Monday, September 6, 2010

2010: Park City Point 2 Point

Finish Line!  8:25:14.1 (chip time). I thought I would never make it.

Race Plate

I lined up with over 200 people last Saturday morning in Park City to race the Park City Point 2 Point endurance mountainbike race.  The course consisted of roughly 75 miles on 98% singletrack with around 14,000 feet of elevation gain.

It was a demanding race.

My course profile cheat sheet.  Red=climbs, Orange=aide stations, Green = pain

I felt good riding off the lead 8-9 hour group from the start with a consistent pace that lasted well through Round Valley and to the first aide station at Deer valley roughly 29 miles into the race.  From there the course pointed skyward and took us up what looked like a downhill course.

Yes I said "up" the downhill course.

This climb topped out around 9,200 feet before circling back down to the Deer Valley aide station again (I received great support from the Mad Dog Race Team out of Orem, Utah during the whole race).  From here the course launched into another 30 miles of solitude and another climb back up to the 9,200 foot range again before dropping back down to the bottom of the Park City Ski area.  I think it was on that last hill down to the ski area I let off the brakes and hit my max speed on the course of 41 mph.  I think I was way too tired to hold the brakes so I just let the bike go.

41 feels pretty fast on a mountainbike.

After the Park City aide station at roughly mile 57 most of the hard climbing was over but by this point in the race any climbing was hard climbing.  The climb from mile 58-63 introduced cramps to the equation for me - something I had dealt with in the past but not this bad.  It was a clear sign I was low on electrolytes and possibly water and possibly training.  I thought I was drinking enough but honestly wasn't really paying much attention other than making sure I finished my bottles off before each the next station.  I climbed alone in misery trying to ride hard but not hard enough to push my legs into cramps.  When they would come on I would stand up on the climbs and ride in a slightly larger gear with fewer revolutions.  This is opposite advice from what I have heard others say to push through cramps.  Based on some follow-up reading, the most common advice is to stay in the saddle and spin a very easy gear.  In any case my approach seemed to work best for me ... until it didn't.  I stopped quickly at the last mini aide station around mile 70 for a couple of shots of Coke and cold water, then pushed on up the last little climb before the drop into The Canyons.  It was here I rode past Jonathan Davis of the Trek Store team here in Colorado.  He mumbled something, obviously feeling about the same as I was just as we both pushed over the crest of the last climb.  We rode together bombing the downhill all the way until the very last climb (yes the climbs just wouldn't go away) prior to turning towards  the finish.  We climbed for the first 1/2 mile or so into the last uphill effort before my cramps surfaced again and I motioned Jonathan to pass as I stopped for a quick stretch.  I rode to the top and started down the hill to the finish line only to be delayed yet again by a flat.  The Stans sealant stopped the leak but the tire was too low to ride on.  Even though I could smell the food grilling at the finish line, I had to break out my Co2 and put some PSI into my rear tire.

My final result was 8:25:14.1 (5th 30-39 and 25th overall).

Some race coverage from Park City TV.  Look for me at 24-25 seconds and 55-57 seconds (yes that's 3 whole seconds of fame).

POV from the Pro leaders Alex Grant and Josh Tostado.

POV from Miles Pitcher on the 8-9 hour wave.  This is what it looked like for those of us that lack the super human powers of Alex Grant, JoshTostado, Kelly Magelky, and Chris Holley.

Dave Harris footage.

My trusty steed: 2006 Specialized Epic Marathon. Yes, I do need the seat that high.

Drool. Miles pitcher's 2010 Niner Air 9 Carbon.  I could have shaved at least 30 seconds off my time with this rig.

Pre-stage of the 8-9 hour group.  I'm in the upper left with a glowing oval on my head.  I moved up to the front just prior to starting the race.  My buddy Bill Wheeler is on my right (your left).

Swag!  Yes I raced my guts out to get a pair of XL socks. Only the finishers will be sporting these on next week's lunch rides.

The last 1/4 mile of the race (taken the day before).  Yes it was here I had to stop and add air to my tire.

Dirty legs post-race.  I am flexing really hard here to make them look tough.

I sucked down 4 gel flasks and about 10 bottles of CarboRocket.  It was clear I didn't drink enough.  Pee breaks = 0.


Dave Harris said...

Super ride Jeff! That's a fast time on a hot, hard course. Great to see you...and yes now I understand why that seatpost is so tall.

Jeff Higham said...

Thanks Dave. You didn't do too bad yourself on that FS SS lugging a camera around the whole time.