Monday, April 23, 2007

Cohutta 100 Race Report

survived the first race of the year.

rode thursday afternoon with andy and my dad at blanket's creek outside atlanta. by weird coincidence, mr eatough was getting his spin on there as well. was great to get-out with my pops, his 3rd time out on a mtb. fun, swooping trails, great place for jeff sr to nail some skills. was super impressed w/how aggressive he rode, speeding-up to clear obstacles w/momentum, good stuff. dinner w/my mom, then north through redneck country to the cabin. searched for beer at the "rebel's pantry" - confederate flags aren't going out of style in northern georgia, that's fer sure. kinda bums me out that these folks hold onto their "culture" of racism and bigotry so proudly. 'nough said there.

great pre-ride of the singletrack at the race site on friday. perfect weather, sunny, 70's, couldn't have been in a better mood or with better folks. the plan was to leave enough gas in the tank on saturday to ride the final 10miles of singletrack with vigor, to really enjoy it. plans are great, aren't they?

didn't bring any nutrition/fuel with me to the race, was in this total "this is for training" mindset, which completely fled the scene when arriving at the whitewater center on friday. borrowed tons of stuff from my teammate harvey (huge props!), and hoped for bananas and pb&j's at the aid stations.

spent friday night w/harlan, elk, eddie & namrita, andy, and harvey at a sweet cabin harvey snagged for the 2nd year in a row. good peoples. harvey brought some tasty beers (sweetwater 420 extra pale ale) that i sampled more than a cpl times that night.

saturday started-out cool, arm warmers were enough. hit the first piece of swooping, super fun singletrack in 30th or so, wasn't worried about it, goals for the race were to finish in a faster time than the year before and not too far back from guys i'd like to be riding next to later in the season when the form comes around.

i guessed that my early season fitness would carry me to mile 70 or so and it'd be all guts from there on out - and that's pretty much how it worked-out. found myself in a group with some folks i'd met before and some i hadn't. some of us pulled more than others, with one not pulling at all - folks who don't do their share are cool? i digress. was riding too aggressively considering where i am fitness-wise - andy claims he was telling me to take it easy while i remember telling him to take it easy. cpl knuckleheads.

by mile 45 (aid 3), andy had fallen a minute back due to a wipe-out on a corner, nothing too serious, unlike thom's crash which was downright awful. being the uber tough guy he is, thom would go-on to take 2nd in the SS class with road rash from his face to his ankle and some bruised ribs to really make things feel good on the bike. back to mile 45, i took too long peeing and got dropped from the group. i was thinking the climbing was pretty much done until aid 4 at mile 60 and skipped getting water / HEED. i hadn't eaten anything besides Gu's and half a banana and aid 3 didn't have anything that looked good, so i pushed-on thinking it was downhill to aid 4 where i was planning to fuel-up. it was not downhill to aid 4! holy crap, felt like i climbed forever before finally cruising down to aid 4 where i stuffed my face and filled lonely water btls. you know you're in a tight spot when you pick-up your empty water bottle for the 10th time and shake and squeeze it until a single drop of moisture hits your tongue.

eddie o passed me at aid 4 (mile 60) riding strong. i mustered enough energy to get onto his wheel and we worked together through 7 miles of flats. as we came to the next climb, prosser appeared while eddie showed us that his hard early season training was in full effect by disappearing up the climb in about 2 nanoseconds. good to see that dude riding well. he'd end-up putting 20+ mins on me in those final 30miles and finish in a solid 15th place.

by this point i was pretty much in survival mode. i'd push a bit and feel the hot sweats come-on, the precursor to bonking, so would ease-up and ride best as i could, trying to conserve enough to have some fun on the final 10 miles of singletrack. prosser eventually ditched me - i don't remember much between miles 70-90 besides a cpl really nice views - poked my head out of the pain cave long enough to soak-up the sights.

upon reaching the singletrack, i was stoked to say the least, but as the climbing began, i just didn't have it. Harvey went roaring by with a 18-year-old kid in tow who'd fallen back early w/cramps. harvey would put 7 mins on me in those final miles! good finish for that guy. i was so damn beat, when harvey came-up on me, i just pulled over and let him by and ate some cliff blocks. i was cooked. done. toasted. i can't remember having to dig that deep for that long to finish a race.

stumbled across in 21st or 22nd, about 45mins faster than i rode the course the year before. not bad for my first race of the season, pretty stoked, actually. i expected to be a bit slower considering the abbreviated training, but dry conditions had the wheels rollin' quick - as did the fast pace up front.

the race was well run and the course well marked.

thom and i skipped his podium appearance as he needed to get back to boston asap. by 6p thom had scrubbed the gravel out of his face, hands, arms, legs and bum-bum - and we were heading north, driving all night, 18 hours worth, but that's another story...


At 4/23/2007 3:50 PM, Blogger namrita o'dea said...

i can't believe you drove back that night!! great job, though.

maybe we'll see ya again sometime this year.

At 4/23/2007 8:25 PM, Blogger IF Chicks said...

good job taking all that time off..Long Trail Ale is proud of you.

Sorry to hear about Thom...
i just drove all day coming back from VA yesterday that seemed long. hard core ride junky.

i hope you took off riding to work from swampscott !!!

At 4/24/2007 9:50 AM, Blogger Thom P. said...

Nice job, nice report, and nice driving through the wee-est of the wee hours. Way to push through that "Place of Wind and Ghosts" in every way.

At 4/24/2007 9:54 AM, Blogger Andy said...

good work all around this weekend.
your a madman in the best sence of the word.

At 4/24/2007 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Post a Comment

<< Home