Arrived Friday night inking we needed to grab primo camping but ended up not being an issue this year. camped with Utek as support team and Chuck and Marsha. Saturday was a rest day before the race so Utrek and Marsha got a ride day and Kratsch and Brice and Jill came down to join them. They ended up riding a huge ride with a guy that joined them in the paring lot. The fact that they realized he had a county jail monitor ankle bracelet on was another story.
got up at 4 am and sunscreened up in the dark. Riding the new ( new to me) Jet from NINER. all is set and lined up for the 5 am start. This year went light weight and only brought a single water bottle and a few gummy bears as the aid stations really rock. Neutral start to the road and I stayed up front as last year i was in the back. when we started up the first big climb I grab a wheel of a faster group and hammered the first lap. A Chuck watched me take off he wondered what the hell iwas doing ( and so was I) but it ended up working out or me and really gained me some time early on. downhill on the first lap was fast and furious and I did not even realize I was in front of Chuck until I completed first 33 mile loop ( 6100 feet of climbing).
I was able to middle ring the whole first lap but second lap up needed the granny here and there. feeling great but after about mile 50 the gas tank was just not filligback up even though I was eating. got to the bottom of the third lap and thought I was done. I was doing the mat to see if I could finish as was not sure about the cut off times. I was ready o ask Utrek about the race times and when I got there he said I was MOP ( middle of pack) . We took off and Igot up for the third lap up to Windy pass ad was ll little ring all of the time. Utrek rode with me and talked me up.....I was WIPED! pedal stroke was fast but energy was low. Utrek peeled off at windy pass and I headed up the rest still really tired.
As I started down for the final Alpine I thought the cut off back to Windy was 5:30 so I was going as fast as I could with limited energy. I got to final aid 2 at 5:15 just making the cutoff........( come to find later the cutoff was 6:30 not 5:30 so I was way ahead of schedule)
Best aid station ever...Aid 2....I asked if they had something salty and pretzels sounds bad. he asked me " how about some bacon?" best bacon i ever had and only time an aid station has ever offered me bacon...it was supreme. then said that coffee would go nice with that and he got that for me as well. I mean we are in the middle of nowhere and this guy is making miracles happen with bacon and coffee for me.
final stretch down I knew I had made the cut off and would finish so took it a little easier and even walked up a few little hills. Here comes Chuck passing me and looking fresh. he had burned his candles more evenly over the day... He finisihed like 18 minutes ahead of me.
finish time just under 13 hours.......after a DNF last year felt like a real accomplishment. Support from Marsha and especially from Utrek made the race. great training rides before with Steph and Kevin and Kratsch.....finisher hat in the trophy case.
first pic is me half a through race a little tired, second is the course with elevation profile, we did three laps