Tuesday, December 21, 2010

IMBCS #8 Mullet Classic race report

The last IMBCS race of the season fell in October which mostly would put a period on a rather long seeming season for me. I'd like to say I finally found my groove by the end of the season, but that wouldn't be reality.

IMBCS #8 at Ahquabi State park was renamed the Mullet Classic for this year. The course was roughly the same as previous years with the addition of some very freshly cut "singletrack" areas. I use the term singletrack loosely because I'm not exactly sure what that stuff was other than soul sucking, soft, and alternately rough as all get out. The race called for an expert class length of 5 laps roughly equaling 40 miles and making this our own local version of the famed Fat Tire 40 held in Chequamegon, WI. The race was semi mass start but broken up in waves to give a little space for the 150+ racers at this years event. Turnout was spectacular to say the least.

The experts lined up to start first. We sat around for a couple minutes contemplating the pain about to be bestowed upon as with a fast, hilly, and rough course laid out.

The whistle blew and we were off like a shot. I actually felt pretty decent at the start of the race, which hasn't been the case for most of the season. We hit the first few climbs with some fast flats in between and I let the fast guys go as my legs were still warming up. I was going to try to roll this race like last year and slowly up my effort over each lap since that led me to a win previously. As I got about halfway into the lap, I started catching the tail end of the lead group and passed a few guys. Soon enough I was sitting roughly in 4th overall. Barring a major catastrophe, there wasn't any way I'd catch the front 3 as all are in another league from me in regards to strength and speed. I kept pushing and realized I was going too hard to sustain that level of effort, so I backed it down just a shade.

The new and extremely rough sections followed up by a series of painful climbs right before the finish had me a little ragged by the time 1 lap was down. Lap 2 found me backing it down even more, but I was still maintaining a pretty good pace and holding position within 1 or 2 places. Unfortunately, I could feel things all ready starting to unravel a bit. I kept on it and finished out the lap and hit lap 3. I started to feel that wall creeping up on lap 3 and by the time I hit the finish line at the end of the lap, I knew it was pretty much over. I'd lost a couple more spots and was barely turning the pedals over. By the time I got halfway into the lap, I was spent and decided to pull the plug. It was another DNF for me. I'm not sure what was going on, but the fun factor was completely gone and all I wanted was to be off the bike and resting/recouping. Definitely not a proud moment for me, but its about how the season has gone overall.

Overall, this is a great race and one I'll be back to try and conquer again next year, but I just didn't have it on that day. Due to dogged determination, I managed to finish 4th in the expert series points this year, but the really doesn't reflect the quality of my racing. I felt like I survived in most races and even gave up in two rather than actually racing them like last year. The step from sport to expert class racing was more than I trained for this year. I still couldn't have made it through without help from Rasmussen Bike Shop as my main sponsor. Additional support from Ergon Grips and their killer product definitely kept my hands in good shape this year even if the rest of my body failed a few different times.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

That was a fun course!