Hmmmm, where to begin?
How about it was a good day, and a bad day.
Yup, that's me post-race in the minivan heading for the ferry. Salt encrusted, slightly dehydrated and fairly disappointed.
We started off this morning by checking posted results as soon as we got to the site as they still didn't have results updated online, we did get a 4th place finish, nice. Bad news, the Kona sponsored team moved out of the Open Team category and into our category which put them a spot in front of us for the GC, not so nice.
The race day was gonna be a hot one, lots of racers got I.V.'s the day before not only due to the heat but the course beat a lot of people up. I would relay some stories of zombie-like racers after the race but it would get boring. Of course you can't be a zombie if you collapse after crossing the finish line and that's what I saw a guy (while I was sitting in the shade drinking chocolate milk) do 20min after Dave and I had come across the line. Off he went to the MASH tent to hop on an I.V. and speaking of MASH tent those guys are on the ball from what I've seen, nice to know that's for sure.
Anyway, back to the race, it was approx a 6min neutral roll out again, if you can call a 293 watt avg a neutral roll out. The first 16mins show 300 watts until we hit the singletrack. Now, let's get a couple of things straight, the technical difficulty of a trail is determined by both the terrain and the speed at which you are doing it. Today was fast. We were determined to grab some more time on the GC and we turned up the heat. We were up with the other teams we were trying to beat and things were going good. Then things went bad... at 2hrs in to the race we came out of a singletrack section that wasn't very well marked (in our opinion and also in several other's opinions) and then the madness began, we were off course and we didn't know it. We buried ourselves racing up a fire road for approx 17min (along with two guys from N. Carolina on rigid single speeds) to hit the final aid station, only to be told we were off course, then we descended for 3.5min at top speed to get back to where we had popped out on to the fire road, then we buried ourselves again for another 20+ minutes up singletrack to get back to the final aid station. We lost anywhere from 20-30mins, not so good.
I blew through the final aid station in about 10secs and continued on, Dave stayed to get some more fluids and a coke and then chased me down. The afterburners were lit once we got into the technical section, I have no idea how many people we passed (a lot), at those speeds things become a blur. You feel the trail, you note terrain details, you process risk management and then it is behind you. For the last 30mins of racing I'm not sure if we were next to a lake, or a mountain, or if there were glorious fields of sunflowers surrounding us, nor did I know what color the sky was - it was simply trail that had to be beaten into submission and a finish line that needed to be hit at warp speed. We finished in 3:44, 220 watt avg and lots more drool lost to racing.
So what did the off-course racing cost us? Our corrected time would have put us in a podium reach. And our GC which is now 7th would have been around 5th with the corrected time. We buried ourselves out there today trying to make up time, it's gonna make tomorrow's racing a very large silver tray of pain sandwiches with the crusts cut off.
Bring it! ;-)
Hmmmm, where to begin?