Thursday, July 5, 2007

Firecracker50 RaceReport

Heyya kids:

Well, July 4th has come and gone, and I am back at work… still sporting a mean buzz from a sick race in Breck. The skinny: 4:49, 17th place in open men 30-34.

The fat:

The race starts off with the national anthem—fitting for a July 4th race, but I may petition that all races start off that way. Then it’s a sweet parade through downtown, slapping hi-fives with kids and feeling like some sort of Olympian. Follow that up with a never-ending road climb turning to dirt. That Olympic feeling was just a sweet memory as I hung on to a dusty paceline. At the top of the climb it was time for some rolly singletrack—punch the big ring and go. After a short climb there was an absolutely sick chumbly downhill; the maverick was ready to do work. I blazed half a dozen xc-weenies on 1.9 tires and silly hardtails. At the bottom, we head back uphill and those punx are right there, spinning away from me. Crap.

So I settle in and keep my head down, drinking in the high-country goodness. A couple of steep, shale climbs get in my way, but there are enough warp-speed decents to keep things rockin. I descend into the start/finish with a crew and head out onto lap dos. A few friends are there hollerin, definitely keeping the spirits up. Shonny Vanlandingham is on my wheel as we head out of town, and I try to maintain the pro level pace, but she spins away from me after about 5 minutes. I am rewarded for the effort with an all-to-familiar tightening of the quads. I back off and try to recover before the singletrack to no avail.

As I spin along in a daze, Katie catches up to me, rockin a huge gear. It is nice to have someone to talk to as we hit the mid-section of lap two, and for awhile I feel the pain subside. Up and down we go, blazing fools hurting even more than myself. I give it everything I have on the downhills, pingin’ hard on the rev limiter. I put the wood to a few people, but more wood is being put to me. I try to keep my head in the game, all by my lonesome now. For some reason, Waylon Jennings is telling me how much of a Rambling Man he is, and I soldier on. On the long slog up the final climb, I settle into a snail pace and hold on, draining gels, clifbloks, and everything else I can chow on. The course has a kind heart, though, as the finish is at the bottom of a sweet woodsy singletrack that flows oh so good. I roll across the line blown, but there is no other way to be.


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