Monday, September 03, 2007

24 Hour World Solo Championship

Things didn't go quite as planned for me at this race. But I managed to battle through the difficulties and finish 6th Elite Female. I'm surprised and happy to have finished so well despite all the challenges I faced. However, as all athletes know, when you feel you could have done better,,,,that only means one thing.....YOU HAVE TO GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN! Aaaaahhh shucks!!! ...I'll have to think about it. :)

My support:
Carl Davis; one of my very first adventure racing friends.
Gillian Woodward, my best dear girl friend.
Mike Feeney, my friend from a job I had 7 years ago.
Super genious mechanic Andy from Desert Cyclery in Utah. My coach Lynda and I shared him, Dan & Dave.
Dan Abernethy; a very dear adventure racing friend since PQ 2002.
Dave Harris; incredible endurance mountain biker himself.
These folks took care of my every need from the time we left the OC until they dropped off my battered and beaten body at home after the race.

Carl & Gilly making the pre-race dinner

Mike Feeney

Bern creating her race "meals on the go."

The course:
I must say that I have a love/hate relationship with this type of course.
It was long, steep, sandy, and exposed to the sun & wind. There was one fun downhill singletrack that lasted about 8 minutes, but the rest of it was an uneventful grind. I hated it for all those reasons, but loved it because suffering is my specialty and suffer is what you do when you ride this type of course for 24 hours.

Super Sandy Course

Bern & Terri Wahlberg trotting the Le Mans start

The weather:
It was HOT and dry! 95-101 degrees on the course. No one expected this heat wave to come’s northern California,,,by the beach! It’s supposed to be 70 degrees!

The race:
Rode the first 3 laps with no rear brake but the legs/body & everything felt super great!
Had to make an unexpected pit after lap 3 to get brakes fixed. Ate, drank & powered up.
I was going at a super easy pace & doing fine with the 100 degree temps,,,but...
I think I may have taken the wrong supplements at this early pit stop and I had a bad reaction to my mixture.
Dry heaved through lap 4.
Hurled through lap 5.
Rode my bike at a 3 legged blind dog’s pace for the next 16 hours.
Finished 6th Pro Women.

This little foxy guy came over to my pit to cheer me up when I was sick.

The pedicure:
Once, while I was hurling over the handle bars, I thought about how pretty my toes must look under all of this mess and it made me happy.

At the pre-race meeting, they announced that iPods were not allowed on course. I boo’d, everyone else started booing, we all started a chant…”iPod, iPod, iPod!” But in the end…something about the insurance policy,,,yada, yada, yada,,,,no iPods allowed. So I had to use my “internal iPod” …too bad it only had two songs recorded: It’s a Wonderful Night by Fatboy Slim and Enter Sandman by Metallica. Great songs, but when you only know one verse, 24 hours of it can really suck.

Physically, this is the worst I have ever felt during a mountain bike race. I suffered tremendously. So why do I keep doing this you ask. Well, because I may not be the best 24 hour mountain bike rider in the world, but I’m the 6th BEST 24 HOUR SUFFERER IN THE WORLD! :)

It was also very cool to see a bunch of friends on the course. My training partner and teammate Josh Smith finally put it all together and had a tremendous race! He was smart and solid and finished 2nd in his age group. Our Sho-Air teammate Matt Nourmahamadian also had a great race! Heather Moothart was out there riding like a mad woman and she won a World Title! Unfortunately Super Mario and La Ruta Lou had some difficulties this time and were unable to finish.

Gilly saw a bobcat on the trail during my pre-ride.

Post race: Coach Lynda rode strong and finished 2nd Elite Female! I'm so lucky to have her on my side!

No comments: