Sunday, March 30, 2008
Had a pretty good day. Haven't really been able to train specifically for a 3hour + race but still had the power and endurance to pull out the win in the 30-39 age group and 3rd overall. They made the running Lemans start about 100 yards longer than in years past but I still hit the bikes in 3rd with Tige Lamb and Shadd Shreiner, and hit the single track first climb in 2nd behind Shadd. Aaron Elwell, aboard his brand new 3D Racing 29'er hardtail shot up past me and got with Shadd to go for the first lap fast lap prize. Aaron managed to pull it off but the effort caused him to slow and I was able to get back into 2nd overall on course. It stayed this way for a while until Aaron recovered and started coming back with 2 other 29 and under guys. Starting the 5th lap, all 3 caught me but only Aaron Elwell and Aaron Grady went by, the other guy vanished. I knew those 2 were looking at each other so I attacked across the field at the top of the first climb and got a good gap. I knew once those guys started to race each other for 2nd and 3rd in the 29 and under class, they would come back fast. Sure enough, Elwell attacked Grady and caught me in the single track leading to the final descent. He was going very well, so I let him go by but I gave a good effort to stay with him hoping I could get him in the sprint but no deal. Grady had popped so I had 3rd overall locked up and the 30-39 group win. Crossed the finish 10 seconds after Elwell and only 66 seconds out of first. I guess after 3 1/2 hours, 66 seconds isn't very much. Never had any problems the whole race other than some noisy shifting and some tight legs near the end. The course conditions were perfectly tacky. All the rock sections were dry and therefore rideable. I was able to ride the tricky rock shutes on Rim Job and Mickey's Tatrum every lap. And as always, the Heartland group put on a super organized race in every detail.
Posted by Mark Studnicki at 8:51 AM
Thursday, March 27, 2008
What's is the significance you might be asking? Many years ago, I raced a Norba National that started and finished on this race track. The first person that can guess what year that was gets.....absolutely nothing, but tell me when it was I forgot! I will give you one hint. MAX JONES WON. That's also a former teammate of mine, Neil Shirley trying out the course with his Jittery Joes teammates. Bonus Question: Guess which team me and Neil were teammates on!
Posted by Mark Studnicki at 2:05 PM
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Haven't raced since that first MTB race on March 9th. Last weekends 3-hour Heartland race was rained out and postponed to this coming Saturday. Could have did a road race last Sunday but did a long road ride instead and got wacked in the back by something some kid hit me with as they drove by. Lovely! The hasn't exactly got me all fired up to ride on the road lately. 2 of the Tuesday nite "Worlds" crit's are now in the books. I'm not a good sprinter anymore (if I ever was) so I just try to stay with the main group till the bell lap then start looking for a safe way to get the hell out of the way. Local fast guys like Shadd Smith, Adam Mills, Steve Tilford (once in a while) keep this a fast 45 minutes. Bill Marshall is flying this year flying the new Mercy colors. The new local 360 Racing team is always out there in huge numbers. Trails finally dried up and I got in some great MTB riding last weekend. Fitness is OK, technical skills are questionable, disire to race is wavering. Knowing that i'll do good and probably podium shouldn't be the driving force getting me to the race. I have plenty of more-important things on the home front to deal with. I sorta wrote the book on fitting in a LOT of races into a busy life. Of course the races were mostly productive at the expense of the busy life. Times are changing (for the better) and so is my opinion on continuing to put racing first. I've been riding to work and back lately (live in Lenexa, work in KCK). Did it last Friday, this past Monday(25 degrees) , and today. Takes about 45 minutes(12.5miles) each way on the single-ring CX pit bike if i'm leaving from or going to Kristine's house (My house is over in Falcon Ridge near Woodland and K-7 - will probably start commuting from there later in the year, that's about 1 hour and 16 miles each way). I often take an extended way home to add some miles. I might start doing that on the ride in if I can get my ass out of bed a few minutes earlier. It saves me about $6 a day in gas if I ride to work.
Posted by Mark Studnicki at 7:19 AM
Monday, March 10, 2008
With the previous weekends MTB rained-out, this past Sunday became the official season kick-off, my 21st season to be exact. I have to feel sorry for the race promoters, since it appears they found out some time Friday or Saturday that the park wasn't going to let the race go on the originally planned course. The mad dash to create a completly new course was on. They took most of last Fall's ChrisCross cyclocross course and added some interesting trails that we've never raced on before. the end result was a 21min lap (first lap anyway) that had about 1/2 mile of pavement, 1 mile or so of grass and 'cross type stuff. The rest was mud, mud, and more mud. A few deep river crossings. The imfamous "green mile" climb was super wet and took some serious power just to keep moving. You can usually big-ring up this thing, but with the soggy grass and axle deep puddles, NO WAY. A few people showed up on cross bikes. Once I pre-rode the course, I was split on wheter it would have been faster on one or not. Early race leader Camberon Chambers (on a cross bike) led the first lap and then pulled off due to a lingering illness. That left myself and Matt Brown at the head of the race with nobody else close enough to factor in. Me and Matt rode wheel to wheel the whole race and it came to a spint and he got me. We had been soft pedaling the last mile in order to come in after the 90minute cut-off, which we did (I was keeping track on my HR monitor), but there was plenty of confusion as to whether or not we came in before or after the 90minutes. I felt great but the bike wouldn't have liked a 5th lap so I actually stopped and went to the scoring table to the official word that said I was done. Matt didn't know we were done and did a 5th lap which he had a laugh about later. Ihad the Vet Expert win and he had the Expert win. The scoring discussion wasn't over as they forget to actually put me and Matt's finish times down. Everything was eventually resolved.
Posted by Mark Studnicki at 8:11 AM