Sunday, August 31, 2008

Shenandoah Mountain 100

I survived!!!

Went down for the Shenandoah Mountain 100 with Simonster and Michele for the labor day holiday weekend. The night before the race at about 7:00 pm Simonster drugged me up so I could get to sleep unusually early. Lights out at 8:00 pm. I think I fell asleep right away but I woke up at 12:30 am. I’m anxious about the race. Mike and I did a pre-ride on Saturday and I realized why I decided a couple years ago that I should not attempt this race. The insane gnarly singletrack. I don’t really sleep at all for the rest of the night. Alarm goes off at 4:00 am. Peanut butter and bagel, pack up the car and get to the start line. Somehow, Simonster and I, cut it pretty close. We got ready just off site and when we finally ride in and line up we were racing about 90 seconds later. Go! Insanity ensues as 500 people funnel around the stalled lead moto. First climb goes ok. I consciously tried to position myself about 50th, I knew when we hit the gnarly rocky stuff the fast guys would be happier with me behind them. In between each climb and decent there’s some fire road stuff that I try and make up ground on. That was fun. Second climb is gnarly singletrack and goes on forever. It’s steep and narrow with rocks and roots and most everybody is pushing, and pushing, and pushing. Probably 75% of this climb are done on our feet. Another crazy descent. I pull over and let fast guys go by every few hundred feet. Uhg! Aid station 2, I get my 2nd camelbak from Liz. The third climb is all fire road and it’s and steep enough that I start to feel like I’m mashing in my middle ring. Then the dreaded off camber decent. I stopped a couple times on the way down this time just to try and relax my nerves. 4th climb was a long technical singletrack. I was starting to take it easy as I realized I was not going to have much of a result on the day, so it was all about not crashing, but still finishing quick enough to not keep Simonster waiting too long. An hour later I get my 3rd Camelbak from Mich and I start the 5th climb of the day “the soul crusher”. At least that’s what a guy called it as I was starting up it. This climb, of course, is my favorite part. It’s just a dirt road climb. Dang, give me 100 miles of this any day, please!! It was awesome. At the aid station at the top of this climb I had fig bar and a coke. Yum! Then more gnarly descending. Not happy. I was off the bike walking down some of the hills. It reminded me of the very first time I ever went mountain biking in my life, with Danny Klein, at Pontiac Lake. Bah! Then I see a guy that I think maybe has a compound tibia fracture or something. His leg is all bloody, duct taped together and he’s trying to ride down the trail with one leg… Yikes! Another reminder of my goal for the day! Finish in one piece! I make it to the last aid station. Liz hands me my final camelbak. 1 climb to go. It’s another nice fire road climb and the final decent is the easiest trial of the day. Yea! Finish line! 44th overall in 9:12. The 2008 SM100 was my 9th ever hundred miler. First time I didn’t finish under 9:00 hours and first time I fell out of the top 20 overall. But I kinda thought, going in, that those stats were gona change. A quick finisher’s beer and burger and then it’s the final leg of the shenandoah 24 hour marathon day. The 10 hour drive home… Home, showered, and in bed by 4:00 am. :-)

Found some nice 2008 SM100 race pics here..

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