Sunday, September 20, 2009

Paul's Dirty Enduro Recap

Up bright and early Saturday morning to make the drive for the last race of the year, and probably the best race of the year. Paul's is a great grassroots event that's for a good cause, and is family go go go racer attitude here. The other thing that makes it great is lots, and lots and LOTS of singletrack. There's so much singletrack that at times you think to yourself "when is this going to end?!?!?!" It's unrelenting to say the least. This year, however, I would be doing the 60k event, (the past two years I did the 100k). I was banking on NOT having that feeling of riding never ending singletrack...the 100k saps a lot of energy and makes the last 30k pretty tough. A little side note: the reason why I did the 60k this year instead of the 100k, is that the 100k starts at 8am, which means driving down the night before and camping out. But since Sonia and I are 2 weeks away from our due date, she didn't want me away overnight, so we reached a compromise....I race the 60k, which starts at 11am, and allows me to drive down, race, and drive back in the same day.

 Early morning start.

Fog lifting off to the side of the 7.

Near Ganaraska forest, you can buy corn, tomatoes, and, ummmm, not sure I want to know. (This one's for you, Craig)

I wasn't sure what kind of goals to set for myself since this would actually be shorter than most of the races I've done this year. Based on past Paul's results in the 100k, and how I did in the Ganaraska Marathon race back in July, I figured somewhere in the neighborhood of a 3:15 to 3:30 finish, which, based on last years results of the 60k, would put me in the top 3. Hmmmm, a little too optimistic? Not sure.

Race headquarters.

Packed parking lot. There were over 300 riders for this year's edition.

At the start, it was announced that there were 114 racers in the 60k. Conditions were perfect...just a touch of coolness in the air and the sun was out. Apparantly, the 100k racers started with frost on the ground, brrrrrrr. Here's how my race went:
-Off the start, I think I was in the top 15 or so, but couldn't tell for sure.
-I suck at starting races...I can never go full throttle right off the bat...I like to ease my way into the race.
-It seemed to take me about an hour and 30 minutes before I got into a good groove.
-Twisty singletrack is my nemesis....I brake waaaaaaaay too much
-About 2 hours or so in, I figured I was in the top 10 overall...I had passed some riders early on, but was riding by myself most of the way
-I felt like I should have been riding harder...I was probably riding at what was a pace for a longer race.
-At some point (about 2 and a half hours in), I caught a 40+ rider, who told me I was 4th or 5th overall, and 2nd in the 39under...what?!?!?!?! I have no idea how that happened, but hearing that gave me a burst of energy.

 Now, check this funny story: towards the finish of the race, the courses for the 15, 30, 60 and 100k all merge together. I was behind a 15 or 30k rider, who then took a spill. I stopped, checked to see if he was ok, but when I unclipped and stepped down, my left big toe all of a sudden went into a spasm, and I couldn't uncurl it. I tried to straighten my toe, stretch my calf, do whatever, but it wouldn't budge! So, I had to take my shoe off and physically straighten my toe. When I put my shoe back on, my toe cramped up again! This happened two more times before my toe didn't spasm again. Now, while I was dealing with my toe, a few riders passed me, including a 60k rider. CRAP! Now I'm in third. Hopped on the bike and pedaled like hell. Caught the 60k dude then passed him. But he picked up the pace and started chasing. Shit, breathing is picking up, legs are starting to burn...onto some single track, but stuck behind a slower rider. Passed the slower guy on some doubletrack, dude is still behind me, I'm hurtin', get stuck behind ANOTHER guy in the next bit of singletrack, and finally the single track opens up for the finish. Dude and I are SPRINTING, and I make it over the line ahead by a bike length. 2nd place by one second!

After all was said and done, I finished in 3 hours and 21 minutes, 4 minutes back of first. My time put me third overall in the 60k. Congrats to Tim Carleton who came first, and probably would have finished faster but made a wrong turn at one spot. Once a again, an excellent event, great organization and a fun, friendly atmosphere. I'm still a little sore right now, and hopefully no poison ivy pops up two days from now. Race season is now over, with the exception of a few cross races, but we'll just have to see how things pan out once our little one arrives.

 Cat and Mario getting ready to play soccer after racing. (The knee highs also work great to keep the poison ivy off.)

 Over the shoulder shot of Silver Lake on the way home.

One of the nicest award plaques I've ever seen...the top part is a custom tile.


  1. I was just searching Google to see if I could find some race results when I happened to stubble across your blog. Congrats on your second place finish. Very impressive showing!

    My friend and I were also down from Ottawa doing our very first MTB race ever and I have to say I've never had so much fun and pain on my bike before. I kept seeing the back of your jersey in the distance (Bushtukah right?) until the first feed zone, never to be seen again there after. :) Things turned into amateur hour for me after 80 minutes on the bike. A string of hard crashes took it's toll on my confidence and my DIY honey power gels that could not be squeezed from their flasks had me wasting time at the feed zones. Dry peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are just about impossible to get down when your in a hurry. I'm pleased with my 13th in the under 39 and I definitely will be doing the race next year. What a great time!

    Do you know if they will be posting the pictures up anywhere. I saw a few photographers on the course.

  2. Nicely done Stu, glad you had a good ride. Wondering what your poison ivy strategy was? Sorry it was not in the cards for me this time; hoping for next year. See you on the 'cross bike soon!

  3. Wicked. Well done Stu. Soooooo sorry to have missed this this year. My favourite race.

    Thanks for the photo . . . best turd sign ever.


  4. Hey, thanks guys.

    Official results and upcoming pics are here:

    Poison Ivy strategy: picked this tip up from Craig...rub down the legs with baby oil. Of course, baby oil isn't even something we would normally keep on hand, but soon enough we'll probably be running out of the stuff.

  5. Hey, I was two spots behind you at the end. At the 2 hour mark or so I almost caught up to you, I don't know if you saw me but either you picked up the pace or I slowed down (had a cramping episode as well). At the end the gap was about ten minutes. Good race.

  6. Were you wearing a McGill jersey? I saw you comin' up behind me and I thought "Oh shit, gotta pick up the pace a bit and ride smooth". I had taken a couple spills which slowed me down for a bit until I got my confidence back. Good job on your finish!

  7. yeah, it was me, McGill jersey on a rigid 29er. I'm thinking about racing more frequently than once a year. Hope to see you in another endurance race in the future.