Thursday, February 01, 2007

My first 100 miler

I will try to set the stage as best I can. I had been racing Norba races, and competing on 4 man expert teams in 24 hr racing, in fact I had raced duo at one already before this race, but never a 100miler all in one go. I sent off the registration, after talking a friend, Nate Simonson, in to doing it with me, I wanted some company for the 8 hr drive from Reno to Brianhead, UT. I had become bored with the Norba attitude scene, and wanted a challenge. What better way to challenge ones self and endurance than to ride 100 miles off road in a day. Since I had been racing 24 hr races I liked the people more, out for a challenge, more supportive and just plain more fun. More like being part of the event, not the side show as the age group races are at the Norba events. I have always had a lot to prove to myself, kind of a self loathing, hurt to feel good, no pain no gain, looking for the edge kind of feeling. I was quite nervous at this race. This was 2003 and I had only been riding for 3 years to say I was intimidated, wondered what kind of hell I had signed on for is and understatement. Upon arrival I noticed some familiar faces, Uber super hero Steve Fassbinder was there on a 29er singlespeed, Sean Mclaughlin, Mike Janelle, who look veiny as all hell, he didn't look human i remember thinking that. We got there to 8,900 feet checked in to the hotel, registered and then we just had to stretch the legs a bit so we rode the first climb, I was riding gears still, yes it was that long ago. Then it was eat, have a quick drink, I believe we drank Guinness, and then off to bed.
Race Day
Wake up shower, get all things in order, lube chain, recheck and out the door, to ride up to the start. Mill around. Man was I nervous. My stomach was churning and churning. In to the line, an I wearing too much, not enough, ahhhhhhhh. One minute to start and I have to drop the kids at the pool, take the browns to the superbowl, not gonna happen, it will go away I say to myself. The gun goes off and we are off, pacing I know nothing I am just going for it, I want to run out front with the big guns. It is all climbing out of the gate up the pavement and then up to 11,000 ft then a really fun descent all the way to aid 1. I just ride through, it is at this time that I go by Steve Fassbinder, we exchange a few words, mind you we are on fairly flat terrain and I have gears and he doesn't. Big advantage. Through the lava fields, down some more double track, and in to aid 2 where i stop and fill up with water. I think all the descending is going to be climbing on the way back. After aid 2 it is more rolling and flat and I remember a horrible head wind on a road before we hit some ripping single track along the Virgin River Rim trail. Aid 3 m and m's and Sloane Anderson and I are riding together for a bit, we pull each other up and down some of the hills. Aid 4 same as aid two, my legs are really starting to hurt now, and that stomach hurt is really coming on. At 75 miles there is an informal aid station, I am really hurting but keep plugging on. I forgot toilet paper, the woods are super dry, i must wait until aid 5 to rid myself of these hostages that I am holding at this point in time. I get there and not soon enough. I literally drop my bike and run for the port a potty that is in the blazing sun and it is 90 degrees at 9,000 feet, it is like a sauna, before I get there I am fighting with my jersey,It needs to be off, why you may ask, well I made the big mistake of wearing bibs on a 100 mile race, not only do my nipples hurt, but it is a fight to get to the port a potty. I throw my shirt on the ground , jump inside the little blue sauna sit down, and remember that I first need to lower my bibs. I somehow manage to do this and avoid disaster, but I have to hold on to both sides of the box to keep my self in place. I am in so happy, and lighter. I finally am able to get up and out and people are laughing and clapping. Glad I made someones day. Now I must finish this race. 14 miles to go, how bad can it be. It was the longest 14 miles of my life. All up hill save the last 3 miles which went down. Almost two hours. I was dehydrated but determined to finish. I wanted to make it in under 9 hours so I could get my chalice. Well I succeeded 8:40 and change, 2nd in my class, that is if you take Mr Fassbinder out because he was on a single and won that class. 14th overall. not too bad. I felt good, had a few beers, with Sean, Eric Rector, who had done it on a single speed, and a bunch of others. Nate finished a bit later and was in good spirits. After the awards we just crashed anticipating the long drive home the next day. There you have it, if you made it this far thanks. as always keep pedaling. I will revisit races from time to time, next time I will get to my first single speed 100 miler, the Cascade Cream Puff.

2 comments:

devin said...

Hey good job on the bummer life.. nice to see good folks getting press....

monk3y mike wellborn said...

Nat, the CCP is brutal on a singlespeed. It was my first 100 mile race and on a singlespeed to boot. My hat off to you! My solo singlespeed 24 hour races were far easier on the body.