This would be my first 'endurance' race ever and a good training ride for the Lumber Jack 100. I thought that 6-7 laps would be a good goal for the day and I was mentally ready. The day didn't go as planned.
I was planning on being off work at noon heading home for a big lunch then load the car and off to the race for the 2 pm start. At 1:30 I was finally leaving the job site. On the way home I called my wife and had her make me 2 sandwiches so I could eat on the way to the race. I arrive at the parking lot around 2:15, grab my registration, get dressed and drop of my cooler in the pits. I officially start at 2:40, almost a lap down, and try to calm down so I don't go out to hard. Lap1 came and went in 46 minutes and upon completing it I see my buddies Jamie and Jeff, so I pull off to chat and see if they want to join me for lap 2.
Lap 2 has me following Jeff 'Lil Pony' and Jamie up the first climb and into the single track. All seems well until just before the 'pines' when I feel my rear wheel is soft. I bounce on it a couple of times and it's holding air, so far so good. Now in the 'snake' the rear wheel is starting to roll in the corners. It's going down slowly! I make it through the shoot for lap 2 and head to the car to pump up the tire. 20 psi later I'm heading out for lap 3.
Lap 3 doesn't have any fireworks and things go mainly smooth. The only notible was the slow leaking tire. After lap 3 it's back to the car for more air. 20 more psi then over to the pits for a banana, accelerade and water.
Lap 4 is when I am put to the test. First I experience leg cramps, in my inner thighs, that lock up my legs. I slowly pedal through it and continue on, but then the slow leaking tire becomes worse. By the time I am 300 yards into the 'pine' I realize that the tube needs to be changed. 15 minutes later I'm back on and headed for the finish of lap 4. I pull of and see Jamie for a quick 1/2 coke and back out for my final lap 5.
Lap 5 has me cramping again in the same spot in my legs and the same spot on the trail. Again I pedal through it and continue on. I am still passing people and heading to the finish. I cross at 7:48 pm, I'm done. 7th of 15 for the 6 hour 30-39.
The day was bitter sweet for me. I think I could have had a third place if I started on time. I'm not sure about the top 2 steps, but I would have liked the chance. I'm glad I showed up and completed what I did. I will do another 6 hour and next time I won't be late.