Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hearland Spoke Pony 3 hour race

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.