Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Substance Projects Marathon #2

Leading up to last weekend, I was a "maybe yes, maybe no" for racing.....ambiguous and undecided. My reason for not racing was as follows: Wilderness 101 is 2 weeks away, and with a lack of riding in the last 5 weeks or so, I needed to maximize my riding on the weekend. If I raced on Sunday, I wouldn't be riding on Saturday, and maybe not in the days after depending on how spent I was. I could easily get in 8 hours of riding between Saturday and Sunday, getting my mileage up to a respectable amount. My reason for racing was that nothing beats racing for training. Plain and simple. Also, I hadn't raced in a while...I was due for a good kick in the ass. So, racing won over lots of riding.

The nice thing about this race was the proximity to Ottawa...for a change. Made the trip down with Matt and Dave (reppin' for Tall Tree) and our chauffeur Imad, rollin' with the Kunstadt van. His speedy driving got us there with plenty of time to register, get our gear together, and even waste a bit of time.

Fast forward to the race. The start was mad fast (I have Matt to thank for that!). I don't normally try and come out of the gate with the engine firing on all cylinders, but knowing that this was a shorter marathon (52km) with a lot of strong riders, the pace was gonna be high and I had to keep up. Well, I think I used everything I had at the start 'cause the rest of the race was a struggle. I have all the excuses lined up, but I'm not gonna bother. Simply put, I didn't have anything in my legs to put in a strong effort. I also didn't have the mental energy to put in a good ride...there were many times when I said to myself "this sucks!". That had a lot to do with riding through grass. Barely chugging along at 13km/hr though patches of mowed fields is not exactly fun. What singletrack was included in the course was fun, but at times a little slow...too twisty/turny, which killed any momentum. I manged to finish in a little over 3 hours, and although it was racing, it didn't really make for good training.

As far as the course goes, I don't think there are enough trails (the race was held at the J&J/Glenburnie trails) to make a true marathon. The better option, as someone said, would be to make the course shorter but have the riders do 2, 3 or however many laps it takes to make it a good 60km or so, with a lot more of the fun singletrack.

The results amongst our crew were noteworthy, especially for Matt, who picked up the win.

 Matt wimped out and didn't opt do a winner's cannonball into the pool.

 This picture, taken from too far away, is of Trish, who added another first place for the Ottawa crew. She also decided not to cannonball into the pool.

So now, it's 11 days and counting 'till Wilderness 101. I got out tonight to do the A loop, which was a much better ass whupping than the one I got on Sunday. Need some more of that if I'm gonna survive 160km of mountain biking!!


  1. This is what I was thought the race might be like and that's one of the reasons I took a pass at it. I rememeber doing the 8 hour there years ago and the trails didn't really appeal to me.

    Way to push through the pain! Looking forward to hearing about Wilderness.