on the road, so no biggie. Return trip was steady strong wind in the face. Painful at mile 75... Most the guys I rode much of the race with and around me finished in 8:50-9:10. I was on that pace to mile 85 when I punctured the rear tire screaming down Sugarloaf descent - a hole in the middle of the tread about the size of half my pinky nail. Couldn't get the damn tubeless valve off (mechanic tightened it down a couple weeks ago when he thought there was a slow leak in it when I took it down to the shop to use their air compressor). Finally got the thing off with hulk force caused by frustration and swarming biting horseflies. Got the tube in, aired it up and was on my way. 9 hours was out of the question and without that motivation I was physically deflated. It was a death "march" to the finish. 9:48 chip. 9:49 gun time. Picked up the baby buckle (that I'm pretty proud of anyway) and then jogged the 10k later that next morning, stopping midway to chat with Brandon who was out there taking photos.
Thanks very much to Brandon for coming out to pipeline with my stuff. Since I didn't have a crew, I was carrying most of what I needed in a vest pack but it was nice to grab some fresh water and VFuel gels from him and get the boost of seeing a friend out there. He got some nice photos too.
Thanks to Rudy Project for the Windmax helmet and shades. I've had the worse time trying to find a helmet that fits comfortably and I can literally go all day with the RP helmet on unnoticed.
Monster thanks to VFuel for their ongoing support and outstanding gels. So easy on my stomach with constant, even energy. Leadman is only possible with them on my side.
Some photos - all by Brandon Fuller:
|Base of Powerline climb inbound.|
|Road to Fish Hatchery inbound.|
|I was pulling at the front but nobody seemed to be on the same page for pace lines.|
|So, I held up and rode behind the disorganized group.|
Next three photos of finish by Dennis Young:
And from the speedy jog 10k on Sunday...
|Stopping to hang out with Brandon.|
|The imaginary 2.5 mile finish line.|
|Elevation Trail hat and gold sparkly socks brining it home at ripping 7:30 pace.|