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Epic Singletrack #6 - King of the Rockies - Cycle

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Winter Park, Colorado
United States
Winter Park Competition Center
54F / 12C
Total Time = 3h 23m 3s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 30-39
Age Group Rank = 3/4
Pre-race routine:

Kind of a disaster of a weekend. My car's starter broke the night before, so I had left my car and bike at Nate's job site in Granby and we spent the night at a hotel at the resort. I took the kids to breakfast at the base, then Nate's parents brought me my bike and stuff, and drove me over to the start. Lubed my chain, packed everything up, rode a couple miles to warm-up a bit (it was cloudy and in the low 50's, so feeling pretty cold), then headed over to the start.
Event warmup:

Just rode a couple of miles on the road at the start. Didn't have time for much more.
  • 3h 23m 3s
  • 25.2 miles
  • 7.45 mile/hr

I’ve been really wanting to do this race for a couple of years. Last year, I broke my wrist in June so it was out. This year, I decided I was going to train for it. I got a decent start in the Spring, but then work had its way with me in July and August and I missed a bunch of long rides and got a little bit nervous. I decided to go for it anyhow – the worst that could happen was that I would ride slow and it would be a long training day, right?

Anyhow, waiting for the start there were hardly ANY women. Lined up for my group and there ended up being 8 beginner women, total, in all of the age groups. I think the weather scared everyone off? Anyhow, my biggest fear about this race was being DFL, and having bike patrol breathing down my neck the whole time, so when they started us, I took off as fast as I could. The first 3.5 miles were on a dirt road, and four of us lead out on that section, passing a bunch of guys along the way. Once I got onto the Tipperary singletrack, one other girl from my group got past me. My heart rate went through the roof trying to chase her at this point, and I had to let her go and chill out for a bit to get it back under control.

Tipperary is an 1,100 foot climb over 3 miles, so once she passed and I was in my own space I just got into a good smooth rhythm and cranked away to the top. Passed a few more guys, kept things steady, and got to the top in about 40 minutes. The descent down Spruce Creek was a blast! I thought some of the guys I passed on the climb would pass me back on the descent, but nobody ever caught up to me.

Crossed the road and flew through Flume and Chainsaw. There was one guy behind me on the Chainsaw climb but I dropped him at some point, and for a while there I was completely alone. Weird. At this point I was hitting the halfway point and felt like I was racing really well. I was pushing it pretty hard, but within my limits, and knew I could keep it up for a while.

When I crossed the road at Elk Creek and started climbing D2, it finally started to rain. It wasn’t bad at first. When I pre-rode the course I remember thinking D2 was an awful climb, but with the rain cooling things off, I was actually feeling pretty decent, and passed a couple more guys.

When I hit WTB, the wheels fell off. It was raining pretty hard at this point, and WTB has a lot of climbing up rooty sections. I was able to ride most of it when I pre-rode the course, but I was reduced to hike-a-bike for a number of sections during the race – it was so wet and slippery that I just couldn’t get traction climbing up the roots. My tires are not for wet weather, and it showed. At this point I had caught up to a girl from Sport class, and ended up behind her for quite a while. She was having the same issues, so that made me feel a bit better that I was walking my bike during a race. Anyhow, the climb up WTB and then D4 were pretty slow – I lost a LOT of time here since I kept getting on and off the bike. I was wanting to average over 8 mph for the race, and I was just watching my average speed drop the whole time that I rode this section. Ugh.

After that, there was a nice descent down to Vasquez, which I remember being pretty cold. Got to Vasquez, and had to climb up the road a bit to the ford. At this point, the heavens opened up and the nice rain turned into a complete downpour. It was DUMPING rain. Messed with pulling my wet arm warmers up on my arms the whole time I was on the road, so ended up going pretty slow here. I was freezing and soaking wet, and knew I needed to at least get my arms covered.

Got to the ford, which is still running pretty deep, so I had to walk across the river instead of ride through. So, yeah – ice cold mountain stream in a rainstorm - that was COLD!! At this point I had about 5 miles to go, and I was just in survival mode, counting down the miles that I could get inside. My feet were completely numb from the river crossing the rest of the ride.

The descent down Blue Sky was all mud and slippery, but fun – I’d love to ride that trail on a dry day! Ended up with a face full of mud, and had to stop at the bottom to clean my glasses so I could see (ugh, another waste of time!). I was happy to see Ice Hill because I figured some climbing would warm me up, and it did. The final few miles up Ice Hill and Serenity were a lot like WTB – kept dabbing and having to walk my bike up slippery rooty sections that I could ride no problem on a dry day. Lame. I was happy to be climbing though, just because it was warm!

Finally dropped down onto the service road at Winter Park and gunned it for the finish. It was still dumping rain, so the finish was a bit anti-climactic – there were two people standing in a tent, scanning our numbers. Not another soul out there. I didn’t care – I was seriously ecstatic to be done. Even though the last half of the race was slow and I didn’t hit my goal time, it was HARD, I felt really good that I got through the whole thing in pretty good spirits, and feeling decent.

Surprised at how few women did this race – over 400 competitors, and only 39 women. If I had raced sport instead of beginner, I would have bagged 1st – no one in my age group even raced Sport!
What would you do differently?:

Train more in the couple of months leading up to the race. Put better tires on my bike for rainy weather!
Post race
Warm down:

I was looking forward to a shower and the hot tub, but saw that I got 3rd place when I got to the finish, so I stuck around a bit for the podium ceremony. My MIL and Aspen had come to find me at the finish, and I figured Aspen would think it was cool to see her mom get a medal, and she did (my kids keep telling everyone I “won” my race because I got a medal, lol). I was freezing though – forgot to leave a change of clothes and shoes at the finish line, and had to stand there in my soaking wet kit the whole time. When it was over, went and took the best shower EVER and then sat in the hot tub with Aspen for a long time.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Mostly the weather. I never ride in wet conditions on the front range (the trails can't take it!), so I was out of my element. Also definitely got fatigued the last 10 miles - I'm sure that would have been a bit better if I had gotten in more long rides in the past couple of months. My endurance wasn't quite where it needed to be.

Event comments:

GREAT RACE! I will definitely do this again, and if I have a better schedule next summer, I'll try to do more of the series. This race course was great - good mix of climbing and fast sections, smooth stuff and techy stuff. There was a little bit of everything. Epic Singletrack does a really good job with the series. There were volunteers sitting out in the rain the entire time, pointing the way at almost every turn. Most of the people who turn out to race these are way more hardcore than me, but everyone was still really friendly, and I felt like it made me stretch myself.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2014-08-25 12:00 AM
03:23:03 | 25.2 miles | 7.45 mile/hr
Age Group: 3/4
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Wind: Little
Course: Starting on County Road 50 in Fraser, singletrack to the finish at Winter Park Resort base area.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Comfortable Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
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] 5

2014-08-25 11:09 AM

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Evergreen, Colorado
Subject: Epic Singletrack #6 - King of the Rockies

2014-08-26 9:39 AM
in reply to: #5043323

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Delafield, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Epic Singletrack #6 - King of the Rockies
excellent job, especially when the weather went sour! I got chilled just reading your report.
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