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Firecracker 50 - CycleOther

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Breckenridge, Colorado
United States
Total Time = 6h 21m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = Sport W 30-39
Age Group Rank = 7/
Pre-race routine:

I wasn't planning on doing this race, I was just looking for something to do over the 4th of July weekend. My boss's brother came into my office and mentioned the Firecracker 50 was in a couple days, am I doing it? I checked it out online, sounded epic and fun, so I signed up! What the heck!?

Drove up to Breck with Drew (after making him nervous by putting a quart of oil in before leaving). Pretty morning, he played tour guide and pointed out all the mountains we were driving around, through and over. We arrived and found a great parking spot. Walked over to registration and smooooothly picked up my packet of goodies. They marked our calves with numbers respresenting our categories, I hadn't seen that at mtn bike races before.

Hung out at the car getting ready, chattin with Mr. Forerunner, a couple of his buddies, and me and Drew. I put on my 8 year old sunscreen, gave Drew the key to my car, and headed out to warm up with Keith (mr. forerunner). Little bit nervous and somewhat scatter-brained.
Event warmup:

Climbed the course heading out of town and then back. Rode down the main street where the parade was getting ready to find my place. Way way way way way in the back was the little sign waving that indicated all the Sport Women classes grouped there. They set up the race so that the competitors begin the 4th of July parade through town. There were a ton of us. I'm guessing 400 or so. National Anthem, and then they started us off in waves. It took 10 minutes for it to even get to our class. Off we went. We had to stay behind the marshall until the end of the parade course. It was so cool. This was probably my favorite part of the day, riding slowly through the people lining the street, all of them cheering, all the little kids out lining our path with their little arms outstretched hoping for a high five from us. I got a little teary eyed because it was so cute. So I fived all of them I could (with out takin any of them out).
  • 6h 21m
  • 50 miles
  • 7.87 mile/hr

Well, I hadn't a clue how to pace something like this. Two 25 mile laps, over 5,000 feet of climbing per lap. I knew it was going to be painful. Coach Ocky reminded me to just spin for that first lap. Keep the cadence high and light. So that is all I thought about when climbing up and out of town for the first HOUR. So there was tons of climbing, quite a bit of that on fire roads, which is nice because it isn't technical, but then you have less to think about so you mind wanders to how much pain your body is in.

There were some burly climbs on the trail and I stayed on the bike for just about all of them on that first lap. The downhills were kinda brutal. Ok, mostly so. I'm comfortable screaming downhill, and passed quite a few people in those sections, but this was very steep and very rocky and not as fun as I had hoped. However, I just kept thinking it was a fast way to tick off those miles. After some of those sections, I would look down at my tires in amazement that I didn't pinch flat. My tire pressure was a little low so I kept thinking light floaty thoughts while descending.

The sketchiest part of the trail was when we were led across the treeline of a mountain after climbing a very painful long long climb. I was delirious at the top and then had to navigate through the loose skree on the singletrack that was along the slope. So, a few miles of cliffside singletrack. NOT my favorite, especially when the down slope is to my left and I am a habitual left foot un-clipper.

Just before the end of the first lap, I tried to get in front of a girl that was holding everyone up on a descent. She wasn't letting anyone by and there were quite a few behind her. I'll admit I probably shouldn't have chosen the inside of a switchback to do it. ok? I know. But I did and it was super loose powder dirt on top of rocks. Yeah. I don't know if I took her out to or if she happened to crash at the same time independently of me. Either way, I felt bad. I wrecked on the rocks but quickly got up and moved along. Actually just happy I was in front of her.

First lap done.

Back to the climb out of town. Long. Exposed to the sun. Hot. My butt hurt seriously bad. My nutrition was wrong. My guts weren't feeling right. Along the climb some dude set up the "Wild Turkey Challenge" with an aid station of whiskey shots. I think that is whiskey. I seriously considered.... but I did not partake. The single speed chick behind me did it.

More torture. The aid stations ran out of gels. However, my slower pace made it easier to get to know the group of us that was riding together. Guys from the Clydesdale class, guy from a sport class, a guy from a class way further up than me, the single speed girl and another girl from my class. We walked a lot of the steep climbs. I remember coming down one of the descents just before the 3rd aid station, thinking it was so rocky and brutal, that when I got to the bottom finally my body felt more worked over than it did when I was climbing.

Anyway... enough of the torture. I was hoping for a top 10 finish (not knowing how many were in my class) and at some point in the second lap, I only hoped to finish before midnight. I just wanted to finish the mthr effin thing even if I had to crawl. On the last beat-yer-body-to-oblivion rooty rocky descent towards the finish, I was cussin out every single rock and root.

I was sooooooooooooo happy to be done.
What would you do differently?:

I didn't train for this at all, and since it was so last minute of a race I really don't think I could have done anything different. Pack more gels so I didn't rely on the aid stations I guess.
Post race
Warm down:

I know I painted quite the painful picture, but really, I loved every second of it. Beautiful scenery, amazing day, good people, fun terrain. It was epic and exactly what I was hoping to experience this summer. Very well run race and all the people were great. I enjoyed it.

Would I do it again? Not sure. Someone in the beer line asked if I was going to do the Leadville 100. I said after the 50 we just did??? He said this 50 mile course is way more difficult and puts the 100 to shame. Leadville is way easier. Really???? Well no wonder I feel like sh*t. :)


Last updated: 2008-07-01 12:00 AM
06:21:00 | 50 miles | 7.87 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Hills:
Race pace: Drinks:
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2008-07-08 1:00 PM

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Subject: Firecracker 50

2008-07-08 1:10 PM
in reply to: #1514788

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2008-07-08 1:14 PM
in reply to: #1514788

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Firecracker 50

Awesome report dirt face. Assuming you didn't mean that the sunscreen was for kids but rather that it was really old....nice.


2008-07-08 4:43 PM
in reply to: #1514788

Subject: RE: Firecracker 50
Wow. Nice race!!! You're quite the amazing one.
2008-07-08 8:34 PM
in reply to: #1514788

Subject: RE: Firecracker 50
Not sure if I mentioned it but you totally rocked it.
2008-07-09 9:39 AM
in reply to: #1514788

Milton, GA
Subject: RE: Firecracker 50
Fantastic job, RM!!!!

2008-07-09 11:11 AM
in reply to: #1514788

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Subject: RE: Firecracker 50
Epic, indeed. You are the sh*t.
2008-07-09 12:22 PM
in reply to: #1514788

Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: RE: Firecracker 50
So, ARE you going to do the Leadville 100?
2008-07-10 12:16 PM
in reply to: #1514788

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
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