Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Alum Creek Race; Another Medal For Tookie.

The rain on Friday was pretty bad. Nobody really knew if the race would still even be on since Phase 1 trail is lower than Death Valley, and tends to get quite snotty with mud after the lightest rain. Recent trail improvements however proved well designed, as just 24 hours later the course was fast and tacky. Jeff drove up from Kentucky Saturday night and we got straight to work rebuilding his old 29er for his daughter, and Sean C. was ready to go..so we all met up Sunday morning and the race was on!

It's Fall here now, so the morning saw lots of bundled up warm-up rides in the parking lot. Jeff and I of course are the size of the Graf Zeppelin, so we were in shorts and jerseys only. The race horn blew at 11 a.m., and it was on!  I was set up in the trees on lap 1,

 and saw Sean leading his group out with a long train behind him. Once out onto the street, I think that may have been the end of his lead-out..turns out never shifting out of your big ring in tight, rooty, twist singletrack may not have abeen a stellar plan. Jeff rolled through shortly after in the Meatball Category. He would fight back and forth relentlessly, eventually pasisng Sean on lap 2 and driving it on home..squeeking the finish line for 3rd place by less than 10 seconds.

I waited for Sean's last lap final section and rode with him out..and across the loooong dam into a headwind until he was on the final stretch. Such a beautiful day for so much pain..:)  No injuries and no mechanicals for anyone to deal with is always a relief, and Kenda tires (Small Block 8/Blue Groove combo for Sean, and Slant 6 front and rear for Jeff) killed it.

The Xpedo pedals as usual had no binding issues in the occasional mud hole. Jeff's Hydrapak served him well, as reaching for bottles is almost impossible on the trail here. HUGE thanks to Amino Vital, which kept the boys cramp free on such a cold dry day with so much beat-down on the rootfest at Alum Creek.  My new pad-reach-adjuster dial on the Formula R-1's was SICK...and the bank of SIGMA computers kept everyone's cadence on the real-real. One more in the books ya'll..see ya in a  couple of weeks!

**Big thanks to my Best Woman Lauren Lichtenauer for allowing me to lick her head.**

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jeff Williams And The Adventure Race.

Hey, Chris 
I just wanted to give you the update on the 8 hour Unbridled Adventure race this past weekend in Carter Caves, Ky. This was my very first adventure race, so I didn't really know what to expect and it showed as all of us on my team were all fist timers in the 3 man category. 
I was worried about the amount of running on the trails and bush whacking to check points that my sore knee would need to endure to make it through this race, but the inexperience had a greater effect then our physical short comings. 
So, with that said it was a blast even with our rookie mistakes.  The race was broken up into four legs BIKE, PADDLE, TREK, and BIKE. Heres the rub on the first bike leg we only need to get the first 3 check points, not understanding that the second bike leg was all bonus check points, so we went through the entire bike leg at first clearing all check points since my other two teammates were not that strong on the bike and we wanted to get all that we could while they were fresh. 
Once checking back in at the transition area to go out on the next leg, we found out that only the first 3 check point will count and we would need to go back out to double punch the 4 on the second bike leg. 
What a pisser that now we had wasted 45 mins on the first bike leg. Next the paddle wasn't so bad, other then the two time we almost flipped the boat, but we picked up all of our check points on this leg.
 Returning to the transition to set out on the trekking leg, we need to make up time so we could have enough time to double punch the check points from the bike leg. A few navigation errors didn't cost us much in time, but spent out on energy like think there was a trail at the bottom of a 120 step stair case that wasn't there, so back to the top tired legs coming on for the next 6 miles of trail running and check points. Luckily the Amino Vital was flowing through all our Hydra paks and we continued to push on bush wacking up a hill side and 60 feet down off a bluff, but the coolest check point durning the race was in a cave. 
My Sigma headlamp that James sent me just a week before this race did great back in the pitch darkness of horn hollow cave to pick up this check point. 
With only two hours left in the race our team decided to leave 3 check point open on the trekking leg, so we would have enough time to make it back to the transition and pick up our bikes to go double punch our check point errors. I think we finished in 7hours 10 minutes, totally spent, but not enough time remaining to pick up our lost check point on the trekking leg. We put the ADVENTURE back into Backbone Adventure this past weekend.