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.
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.