Well, the Gallup Dawn till Dusk 12 hour race has come and gone. Team HealthFX had 7 racers entered and all of them kicked butt. A quick blog on my race and what I learned and then a race update for all of the sponsors and team mates that make this team so special.
Not knowing what to suspect at the mass start, I decided to sit in and let all the fast teams and soloists have at it. The only problem with that strategy is I was so far in the back that on the first climb of the first lap people were walking their bikes instead of riding them. Kinda frustrating but probably ok cause I still had 11 hours and 45 minutes to go! So, the first thing I learned is that I might want to give a little more effort next time to get closer to the front- not THE front but closer to the front.
The second thing I learned is that in order to maximize my speed, endurance and enjoyment of these type of races I need to be WAY more effecient. For example, it's not super effecient to ride out of the sweet spot of the single track. I did that a lot. The ground off the track was very soft and it took tons of effort to get back up to speed after wandering off the trail. I guess there's a time and place for sight seeing or day dreaming but these races aren't the best place to do so. The other thing I did a lot was to go into corners in a big gear only to bog down with a cadance of about 2 trying to accelerate out of the corners. Lot's of wasted energy there. It wasn't until about 6 or 7 hours into the race that I started working on up shifting into the corners. I'm a slow learner!
Finally, I learned that a good support person is essential and I was lucky enough to have that in Anna. I couldn't imagine trying to do one of these things without help. Every lap I would come to our table and she would have food and cold drink waiting for me with a big smile and words of encouragement. She really did force me to eat because that was the last thing I wanted to do. My race day food consisted of The Drip (mucho thanks Shane for the best on the bike drink I've ever had!!) mixed with a little Gatoraid powder for some electrolytes. Lot's and lot's of grapes (they were really the only thing that I wanted to eat), some PBJ sandwiches, a couple of bananas, some mandorin oranges slices, a few gulps of Coke each of the last couple of laps and water. That's about it. Anna made me swallow two e-caps for the last 5 or so laps- I didn't cramp so they must have helped a lot! Oh, I also had a couple flasks of hammer gel that I went through. That's about it. All that with a big dinner and big breakfast (loaded with gobs of carbs and some protein) kept me fueled all day long. Never really felt like I was bonking- just very tired! Mucho mucho mucho thanks again to Anna for keeping me going.
I ended up doing 8 laps with one hour and forty five minutes to do another lap (my average lap time was around 1:15) but after consulting with my very sensible crew chief Anna, I decided to sit and relax and recover to ride another day. I had lost my granny chain ring on lap eight (a couple bolts loosened and then it just tore off) and just wasn't excited about climbing up to those first two mesas without a granny ring. Still finished second in the men's masters catagory- not to bad for a first timer.
Anyway, that's the story of my first 12 hour mountain bike race and what I learned. Not sure if I'll do one again but it was an experience. The course was amazing and the Gallup volunteers and event coordinators were awesome! Congrats to Zack and Greg (first place team duo), Andrew and Miles (second place team duo), Davey Boy (Second place Men's Solo and who was kind enough to let Anna help me as well :-)), Alex (I didn't see where he ended up but he was way up in the results like 5th or 7th in male solo) and Rick (4th men's master solo).
Well, its been just over a week since the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic took place over Memorial Day weekend. Sorry for the delay in getting out results but with that said we had a GREAT weekend or racing between the road race and the criterium. Following are the Team HealthFx results:
Rolando Gonzales: A little clarification about Rolado. He races for Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for the road (dang!!) and HealthFx for mountain bike racing (Same as Mitch). So, even though it wasn't for Team HealthFx, he kicked butt and won the Men's pro 1-2 road race this year. His name will go down in history as one of the elite few that have won this race. A HUGE congratulations to Rolando!!!!
Mitch Moreman: Same thing goes with Mitch (dang!). Mitch was a team player this year for RMCF and helped keep the chase pack in check to help with Rolando's breakaway. Mitch finished a very respectable 8th place in the men's pro 1-2 road race and then turned around the next day and raced the crit where he placed 9th in the men's pro field. Another HUGE congats to Mitch!!
Greg Lewis: Wow Greg!! Needless to say, Greg had a fabulous weekend He took 3rd in the senior men's Cat 3, 8 seconds out of first place. And, if that wasn't enough, raced the crit the following day and WON! Outstanding job Greg!!
Brent Winebarger: Brent upgraded from the cat 3's to the Pro 1-2 level for this race and did extremely well. He finished 26th in the road race and 11th in the criterium. Way to hang it out there Brent!
Miles Venzara: Like Brent, Miles raced in the extremely tough men's pro 1-2 field and placed 28th in the road race and 12th in the criterium. Nice job Miles!
Ben Kraushaar: Ben chose not to race in the junior class (which he would have won base on times) and instead chose to race in the tougher cat 4/5's 19 to 29 year old. He ended up 7th in the road race and turned around the next day to improve to 3rd in the criterium. He was having lots of fun cause I saw him heckling his sister in the women's criterium! Way to step up and take the tougher route Ben!!
Ian Burnett: Ian raced the senior men's cat 3 division like Greg and had a great weekend. He placed 12th in both the road race and criterium. Nicely done Ian!!
Andrew Ferguson: Andrew raced in the master men 45-49 year old class this year (these older guys are so tough!!) and finished 12th in the road race. The difference between 1st place and 12th place in this division was just 7 minutes. You da man Andrew!
Ralph Winebarger: Last and certainly not least is Ralph. I don't know the whole story but from what I heard he got taken out by some yahoo who ran him off the road and made him crash. Even with the crash, Ralph scraped his way up to a 3rd place finish in the master men 55-59 year olds. Well done Ralph!!
The Cap'n: Well this year I opted to ride with my 69 year old dad. Things took a bad turn when 2 miles into the race he crashed doing about 30 miles an hour down the hill before you hit Iron Horse Inn. Any "normal" person would have called it a day right then and there but I couldn't talk him out of continuing so we struggled the next 48 miles into Silverton. After being examined by the paramedics they made him promise that he go straight to the ER when we got home to Durango- which we did. We found out he sprained his foot, broke his thumb, separated cartilage in his chest and most of his body looked like it went through a meat grinder. It was horrible. I have to say, this year was much harder than riding it in 2 1/2 hours like years past. Anyway, he's doing fine and back riding his bike in Las Cruces and he says he's glad he did it.
Well, that's about it until next time! Happy riding everyone!!
This is really just to see if I do this blog thing right! There's no way I'll ever write as many blogs and Davey Boy but it might be kinda fun every now and then to put in a word. I've been working hard at procurring sponsorship for this team. I have a week and two days left before I'll concentrate on getting the artwork to the apparel company for jersey and short design. I'm looking forward to promoting the sponsors that I do sign up via the Team HealthFx website and these blogs. Of course getting out there and riding with the all the team logos on the jerseys will be great too. I'd like to personally thank all the sponsors that have come on board so far and the ones who may still sign up. I think your marketing and advertising dollars will be well spent!! Check in regularly to see updates on all the riders and their results. I think we have a super strong team and will have many podium finishes in 2006!
Enjoy the rest of your winter and hope for SNOW!!