Day 3 - American Mtn. Classic MTB Race
Posted at 06:51 PM, August 23, 2008
Day three at Brian Head, Utah has come and gone. The morning was cool as the start gun went off at 8am for the 48 mile stage with 4,400 feet of climbing. The initial climb took us up to the ridgeline above the ski resort overlooking pretty much the whole state of Utah. Our views were unobstructed, but there was no time to dawdle as the gravel road turned in to singletrack. We descended down to the valley floor passing through groves of aspens and open alpine meadows. The sun rose higher in the sky as the day wore on and the temperatures stared to climb. All races have a unique attribute and this one would be the altitude. We climbed to 11,100 feet today and the thin air contributed to our decreased performance.
Lucy had an incredible performance on day 2. She went out hard from the start and held that pace all day. Unfortunately, today she paid the price. Even though her performance suffered, she finished the stage at 6 hours and 2 minutes.
Drew went out hard this morning and tried to keep a bead on his wife who has become an incredible downhill mountain biker. We rode together for a bit but seperated at one of the aid stations. The race course today had an out and back section and Drew saw Lucy who was starting to hit the wall physically. The two of them decided to finish the race together and rode along pushing one another up and over the mountain top to the finish line. Drew finished the stage at 6 hours and 2 minutes as well.
Jim has found his new calling. Drawing strength from his 3 servings of chicken pesto pasta the prior evening Jim finished third in his class with a time of 5 hours and 6 minutes. Part of Jim's success can be attibuted to the fact that he was not familar with the course and pushed it hard all the way thinking that he was almost done.
Steve did have knowledge of the course today and saved some of his strength for tomorrow's big stage. Steve and Jim finished the last 15 miles together with Steve only 40 seconds behind Jim at the finish line. The trail has been punishing and Steve's prior shoulder injuries have forced him to use a bit more finesse on the trails.
Lars came back today with a vengance after a mechanical forced him out of the race yesterday. In our group, Lars led the pack and spent most of the day riding by himself. Plenty of time for self reflection, but also plenty of time to fight the strong winds on the course. After some cramping problems 6 miles form the finish, Lars crossed the finish line at 5 hours and 2 minutes.
Everyone in our group has been pushing their personal limits and the accomodations have been wonderful. We know that tomorrow will be difficult with 6,800 feet of climbing and 48 miles. We will post an update tomorrow after the dust settles.
Lucy here. Today was brutal for me. I'm greatful to my hubby for holding back and riding with me most of the day to give me moral support and pull me through the windy road sections. There was a whole lot of forest service road today, which is really hard for me. My competetor sport female racer passed me at about mile 24 and finished 22 minutes ahead of me. Oh well, I finished at least. The trail portions were really cool though, just wish I was feeling better to enjoy them. This pic sums up how I felt afterwards.
The guys working on the bikes in the parking garage.
Steve found a comfortable resting spot.
Here I am looking at the map for tomorrow's course. Oh my hell!