Is This A Logo??

Is This A Logo??

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Eager Beaver 100 Mile MTB Race Review

It has come and gone....well not really gone, cuz I can still feel it.

The Eager Beaver 100 Miler last Saturday, promoted by DanOfSubstance; that would be Substance Projects, took place at Mansfield.  So Giant, EnglishJim, Fig, and I set out on Friday to camp out and take part; along with about 500 other racers...OK, maybe not quite that many, but there should have been!

We had some camping friends...seriously..

 Arriving at Mansfield we registered, then set up camp, the skies clouded over and sure enough the rain started in the evening and lasted into the night.  Because of the rain we hit the hay early, which I knew would be trouble for me.  Sure enough, by 1am I was least it had quit raining.  So up I got, made some coffee in the dark, pulled my gravity chair out into the field, sat back and watched the stars and satellites...yeah, weird I know...I'm like that, but some women dig it...OK, just one...I think, unless she is lying...

Anyways, getting off 5am the crew started getting up, and the 700 other racers who weren't camping started pulling in.  Oggie pulled in, he was racing the shorter 100km version of the race...but had forgotten food, so I shared my extra with him; then he forgot his CO2 canister, and a spare tube...but what he really needed was a compass (foreshadowing???).

Not this kind of foreshadowing...

Let's move on.  Then, misconceptionz and Blaze showed up, not to race, but to work on behalf of BigRing Entertainment to make a video documentary of the event...stay tuned for that masterpiece!  How did I know that they had showed up??  Well, I was in what I thought was a private position between my truck doors, getting geared up....applying liberal amounts of chamois cream (hence mostly unclothed, and moving in what might appear a peculiar fashion)...when I hear a voice say, "Riot, look up" I looked up, into the lens of a video camera being held over the truck door by misconceptionz.  Yeah, I know you don't need that image ingrained in your memory...but I need to put it out there in case I need to explain the video evidence to a judge...or a wife.  And I really dislike explaining things to wives...especially questions like 'What are you doing in my house?' and stuff like that...

Anyways, got myself, and the bike ready to go...

And, finally the race was ready to start; it was cold and wet, but the wet would be very welcome in the normally very sandy and dusty moraine based trails.  We piled into the start paddock with the 1000 other racers, and bang we were off.  Giant, Fig, and myself pulled to the front of the group, as we climbed the long doubletrack start hill....EnglishJim trailed off to the back.  Fig, called out to Giant and me "I ain't letting you two out of my sight"...and that was the last I heard from him for the remainder of the race, as he dropped off the back somewhere with EnglishJim.

The first 50km or so of the race included hugely fun and flowy singletrack...with a number of challenging climbs, and log overs, broken up by bits of energy sucking sandy doubletrack.  Within the first couple of kms, I was riding the singletrack alongside Giant when he went hard over the bars on a descending switchback drop...he was OK but it put him behind me.  I pulled ahead and caught a small group including serious (who was racing the 100km route), and Sarah (who had recently completed and finished 2nd in the Tour of the toughest MTB races on the planet!!) who was racing the 100miler on her singlespeed!

I managed to pass this group then continued alone for the longest time (did stop once for a 'natural break').  At about the 45km mark Giant caught back up to me and we continued together.  Then we hit a long road section...about 32km to be exact.  The route came off the road, through a tree farm, then into what seemed like the middle of a farmers field...we were getting a little bit of everything in this race; which was awesome!!  Then the route dumped us into some rougher singletrack, with less flow, where I picked up a stick in my rear derailleur.  Luckily it didn't damage anything, but it was jammed in tight and took some time to pry it out....enough time for Giant to put significant distance between us.

The singletrack then came back out onto the road, and put us back where we were but now in reverse direction...which was very cool, meeting riders that were still on their way in.  I could barely see Giant ahead of me in the distance, at least a full km ahead.  I hammered in an attempt to catch him...I made some headway but did not catch him in the 32kms of road...he was still well ahead when the route turned back into the singletrack.  But Giant thought I was farther behind, he stopped to grab a bit of food, and I caught him.  We rode together from there, but it was about this time when my stomach started to fight against the energy foods I was eating, plus the effort I was outputting.  I knew I had to eat to keep up the energy expenditure...but any thought of food had me fighting off severe nausea feelings.

