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Epic Singletrack #1 - Winter Park Hill Climb - Cycle

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Winter Park, Colorado
United States
Winter Park Competition Center
65F / 18C
Total Time = 1h 05m 5s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = Novice 30-39
Age Group Rank = 5/6
Pre-race routine:

Packed up the camper and drove up to Winter Park. Got the bike out and rode over to the base to pick up my number about half hour before my start time.
Event warmup:

Rode about a mile or so on roads around the WP base just to warm up a bit. Headed back to the start area, took my inhaler and had an applesauce packet.
  • 1h 05m 5s
  • 5 miles
  • 4.61 mile/hr

So, yeah - I got my ass handed to me here!

Got to the start line and wondered where all the women were. When they called the novice women to the line there were a total of 15 of us in all the age groups combined - not a lot!

I was planning to take it out easy since I was planning on this being a long effort, and also because none of it was singletrack so I wasn't worried about positioning. So, they start us and everyone takes off and I end up near the back with a few women and just start grinding away. And it was a climb right from the start. Up, and up, and more up. I just kept spinning at a manageable pace, not really knowing the course. I didn't want to blow up and have nothing left if it got steeper or harder. And it was hard - I kept thinking, "why did I pay money for this again!?!" Turns out, it was pretty much the same the whole way up. On average an 8-9% grade, with a few steeper hills, and a couple of very short flatter spots. Started passing some slower guys about halfway up, but never passed any women, and didn't get passed by anyone either. It was kind of lonely! When I got about a mile from the end I started to pick it up knowing I had it done. About 1/3 mile from the finish some guys were yelling at me to catch the girls in front of me - "Make it hurt!!!!" Which made me laugh, because quite honestly, I wasn't hurting that bad. My ass hurt from an hour in the saddle with no break (I never sit that long on my mountain bike!), and my back was sore for some reason, but my legs were all right and my breathing was all right. In the end, I think I could have kept climbing for a few miles, which is a big sign that I held back too much and didn't give it all I had.

So, I'm a little bit disappointed in myself. My time was all right, and looking at the times from last year vs this year, it just seems like none of the slower women showed up, which obviously affects placing. Last year, my time was fairly mid-pack, with a lot of finishers closer to 1.5 hours. This year, none of the women were that slow! BUT, I'm disappointed because I didn't even feel like I raced this. As soon as the faster riders were out of my sight, I just cruised on up like it was a training ride. And don't get me wrong - climbing 2,000 feet at altitude is no picnic no matter what so it was hard - but I just think I could have pushed it a bit harder.
What would you do differently?:

Try harder from the get-go. I would have gone out a bit faster to stay with the group, and pushed the pace more. Now that I've seen the course, I know how consistent it is - I didn't need to hold back as much as I did at first. Also, I just need to be more competitive. At about mile 4 I had passed a few guys and came up on one woman, and as I was about to pass her she put on the gas and got back ahead of me. I kind of let her go, and figured it didn't matter. Well, turns out she was in my age group. I'm 100% sure I could have beat her if I had even tried. Lame. I am just not that competitive, and it bites me in the ass sometimes.
Post race
Warm down:

Hung out at the top for a couple minutes, texted Nate to say I was done, took a few pics. It was super cold up there, so I put on my arm warmers and headed back down the mountain.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Altitude, lack of trying?

Event comments:

Race was run well and organized. Lots of volunteers stopping downhill traffic from the bike park so they weren't flying across in front of us - that was nice. I'd do it again to try and do better, but honestly, it's called the "Hill Climb" - it's not an intrinsically fun race.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-06-15 12:00 AM
01:05:05 | 05 miles | 4.61 mile/hr
Age Group: 5/6
Overall: 6/
Performance: Below average
Course: Start at the Winter Park resort base and ride the access road to the top of Winter Park, and then on to the top of Mary Jane. Up, and up, and more up!
Road: Rough Dry Cadence:
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Below average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2014-06-15 6:05 PM

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: Epic Singletrack #1 - Winter Park Hill Climb
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And then I saw it. I got to "The Hill." It looked a bit innocent really, in reflection - just a little hill, with the road bending around to the left...
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I struggled on the bike while climbing the hill portions of the course. I do fine on long straight rides but really have a tough time while hill climbing. Any advice or training tips?
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Can't run outside in the snow? Think again. I flew up the first hill with surprising ease and power. The Yaktrax gripped into the ice like racing spikes on a rubber track. Sweeeeet.