Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ironhorse 100k, 100mile

Two days to go. Jen and Bryce are running the 100k. Jon and Andrew are running the 100 mile. The 100 has a strict 24hr limit and it will be a tough one. The course will be about as good as they come but things always happen on a long run. I am looking forward to this race, to hang with friends and to wathc my wife kick some serious assssss! More later....

Sebring 12/24hr Bike Race

Intro: A 12 or 24 hr cycling race in Sebring Florida Starting on the infamous Sebring Race track. 3 loops before sun up and an 89 mile out and back totaling 102 miles, then as many miles that can be had on an 11 mile loops up to 5:30 p.m. Then its the track from there......

What a great idea I thought as Jen told me about this race. I have been in need of a race like this and what better way than to involve my parents as well. Sebring happens to be very close to where I grew up, and in fact we love to go watch the races there. Boy, could I tell some stories!! Either way, I was in for my first ultra-cyclying event, which would pan out exactly like I had imagined. Well, mostly except for the wind.

Race morning began with my usual coffee and breakfast, I then drove to the race start at 4:59a.m. and arrived with enough time to get checked in, tour the "facilities" and line up at the start. The race began promptly at 6:30a.m. in the wee hours before daylight, but everyone else had lights, I did not. We started off quick, 22+ mph in the beginning on the track and it would just get faster from there. We all headed out onto the main roads just as the sun arose and this was a fast bunch of people. I got into the second group of riders as the first (likely cat1 or cat2) took off at nearly 30mph. We settled into 23-26mph with multiple people taking the turn on the pull, all the RAAM qualifiers were on there own, but some of these guys were doing 30 by themselves!

The ride was going well, very well up to mile 80 for me. I was on a 4:20 or so century ride pace and then I slipped back, lost the group and could not catch them. I tried, floundered and was then on my own! This was not a bad thing I guess, this paired me up with the elements, the struggle and the pain. Mile 80- 102 were very windy, very hot, and very long but I decided then I would ride this race by myself from here on out.

The head wind would begin around 10a.m. and would not cease the entire ride. 25mph winds at either your face, or your sides and for two brief 2 miles sections at your back. This was to be my struggle for the rest of the day! 8 loops on the 11 mile course and a finish with two on the track as cool down. My Astrale 8 says I logged 203.17 miles, the results show 200.6, I believe my computer, it is always right so.........

This was a doozie, a new challenge and a great experience that I will forever remember, and probably do again next year. So...Cheers to all that raced and to those who will race next year.