I had never done this race, though I had heard a lot about the trails. The race started at the bottom of a long double track climb. Half way up the climb I found myself in a group of three that had a little gap on the rest of the field. I wasnt going all that hard so I decided to pick it up a little and soon I was at the front and we headed into the singletrack. Once into singletrack, the trail just goes straight back down. By the time I got to the bottom there were two of us together. I tried to pick it up a little through the rocky techincal section that followed, as I knew the other guy was on a hardtail. I heard that familiar sound of him having problems on the rocks and by the time I looked back, I was by myself. The course is seperated into three sections. The first section is pretty rocky and difficult. The second section is really rocky. The third section is fast and flowing. Two and a half hours later I hadnt seen anyone other than the NUE series riders I was catching but my time didnt add up with how many miles I had left. All race I was keeping on eye on my time, miles, and average speed with the idea that I might be able to break the course record and pick up the bonus money for doing so. However, it wasnt adding up and it didnt seem like I would be even close, which was frustrating, but motivating. Then all the sudden the trails got much easier, and much faster. My average speed was cruising up in a hurry and I thought that if I really pushed I might be close. I was a little worried about the heat and cramping so I pulled in at the last feedzone, #4, and filled up a water bottle. They guy helping me said it was all down hill from where we were. I wanted to belive him, but Ive heard that type of thing before. Turns out, he was right, and I didnt need the bottle as it was only a few minutes to the finish. I came across the finish line a little over 10 minutes faster than the old record, set in 2007. I was early enough, it didnt seem like they were quite yet. Travis Donn and Jason Knight came across the line next, about 12 minutes later. Its a good race on tough trails. Its almost 50 miles of singletrack which is pretty rare. My bike is due for some serious service after Ouachita, Whiskey 50, and now Syllamos. Some years it just goes well, no major mechanicals and not one flat tire in 260 plus miles of rocky racing action.
Posted by AaronE. at 2:47 PM
US Nats course has been posted here. I was a little nervous about the decision to skip Nationals in favor of BC Bike Race, but after seeing the changes to the course, im glad Im not going to Sun Valley. (the only changes are those little switch back thingies on the climb.)
Posted by AaronE. at 3:46 PM