Monday, June 6, 2011

Mohican 100 2011 NUE Stop #3

It’s hard to believe this was my 5th Mohican 100 and every one of them was just as hard as the other. This year was no different. The action got going right away with the $200 prime just ½ mile into the race. I made my way to the front and decided the $200 was at least worth the effort. After the un-godly steep paved climb, it came down to me and Robert Marion, in which he just edged me out. Dang! My lungs were burning, it was a full out effort. Ouch! Good thing we had a gap on the field and I was able to recover before heading into the singletrack. I launched from the left side of the group and pushed hard to be first into the shoot. This is one of the knarliest sections of trail in the whole race with steep off camber descents and I didn’t want to get in trouble. Soon after, Josh Tostado came ripping by. He was on rails going down the hills, and must have been holding onto a tow rope going up the hills! I prepared myself for the dis-mount of the early hike-a-bike, but Josh just started riding up it! So I followed and we cleaned the whole hike-a-bike. I thought “wow, that’s two bullets out of the magazine already. The last 25 miles is going to be misery.” A group of 5 developed. It was Schalk, me, Tanguy, Draugelis, and Tostado.

Josh continued to push the pace in the singletrack, and at one point I had to let him go, but bridged back later on. We blew through aid #1 and I grabbed two bottles. One managed to leap out of my cage. Shit, better turn around and go get it. For the next 20min or so, I dug super deep to bridge back up right before we hit the 2nd and 3rd hike-a-bike… bullets number 3 and 4. I was definitely in the red, but it was good enough to hang on as we head out onto the roads. Legs were feeling a little wobbly, but I recovered before we got to Mohican Wilderness. I attacked to be first into the singletrack, shortly after I heard yelling. Dam! I made a wrong turn and had to hike back up to the intersection. Chase chase chase, whew, I made it back on. A quick bottle grab at aid #3 and we were back on the trail. I noticed Josh was struggling a bit. We traded pulls and were working together pretty well as we made our way back out onto the roads. Jeff rolled to the front and began pushing the pace up the next climb. I followed and noticed we had a tiny gap over the others. I made my way around Jeff and put in an attack of my own (bullet 5). I was able to pull out Christian and Jeff. Shortly after I attacked again on the following dirt rd rollers and whittled it down to just Jeff Schalk and I.

We traded pulls and distanced ourselves on the horse buggy trail. Jeff was taking tremendous pulls that had me in my 39-11 (bullet 6)! I would pull through occasionally to give him a break, but I was starting to feel the fatigue. It’s a long uphill grade on the buggy trail, and there was no way to really recover. We pulled through aid #4. At this point, I was just content with sitting on Jeff’s wheel as long as possible to keep gaining time on the others. I finally popped as the mid day sun began to beat on us and Jeff rolled away like a runaway freight train. I was out of bullets and my magazine apparently only holds 6 bullets. He knew he had it and knowing it was going to fuel him all the way to the finish.

I began to ride very slow. The heat was oppressive, but I’d been in these situations before. I knew if I didn’t stop and just kept the bike moving, I had a chance to hang onto 2nd. So I relied on my training and experience to get me through. I stuck to my nutrition plan and actually stopped to get extra water which helped bring me back to life in the final singletrack section. Wait, just plain water helps? Who knew. I was glad it was over, and I was happy with my race! No crashes, and no mechanicals! Woohoo!

Thanks to my wife Michelle for the support, and to all the sponsors. It really makes getting on the podium a whole hell of a lot easier. Next up is Lumberjack in just under 2 weeks. Lets pray for some cooler temps this time around! See you there.


Mike Livingston said...

Great Job Mike.... Right where you belong on the Podium!



Dennis B Murphy said...

Glad you had better weather than last year!