Sunday, August 16, 2009

J&J 8 Hour

Yesterday morning, I got up early (not bright and early because the sun wasn't even up yet), and made the short drive to Kingston for the J&J 8 hour. Thinking about the day of racing ahead of me, my thoughts were occupied with the heat (mid thirties with the humidex), the tight twisty singletrack, the heat, the unrelenting bumpy roots on the course, and of course......the heat.

Earrrrrrrrrrrly morning. Would have been nice to sleep in!

This was the first time this year I've headed to a race on my driving companions. The nice thing was, I could talk to myself, yell at other drivers, sing aloud, play music REALLY loud, dance in my seat as I was driving, etc... Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for you, I didn't take any video of my self busting out to tunes while driving. Next time.....

When I arrived at the race venue, I noticed that the transition area wasn't inside the barn, which was a shame. That's one of the things that sets this race apart from get to RIDE THROUGH A BARN!!!!! How cool is that?!?!?!?! (Actually, the novelty wears off after the first lap, but it's still kinda cool.)
Transition area, in front of the barn.

There didn't seem to be a huge number of riders at the start, but it was announced after the race that there were 75 racers in all. When I did this race last year, one things that stood out was the grass-roots feel of the event, and that definitely carried through to this year.

Here's a quick overview of how the race went for me:

-Having an extra water bottle in my jersey pocket for the sole purpose of dumping water on my head during my laps helped A LOT. It was soooooo refreshing in the heat.
-Jelly Belly sport beans and Gu Chomps, quickly becoming some of my favourite race food.
-I was riding un-supported, and a kind girl by the name of Deanna offered to run support for me while she supported another rider. A HUGE help!
-Stomach problems that went away (see below).
-Riding through a corn field. Felt like I was whipping along REAL FAST.
-Not riding the full 8 hours. I had built up enough of a lead that I was done after 6 hours and 40 minutes. More time to re-hydrate and eat!
-My first ever mountain bike win!

-Stomach issues after about 4 hours. I think this had to do with eating too much. It felt like there was a party going on in my stomach....the kind with un-invited guests. The cure was simple: keep drinking, but hold off the extra calories for a bit. Problem solved!
-A bridge that almost swallowed my front wheel. Turns out a few riders bit it really hard on the same bridge. On my next lap, the gap had been covered with some plywood.
-My rear derailleur started to give me grief...again! (See back to the Ganaraska Marathon race.) However, knowing what the problem was, a quick on trail tune solved the problem.
-Riding through a corn field. Being whacked on the arms by corn stalk leaves hurts!

-of course, the heat.

Post race carnage.

Dr. Peter with recovery drink

Getting my first place medal from the cutest, and possibly smallest awards presenter ever.

Recovery meal!!

Today, my back is sore (to be expected), and I've got some other general aches and pains, but nothing major. I went for an easy spin on my road bike, had a few beers, and now I'm looking forward to taking it easy this week.


  1. Booya! Well done.

    BTW, I've had some stomach issues like yours, and like you, water and no more candy for a while works. Gotta go lighter with the candy when its hot I think.

  2. Awesome ride Stu. Nice to be able to pack it in with an hour to go with victory secure! Anthony has some pics of your award presentation I think.