The first big race has come and gone. Now how does Matt feel. I'm as happy as a pig in $h!t!!!!! I finished 6th out of 47 under 40 solos and it was far from the perfect race.
We were pretty much on track for leaving for the race even though we didnt get to grab a coffee for the drive. Registration was quick and setup didnt take to long. Craig, Carrie and myself got a chance to warm up and see the main killer climb of the day. Ya killer was right. I remember this climb from 3 years ago. The one big change at this race that I didnt like was having the solo racers leave 5 minutes behind the main pack. This does have some advantages but for the faster solo riders I found this as a bad thing. I spent the first lap fighting to get past the main pack. At the end of the race I talked to Shawn Ruepel, one of the event organizer and he said basiclly everyone in the top 10 had complained about that. It was a bit nerve racking because you would see lots of rookie mistakes. I've never seen more endos before. I'm a great supporter to of all new riders and am always helping riders with tips but it can make things very sketchy in technical sections.
How come I have the smallest calves?
Time to warm up
With that said, the course was awesome but extremely dry. They had called for rain friday but good old mother nature had her own ideas. Mansfield is a place that could raind for 2 hours straight and 10 minutes later its dry. This meant a course that would change alot during the race.
Craig, the power house, was forced to race on his single speed since his new ride was not built yet. Lots of respect for that. Carrie, who races for Freshair Experience out of Ottawa was also at our transition. Brandon was on a borrowed bike and Josh and Nicole were also out to play.
Time to play!!!!
Well those Ruepel boys love to make us hurt. Right out of the start gate is a long climb. Nothing like maxing out the heartrate in the first 500 metres. In the first lap I pushed very hard with an average heartrate of 177 which is well above my endurance race pace. This was caused by pushing hard to get past that slower pack. Into the 4th lap I settled down and found my rythem. Thats when it went crappy. My bars came lose. If you want to be scared go down hill with your bars turning in hand. Of course I don't have tools on me and I'm only 1/4 ways through the lap. I swear that Mansfield is a jinxed race for me. 2 years ago I had a seatpost clamp do the same thing. After asking a ton of riders if they had any tools and letting 7-8 solo guys get past me finally a yong guy dropped a key wrench and called out team 111. I hope he reads this. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!! I found out later that I was the second rider that he helped out. This is what it should be about. WIth my bars tight and with about 5 minutes lost in time I started hammering. Riding mad is a bad thing!!!!!
After about 20 minutes of this I yelled at myself to settle down. Got back in focus and my rythem. I manged to catch 3 of the riders who had passed me. Back in the game. At hour 6 things felt a bit crappy. It was so dry on the course that the lungs were aching. At tis point its just putting your head down and push. Transition was in a bit of a mean place. Right after was the lead up to the toughest climb of the course. It mad it a bit tough to eat going into the climb. Yes i brought up one of those tasty bananas!!!!
Coming into the finally hour I started to get a big smile on my face. I was happy that the body held up. I did get a chance to see Carrie on the cours about an hour earlier. She was doing awesome and was still had a smile on her face. She did amazing and finished 3rd in the women's division. I finally crossed the line and the boys in the both told me 6th. I missed the cut off for another lap by 15 minutes. All told I finished with 13 laps with a total ride time of 8 hours and 10 minutes. Craig finished 9th on his single speed 16 minites behind me. I think I have found my perfect competitor. If he had gears I think we would have finished side by side. Brandon had to drop out a bit early with back issues. It was a tough course but he still did very well with 10 laps and finshed 27th. Josh and Nicole did well also with Nicole doing 9 laps and 11th overall and Josh with 9 laps and 35th. I heard he had wheel problems. It was a tough course on equipment.
That sand got right into everything!!
At the end of the race
As very big THANK YOU to Brent Keen, Irene and Doug Parker for doing support for us. Without the support it makes it dam near impossible to do well in these events. Also to the guy from team 111 for loaning me your tool. Without that I would have been lucky to finish that lap. To Craig thanks for pushing me. Can't let a guy with Big Ring as a nickname beat me!! Just kidding Craig, thanks for breakfast I can't wait till the next race. To the guys from Chico Racing, another awesome course next time bring out the sprinklers next time since mother nature didn't agree this weekend.
So how do I feel about the event. I really am happy. This is my best result in an 8 hour race, not in placing but in distance behing the winner. No one could make a mistke among the top 10 racers or they would get passed. Its scary how close these event really are considering the time and distance!! I also know that physically the body problems are now under control. Not 100% fixed but at a point that I can contine to race.