Greetings from North Carolina and Happy Easter! Yesterday Aaronasaurus and I took to the hills of NC and the W. Kerr Scott trail system and attempted to lay down some nice miles and show them how the Bulldogs roll. The race was a 6 hour format with an 11 mile lap of tight twisty bermy hardpacked climby goodness. It was like a rollercoaster the entire way.
So from the gun Aaron and I got in the front pack and drilled it to stay with the cool kids and just avoid the bottlenecking as the passing was SOOOO hard to find and tight. So as we hit the first lap I was sitting in about 15th overall and Aaron was on the leader's wheel. As we pumped and flowed through the good stuff I picked off about 4 or 5 guys and settled into around 10th going into lap two where I maintained that. Lap 3 I felt like poop and started spinning backwards. I kept on the nutrition and hydration but lap 4 wasn't much better. I kept doing all I could mentally and tried to put down some more effort on lap 5 since I wanted to make the time cutoff to start lap 6 and stay on the lead lap. I did. From lap 4 to lap 5 I put in a 7 minute negative split to get out on lap #6. This was amazing since a few guys finished right before me on lap 5 and bagged it. Finishing that last lap made me jump past them and then get one or two other guys that ran out of gas on lap 6.
I finished in 6:36 feeling ok that I was consistent but a little annoyed that the power was gone on lap 3 and 4. I thought I'd have more in the tank but it just wasn't there. After all it was my first race on dirt and my 3rd ride on dirt so far this season. The intensity of riding the MTB hard just isn't the same as cranking on the road hard. For sure... So it was a good day after all. I was surprised as heck to find out that when they put up the results that I finished in 5th place of 104 in open men. I was thinking 20 something maybe. With this format it's so hard to keep track with the guys who pit and duo teams etc so it was a nice reward for a HARD day. Dirt is sweet!!!
Unfortunately my teammate Aaron was in the lead and opened up a nice gap when his stomach turned and shut down his day. After that he just couldn't put it down any more and was really hurting. He had to bag it after lap four and I was astonished when I came into camp seeing him prepping to give me feeds. It stinks that he had a bad day as he was doing REALLY well. It is what it is right?
So all in all it was an amazing venue with a bunch of great people, great organization, and a sweet BBQ afterwards. What a nice early season race! Maybe I'll come back for round two next year. I'm sure I'll post up more details and things become less fuzzy :-)