Monday, August 27, 2007

Hot August Nights

I'll my hopes for rain came true. I got down to Albion mid afternoon and started to set up. It was far from hot but the humidity was high. Just moving around you started sweating. This is a good/bad thing when it comes to racing. Sweat keeps you cool, sweat leads to rashes.


With everything setup it was time to preride the course at cruise control pace. It was an awesome course. Very similar to the first year of Hot August Nights. Now the biggest thing that was different for us at this race was the distance from where we transition to where the timing tent was. Normally only a km or so. Not this time, still had 5km to go. Hannah and I went out to check things out. I'd heard some comments that the course had no flow. HMMMM. Maybe those that said that should take up knitting because this course was excellent. Took an hour and nine minutes to check things out. Rough calculations would be very low 50 minutes at race pace.


So me wanting rain so bad was answered. The clouds rolled in late Friday evening with a steady drizzle. Around 9:30 after I was in my tent trying to sleep it down poured like someone turned on a hose. It was almost deafening. I managed to sleep though. 7am I was up. Stupid internal clock won't let me sleep in. The rain had stopped and it was pretty much dry everywhere. Still looking threatening though. New said chances of showers and thunderstorms for the rest of the day. WOO HOO.
So the game plan was for me to do the first 3/4 lap to get us in a good position right away. Rick is bomb proof and steady but I'm a quicker off the line. I was able to get a bike staged in the first 30 riders. Thanks to Don and Shane from Barrie Cycling Club for the warm up before the start. Its been awhile since I've really had to hammer right out of the gate. Things went well and I hit our transition zone in the top 20 giving Rick a good open course. Now its trying to go from 100 to 0 as quick as possible and rest.



Rick was riding well but had some cramping issues in the first couple laps. He managed to work through it. He was running steady laps. I was on. I was a bit concerned about my low back an legs being recovered enough after the adventure race. Things were a bit tight all week. If it slowed me down then I'd be almost scared as my first 3 laps were at the 50 minute mark. This was even with the rain. I have come up with a great tire combo running a Hutchinson Scorpion on the front and a Michelin XCR dry on the rear. Both tubeless with sealant in them. Things felt good.

As the sun ore lack of it went down out came the lights. The new system is awesome. I've never run a bar mount until this race. I've always found a helmet mount was adequate. Once I got things in line and got used to the projection turning I loved it. I never had to change a battery. The new system is so bright that my first 2 night laps were almost as fast as my day laps. Of course a bit of fatigue was kicking in and I slowed to one hour flat for my last night lap.



As the light came up comes renewed energy. The hills still hurt but it made the single track more enjoyable. I got my lap times down to 56 minutes again. My stomach did some weird things first thing in the morning and I could feel that bad feeling coming on. Yep puked. Now the cool thing was I didn't even slow down and it was in a technical section. No splashes on the bike or gloves. Everything settled and took 2 gels during that lap.

As the clock ticked closer to the 12 o'clock finish we started to calculate out the final laps. Rick needed to pull his fastest lap of the race for us to be capable of squeezing in another lap before the 11:59:59 cut off. That whole lap that he was out I was just watching the clock. I knew I had to blast a 54 minute lap but I would also have to do the additional 5 km to the timing tent on top of that where we would swap for the last lap. It was roughly 14 minutes from our transition to the timing tent. When Rick came in at 11 I knew there was no pressure to push another lap. We had 3rd place wrapped up. I still pushed and did a 57 minute final lap. Now as I went into the timing tent I had my only mechanical. I don't know how but the chain flipped and got jammed in between the cog and the spokes. Well I only had 10 feet to go. From there it was up on the podium!!!!!



It was a tough course but there were alot of payoffs out there to give you that craving to do another lap. For me everything after the sugar shack made me smile. Hell any where I can use my big ring makes me happy. This was the first 24 hour where we did get rain. The course held up awesome. My butt is a different story.

Now overall our little group of racers walked away with some awesome results. Rick and I 3rd. Tanya Hanham(the vegan vagabond) took 2nd in solo women. She unfortunately missed the awards. Machine head Racing took 2nd in the Mixed 5 person division. Unfortunately for Craig who would have probably kicked some serious ass on this course had some major body issues. I know he will be back and stronger for the next event. SO thank you again to my mom and Aunt for putting up with us again. I think they have it harder than we do racing.

So whats next. Well the plans are already coming out for next season. Its all solo. It looks like there will be two battles for Summer Solstice for next year. All the boys will be coming out. Pierre wants to try for a 3rd podium finish. Tobin has put out the challenge to all of us. Mike A wants to improve on his 4th place from last year. Its going to defiantly be a fun race.

As for this season. I have a couple weeks off then its off to the Ontario Time Trial Championships. I'll take a couple days off the bike to recover but then back at it to get the bike tweaked. From there will be 3 long weeks as the season comes to an end. Pauls dirty Enduro is an almost positive race. 100km is a great distance. The following weekend will be the Hardwood fall 8 hour. This is going to be my big focus. From there the next weekend is the Mountain View Race the Night. This will be all for fun.

5 comments:

Josh said...

Good job man. It sounds like everything came together for this race...rain for the trails, no body issues (for you or partner), no mechanicals, and no nutrition issues. And of course the podium...good job!

p.s. it took you long enough to post this...I've been waiting all day to read the race report.

Josh said...

I just noticed...you guys won BEER??? Awesome. Well, that definitely makes it all worth while.

The Vegan Vagabond said...

Congrats on making it to the podium! You guys were amazing.

Thanks so much for all your help during the race. I couldn't believe you kept helping me when you had your own race to deal with. Very nice of you!

And please pass on my thanks to your aunt and mother who were so helpful and encouraging all race long. They are very special ladies.

Good luck on the rest of the season and hope to see you soon.

Tanya

Matt Spak said...

Needed some time to settle my mind to type everything. Awwe the beer was beside me as I typed this.

You did awesome Tanya. I'll pass the thanks on. Hope we meet up again before the end of the season.

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