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12/24 Hours in the Sage - Cycle

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Gunnison, Colorado
United States
70F / 21C
Total Time = 8h 06m 34s
Overall Rank = 6/14
Age Group = 12 Hours Solo
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Rolled into Gunnison friday night and checked into the campsite. The race was based at the Gunnison KOA and we'd reserved a cabin. Went over to registration and checked in and picked up my shwag bag which included the typical tshirt, a twinkie and a tallboy of Dale's Pale Ale. Went into town and got some Subway which we enjoyed sitting on the swing in front of the cabin.

Slept in a little saturday morning and went to a coffee shop in town for some breakfast. Came back to the campground and tuned up my bike a little - cleaned the chain and put air in the tires - and got all my stuff organized.
Event warmup:

No warmup for a race like this. Made sure my nutrition was someplace I'd know where it was, set up the lights so they'd be ready to put on the bike later and walked over to the start line with Kelly & Clara.
  • 8h 06m 34s
  • 68.5 miles
  • 8.45 mile/hr

Started out at the back and took it easy on the road to he trails chatting with some folks. I was one of the last to start the climb up Jack's and spread out before me was a long line up people climbing the switchbacks. It caught everyone back together & slowed down the pace but I didn't care. I was happy to find that the course omitted an annoying part of Behind the Rocks that I'd ridden back in May. The first lap was pretty mellow. There was no one passing me yet and I tried to keep the effort as easy as possible. I tried to see how little effort, how few times I could turn over the pedals and how much I could coast. The weather was just about perfect, the sun poked around but mostly stayed between clouds so it never got especially hot. I had toyed with the idea of going without my camelback. On Rocky Ridge I kept going back and forth with a guy in my division at the technical section. At one point I stopped to let him go by again and as he passed me he pinch flatted. He had a spare tube with him, but that was enough to convince me to keep my camelback with me.
Came in after the first lap and had a Honey Stinger bar but didn't stay long, just enough to eat and run. I wanted to get laps out of the way while the sun was up and I felt good. Treated the second lap the same as the first and tried to expend as little energy as possible. The first of the teams came by me about half way thru the lap & from then on it was a regular occurrence since they were on a much faster pace.. Second lap was pretty uneventful, legs were feeling ok though I could fell the effort. It did start clouding up some more and you could see some dark clouds around.
Stopped back at the cabin after the second lap for something to eat and right as I was about to head back out the skies opened up and we had a good little shower. Waited it out for 10' or so before taking off for my third lap. As luck would have it, about a mile down the road the road was completely dry so the course never go more than a bit of a sprinkle. Third lap was pretty uneventful too. Everyone throughout the race was really supportive and friendly when they came past. Every once in a while I'd pass someone, usually when they were stopped for some reason, but I continued just trying to keep the effort easy. Legs were starting to feel tired, but I didn't have any problems keeping moving. the main issue was my feet and butt were starting to become really uncomfortable.
Stopped back at the cabin after the third lap and had a Lara bar, sat down in the camp chair and put my feet up for a few minutes which felt great. Kellly had gotten some dinner (the race provided food from start to finish for everyone, not just the racers) and was nice enough to let me steal most of her baked potato which was AWESOME! Great race food. Tried to get out within about 40', in large part to make sure I finished the next lap before it starting getting too dark. Changed my socks and put a blister pad over the side of my toe that was bothering me and this helped a lot. A little chamois butter and I felt great for the 4th lap. Legs were tired, but with the comfort issues out of the way I felt really good. I tried to calculate in my head whether or not I'd have enough time for 2 more laps and decided it would be close, I'd need to not dawdle too much. Felt good on the climb up and the rest of the lap went fine. Made it back to the end just as the sun was setting.
Put my feet up again for a few minutes which felt even better but I tried not to get too comfortable. Had some more snacks, I was pretty hungry by this point, and put the lights on my bike. Thought I might try to get out before it got totally dark out but there wasn't much light in the sky when I stated my 5th lap. Passed by a ramp with a fire at the start/finish line before realizing that it was a fire jump - maybe next time! It took a little while to get used to the lights, I'd never ridden a a bike with lights before, even just around the neighborhood, so it was nice to have a couple of miles of road first. Felt good on the climb up the front and I felt a little freer to push the pace - either I'd need too push it to have time for another lap or it would be my last lap anyway. I was a little slower through some of the twisty spots and I walked a couple of things that I''d ridden during the day, but I got used to the lights ok. It was really cool to be able to look out and see lights everywhere. There's no trees anywhere on the course, it's all sage so you could see all the people ahead and behind you in a lot of places. As I came up to the last little climb at The Notch I was passed by a guy on a townie bike with big fat tires. He completely blew by me with his music blaring and yelled something like "way to go!". My last view was him blasting up the slickrock (which I walked the last lap) with his techno blasting before he disappeared out of sight off the other side. Made it back down and was happy to know that I'd made it through 5 laps. I realized I wasn't going to have enough time (or batteries) for another lap so I pedaled hard for home.
What would you do differently?:

Looking back I now know that if I hadn't taken it quite so easy or taken a little shorter breaks I would've had time for a sixth lap, although looking at the standings, it wouldn't have moved me up any places. I said going in that 4 laps was doabale and 5 laps would be a good day, so this was a good day, And I was surprised to see I'd done so well. I had no idea at the time, but I beat the guy behind me by 3 minutes but I about 1:50 behind the guy in front of me.
Post race
Warm down:

Went back to the cabin to drop off my stuff and headed to the shower. Kelly & Clara were sleeping so I went over and got a bite to eat and a victory beer and hung out watching the comings and goings for a little while.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Didn't get in the training I'd planned for when I started back in the winter, but I knew coming in that that was going to be the case, what with having a baby and all, so I was fine with it. Training wasn't a priority and I was lucky Kelly was so understanding to allow me to be able to get in what I was able to get in.

Event comments:

This race is billed as a party with a race and it didn't disappoint.. You knew it was going to be fun when the first item of the pre-race meeting was the order that the kegs would be tapped during the race, Overall everyone was really friendly and supportive and while yes, it's a race and people focus on results, it's also the Townie World Championships, so it's not overly serious.It was a great intro to long distance mtb'ing and while it surely didn't make me want to do a 24 hr, I definitely hope to done another 12 hour race at some point.

Last updated: 2013-03-01 12:00 AM
08:06:34 | 68.5 miles | 8.45 mile/hr
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/14
Performance: Good
Lap 1 - 1:31, Lap 2 - 1:34, Lap 3 - 1:40, Lap 4 - 1:35, Lap 5 - 1:44 - this is time in the saddle, not total race time.
Wind: Some
Course: Start finish at the KOA. 2 flat miles along the road to Hartman's Rock. Climb up Jacks to the road then up to Behind the Rocks -> Alonzo's. Climb up Water Treatment->The Luge->Broken Shovel->new trail then down Sea of Sage. Climb up Rocky Ridge with some technical stuff at the top, then down to Beck's and back down to the bottom via the technical (for me hike-a-bike) Notch. Then back 2 miles along the road. 13.7 miles and most likely around 1000' climbing per lap, although the race calls it 1,800'.
Road:   Cadence:
Turns: Cornering:
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-08-26 2:52 PM

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Subject: 12/24 Hours in the Sage
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