So no food went in.  Eventually we made it to and stopped at the feed station at km112 to refill hydration enough to finish the race...and off we went.

Then with about 10km to go I started to feel the lack of food input...and my energy started to run out.  Giant caught a burst of energy and surged ahead...I couldn't hold on;  and at about the 2km to go mark, Sarah caught and passed me as I cried out in despair like a wounded Wookie.  Then finally, mercifully, I crossed the finish 8hrs20mins.  That put me 4th overall, and 1st for my category Masters Men (That is age 50+).

Waiting for me at the finish line was EnglishJim.  Unfortunately he missed a turn on the course and DNF' of these days Jim, you are going to finish one of the damn things!!  Also waiting at the finish line was misconceptionz and Blaze...still filming, asking me again how I felt....I answered "I am wrecked!!"  And I was...

This is kind of how I felt...

But I barely had the words out of my mouth, I wasn't even off of my bike; when MamaSubstance (Dan's mom...really), had a Race Finisher's mug, full of cold golden goodness in my hand.

That started the cascade of brew into the evening as we waited for the 2000 other racers to finish (like Fig, who several hours later came into view...then Figged out), then shared of few with Alexa and Chris (the Queen and King of Westfalia).

This is Alexa and Chris, with EnglishJim (who is surprisingly fully clothed), and Fig (who takes every opportunity to take his shirt off and display his body of Adonis).

Then the podium and prizes...

First there was Giant who came in 1st in his category (Men's Open...basically under age 50).  Way to go Giant!!  And yes that is Fig...who came in 3 phases of the moon behind Giant, but still claimed second place.  Fig you are getting comfortable with being on the podium!

Then yours truly...(that means me)...

A different angle??

Or two???

OK, I guess that is enough.  Can you tell I don't get on the podium very often??  Gotta make the most of these rare occasions!!

And the 'medals' were very cool!!  Actually made from downed forest on the trail...

As a side note (cuz this post isn't already long enough) Blaze and misconceptionz showed up at various points along the race route to film...either pulling up alongside in the truck on the road sections, or hiding in the vegetation along the trail.  At one point Blaze was crouched on the doubletrack, with his back to the racers, with the camera held low as he caught the racers as they zipped by...but we were fairly spread out by that as I passed by I screamed "BLAZE!!!"  Well he just about dropped a horse load right there (there really were a couple of horse loads deposited along the trail...).  Luckily the camera did not hit the ground.  Sorry Blaze....kinda.   :)

This is kinda what Blaze looked like...

As a second side note (cuz this post isn't already long enough); at the finish, Oggie's car was already gone...remember the foreshadowing above???  Yes...Oggie missed a turn with Fritz (Fritz a very, very fast Masters Men contender!!)...and ended up going almost 30km off course...resulting in a DNF.  Thanks Oggie for taking Fritz out of contention...we will square up later...

Hard to tell in the distance but this is Oggie drafting Fritz...

Finally, thank you to DanofSubstance for another great race.  A fun race course, friendly Marshals and prizes...can't say enough about the quality of the event.  Putting a pic of the race course on the t-shirt was a touch of genius, giving a point of reference for discussions and race reviews into the evening!  We need to get more racers out to Dan's events...they are a challenge, which makes for that much more fun when you finish!!

Sooo....what's next?  Some recovery....then perhaps the Tour de Caffeine??
Stay posted!!


  1. Yeah...the horses kinda remind me of Riot, Fig, Giant and English Jim binging out after the gruelling race. Oh, and the white one /w brown spots looks like Fig wondering 'am I still in this game? :)'

  2. Wouldn't say Oggie was drafting. More like Chamois inspector.