The race drew over 300 racers willing to take on the brutal 100 mile MTB course with roughly 12,000ft of climbing. Needless to say it was going to be a tough day in the saddle.
The start sends you up a 3 mile long paved climb which strings things out nicely. I was the first one into the trail head, but by the time we got to the singletrack, I was sitting 6th wheel tucked in right behind Jeremiah Bishop. The pace was fast through the first 18 miles of singletrack. The front group slowly started to whittle itself down.
Once we got onto the mountain roads, the pace seemed to let up... right until we got to aid station 2 at mile 36. This is where Jeff Schalk rolled thru and put the hammer down. Jeremiah Bishop went after him, then Sam Koerber. Chris Beck, Chris Peariso, and I were content to set tempo and work together. I took a few hard digs on the long climb up to mile 55 where Chris Peariso ended up losing contact due to some mechanical trouble. Chris Beck and I ended up catching and passing Sam, and we were working together all the way up to aid 4 where Chris Eatough eventually bridged up. The three of us worked together for about 15 miles until Chris Beck attacked on the last fire rd climb. It was too much for me and I had to let him go. Soon after Chris Eatough passed and dropped me. I was spent, but I was content with rolling in for 5th spot.
Overall, I'm really satisfied with my performance. I accomplished a big goal of mine, which was to finish an NUE race in under 7 hrs (6:45!) The bike worked awesome in which I had zero mechanicals. I think I've finally got my nutrition dialed in too. Next on the calendar is Mohican 100. A little closer to home this time... I'll keep ya posted!
1. Jeff Schalk
2. Jeremiah Bishop
3. Chris Beck
4. Chris Eatough
5. Mike Simonson
6. Josh Tostado
7. Sam Koerber