Monday, June 21, 2010

NUE Stop #3 Lumberjack 100

Well... sort of OK. I'm still a little stiff and sore. 300 racers came out to Northern Michigan this past weekend to test themselves for round #3 of the NUE 100 miler series. The weather was great and the course was fast with the 3 lap format and some two track added in this year.

Once we hit the singletrack, things started to heat up as Christian took a pull up the gradual climb. Soon after, Jeff took over and continued to push the pace. Then I took a couple digs on the two track sections, followed by Derek Graham setting a blistering pace through Road Monkey. I was feeling pretty good, then that's where my luck ran out. I could feel my front tire going soft on me. For a brief moment I thought about just hitting it with the C02, but then memories from Cohutta crept in and I decided to put a tube in it. It was a pretty smooth fix, and I was off to regain as many positions as possible. Near the end of the 1st lap I rolled up on Derek Graham in which he had suffered the same fate I had. I tossed him the rest of my Big Air cannister and wished him luck.

By the end of the 1st lap, I was back into the top 5 and feeling strong riding with Bells superstar Steve "McDreamy" Dempsey. I continued to push the pace and worked my way all the way back up to 2nd place! I heard Scott Chambers yell out "Jeff's 8 minutes up, Christian's right there!" I worked my way around Christian, but there was no shaking him completely. He rose from the dead and came flying around me.

At this point I tried to ralley and make a charge, but the hard chase after the flat left me a little gassed. The heat of the mid day sun began to take its tole and I was feeling uncomfortable. I kept pushing as hard as I could just trying not to redline. Then sure enough, Derek Graham came flying by me like a torpedo on the two track near the end of the 3rd lap. I latched on for a moment, then my body decided it didn't want any part of that.

I went into total survival mode on the last few climbs. A quick glance down the trail on the last climb and I saw the Aussie bridging. I threw everything I had left into the final 2 miles and crossed the line in 4th. Not quite the place I was looking for, but it was my best effort and I'm happy. So that's a 3rd, a 2nd, and a 4th. Not looking too bad so far in the series.

A big thanks goes out to my in-laws Dan and Sandy for the awesome hospitality and volunteer work. Well done! As always, thanks to the sponsors as well. The full suspension SF100 was a real treat on the lumpy course. Next up is a couple marathon races right here in Michigan, to prepare the mid season surge for Wilderness and Fool's Gold. Thanks for reading!


Timothy Finkelstein said...

Great effort this weekend. Thanks again for the post-race Simonson-Odea hospitality!

Mister T said...

unreal respect for you!



Paynful said...

Nice write up Mike! Congrats on the finish and great season so far!