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Monday, 13 May 2013

Spring Epic 8 - The Race Report

So the first of the 3 part Epic 8 Hour Mountain Bike Race Series is in the books.  The Spring Epic 8 was held in Mansfield on Saturday May 11.  Mansfield is a course with long grinding climbs, steep technical climbs, steep rutted descents, and a thick sandy base.  The thick sand makes the climbs that much more brutal, and the descents a little more dangerous with the threat of washing out on a corner.  However, 10 millimetres of rain on the Friday packed the sand into a dense tacky base that made the trail smoother and faster.

The day started with me, NewfieSteve, Fig and Lois packing our gear and hitting the road to Mansfield by 6:30am.  Me and NewfieSteve were a tag-team relay duo for this race (our team name is DaNoofie n DaNative), and Fig was soloing (Fig's team name was Eric...don't know how he thought that one up).  Lois was tending to pit duties, making sure that our needs were met as required as we passed by the pit area each lap.  We set up our pit right along the race course about 1.5 kms from the start/finish transition area, so when Steve (or I) would pass then I (or Steve) would know to get to the transition.
Our pit...


DaNoofie



DaNative




Da Fig

 
Steve chose to start take the first lap (which is usually a bit of a cluster-f), so everyone headed to the start line for the 10am start.  Steve passed the pit in about 25 minutes so I headed out for the transition area.  At 7 degrees Celsius it was a cold wait!  Steve sped into the transition area with a first lap time of 32’57” which put us into 10th place.  I grabbed the chip from him and took off for our second lap, heading up the long energy sucking climb that started every lap.  I finished off my lap without incident and rolled into the transition area with a lap time of 29’58”...which now put us into 6th place.  We were crawling our way up.  Steve took the chip and was off for our third lap.  And so it went...
Steve Lap 3:     31’24"
Me Lap 4:        29’42”
Steve Lap 5:     32’54”
Me Lap 6:        29’37”

Mid-lap pics

 
 

 
 






 


Ooops...how did that get in there????

Anyways...

In the transition area waiting for Steve to finish our seventh lap...I waited...and waited.  Something must have gone wrong...mechanical...crash...bonk?  Steve limped into the transition area with a time of 39’13”; handed me the chip while mentioning his legs had locked up...he was having troubles.  As I headed out, I said “Hang in there, man!”...but I was worried.  As I passed by our pit area during my lap Steve asked if I could do a double lap; I said no I would double lap my next turn (I didn’t currently have enough water on me for two laps).  Sorry Steve...
I rolled into transition with a lap time of 30’51”,  handed Steve the chip...he looked a little rough.  I went to the pit to prepare for a double lap.
Steve struggled through a painful lap with a time of 39’02”.  I took off hoping that he could recover.  I also pressed a little harder knowing that my times would likely be slower (especially the second of this double)...apparently I pressed too hard.  I went wide on a couple of corners...and at Mansfield you don’t want to go wide.  While the trails were packed and tacky, off trail was a mess of soft sand, leaves and bush.  Both times I went wide, I washed out and went down.  Nothing serious, other than tumbling through the sand and dust to get even dirtier, but it cost me time, and meant I had to re-pass a couple of riders.  (Not to mention that I felt like a doofus).  My lap time was 31’39”, and I headed out for the second of this double lap.  I tried to maintain the pace for the second lap, but the legs were starting to twinge...it was starting to hurt.  As I passed by our pit I may have said something like, “Steve, I hate you!!”...I heard Steve laughing behind me...I finished this lap at 32’28”.  Steve took the chip mentioning he was well medicated and I wouldn’t have to do another double...
Back at the pit Lois confirmed Steve had managed to rest, stretch and take ibuprofen, muscle relaxants (???), and electrolytes to try to recover.  (If he was smart he would have had a beer in there too.)  As I waited at the pit, Fig rolled in and restocked his water; he was having a great race, but he was also starting to feel it...he was walking like quasimoto...
Anyways Steve rolled in to transition with a lap time of 35’31”...he was feeling better!!...ish...
And again, so it went...(insert dramatic music)...
Me Lap 13:      31’43”
Steve Lap 14:   36’55” (While I waited to see if I had time to get in a last lap...I did...dammit).
Me Lap 15:      31’43”(Yeah...notice the coincidence??)
So we finished with 15 laps for a total time of 8hrs15mins37secs...which put us into 9th place (out of 34 teams in our category).  Not bad...but we were hoping for better; there are two more races left in this series (the Summer 8hr, and the Fall 8hr)...so we will improve and hopefully match or better last year (DaNoofie n DaNative came in second in the Fall 8 last year).

Fig had a great race and came in 7th in his category with a total of 14 laps.  Fig was the series champ (solo under age 39 category), last year (they award points based on your placements in the 3 races), and is intent on defending this status!
So to be repetitive (its easier just to write things over than come up with new stuff), the Spring 8 is in the books...and forgotten.  The next race on the schedule is coming up this weekend...the XC Marathon Long Sock Classic in Ganaraska; a single 70km loop of more sand, lots of climbing, and an overabundance of pain.  At least it’s supposed to be warmer this weekend.
I’ll keep you posted!!
PS:  After a race you feel like you have been run over by a truck.  This pic is generally how race weekends feel...

 

2 comments:

  1. And so the season begins! It will only get better from here :) Every time I read your race reports I wish I lived closer so that I can get out there with you guys! Great race, congratulations!

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