Monday, July 21, 2008

I DID IT!!!!

Breckenridge 100 COMPLETED!!!

Well ya'll I completed the race after a 13.5 hour roller coaster of a ride on the bike! The day started at 6am as the race took off on a neutral rolling start through the town of Breckenridge to the base Peak 9 at Breckenridge Ski Resort. From there the race was on. All of the true maniac racers were gone within a few minutes flying up the fire road which would take the race up to Wheeler Trail and Wheeler Pass which would take us over the resort and down by Copper Mountain Resort. The climb went flawlessly and the views were amazing on a perfect July morning. It was amazing riding my bike where I had snowboarded this winter flying off of rock drops with Breckenridge down in the distance. As the race approached the pass we were above Imperial Chair Lift which is the highest ski lift in North America. On route I passed over a couple of snow fields as I made it to the pass and then the decent was on! I looked at my watch and it had taken about 1.5 hours to do the climb and I thought I was in good shape. I thought I would be able to make up some time descending but this proved to be otherwise. The decent down Wheeler Trail was muddy, wet, and narrow. I got thrown all over the place trying to stay in the rut and with people in your way it made it even more crazy. A couple of guys let me by and I turned it loose a bit more. Then I took my first spill of the day. I was able to get one foot out of the pedals and then the other but my momentum sent me summer saulting. The ground was very forgiving however and I immediately got to my feet and got right back on the bike.

Waiting for the 6am start... 29 miles 3,500ft of climbing...

After the first spill I decided I better tone it down a notch. As I did I was still making up time catching up to people. One dude (a Texan) fell into a creek right in front of me but I think he was more upset that he may of scratched his bike than that he fell. Everyone asked if he was alright and he said yeah so we all pushed on. I made it into an area where I was on my own and was content just focusing as the wet muddy obstacles came my way. I started to notice that my rear brake was acting funny and I thought oh here we go a mechanical is going to take me out of the race. I stopped and checked on it and everything seemed to be fine so I just kept at it. As I made it to the end of the decent (which was awesome even with the challenging conditions) I turned up the pace once we hit the Frisco bike path. It was cold as hell since we were riding along the creek and the sun hadn't made it over the mountains yet and that is always a bit of a shock to the muscles.

Then it was onto the Peaks Trail which would take the race back to Breckenridge. As the race started up another climb I began to wonder if my first loop was going to have me on pace to make the cut off time at Boreas Pass at 4:30pm. I knew I would have to keep my times between 3.5-4 hours per loop to do so. I started to catch up to another group of 3 riders and we all went along several miles together until we came out of the trail and hit the road to head back to the park where each of the loops ended. We all looked at each other and tried to figure out if we were going the right way and I said the directions said to go past the construction which there was a lot of so we took off and indeed it was the right way. As I came into the park at the end of the first loop I had made it just under 4 hours. My mom was waiting for me to help me out in anyway she could. She got me to calm down a bit and get some food in my body (which was not easy all day long) and then I took off for the second lap after about a 10 minute break.

Out for Loop 2, 32 miles 4,300ft of climbing...

I had been hearing all day long and even prior to the race that the second lap had some wicked climbing on it. And this it did. There were a couple of sections that were so loose everyone was walking them. I actually chatted a bit with a guy that would continually be with me for the rest of the race here and there and we both were doubting our chances at making the cut off time. As the loop progressed it turned out to be much different than the first lap because the terrain was drier and you could absolutely fly down the roads and single track descents to make up time you had lost on the climbs. Loop 2 was extremely fun with well taken care of single track on the Colorado Trail. We ran into lots of people who weren't in the race and they were kind enough to left everyone by and cheer us on as then did so.

At this point I was taking on fluids just fine but I was beginning to struggle with eating which always seems to be my down fall. I finished the Colorado Trail section and hit the road to climb back towards the park. This climb led us on a dirt road back to the switchbacks we had climbed out of the park. I raced back into the park completing the second lap in just over 4 hours. My down fall was that I had gone through the aid station at the end of the Colorado trail thinking I had enough water to make it back. Turned out I didn't. I had climbed for about 25 minutes with no water in the sunshine. However I did have some electrolyte drink to get me through though I was really wanting some water.

Final Loop 3, 37 miles 4,200ft of climbing

As I tried to take on more food talking with my Mom I was still wondering whether or not I would make the time cut off. I did know that if I didn't try and eat first there was no way I was going to make it through the whole final loop. So I relaxed ate what I could and then took off with 2-2.5 hours to climb Boreas Pass and make the cut off. I had no clue how long it was going to take me so I decided to put quite a bit of effort in to make sure I did. On the climb I ended up catching up to a guy that lives in my apartment complex that I had met only a week before. He told me that the climb was pretty easy on the road and that it was 9 miles to the summit. At that point it looked like I WAS GOING TO MAKE THE CUTOFF! That I did with an hour to spare. The only problem was I had used quite a bit of energy and my lungs were starting to hurt and go into coughing fits.

After I made it through the Pass and down through the single track decent to Como I started to slow down as the terrain became super hard. It was like a rock garden that you had to walk through and it completely broke my rhythm. Matt the guy from my apartment complex caught up to me and I let him go by. I told him I was reaching my limit and was going to be taking it slow so go ahead and pass me (he had only signed up for the 68 mile ride so he was still pretty fresh). As I made it out of the single track and into Como I knew it was going to be a long 10 mile climb back to the summit of Boreas Pass on the road. I just put it into survival mode and climbed at about 5.2 mph as that is all my lungs could handle. The legs were actually doing alright and didn't have any pain in them but my lungs just couldn't handle a faster pace. I stuck with it though as people passed offering encouragement and as I fought off the mental battle of my body wanting to quit and my mind wanting to finish all 100 miles. On the final single track after I had made it over the pass I caught Matt yet again. He got a flat for the third time. The first time he put a tube in his tire and the second time he patched and but it wasn't holding. I gave him the two tubes I had since he would then be behind me and if anything happened to me he would then be able to help me out. Turns out though no need as I flew down the final sketchy loose single track and raced down to the park 13.5 hours after starting and completing the whole Breckenridge 100.

I was lucky enough to not have a single mechanical issue (probably thanks to all of the issues I have had earlier this summer and getting the parts replaced before the race). The only problem I had was with 25 miles left I bonked and just went into survival mode to make it home! This was an awesome experience with a great group of people out on the trail. After the race you wonder if you would do it again... at first... not so much... as you reflect on it... yup I would and I would like to go under 12 hours for the ride! I think that is totally reasonable as I learn how to keep myself fed on the bike.

I have to send out thanks to my Mom first and foremost for coming out and being a part of this with me and to the rest of my family for making sure everything went well and believing in me. Also all of the friends that knew I could do it I thank you!

P.S. Now that I finished the race the Stash is coming off! I know how much all of you loved it! HAHA!

1 comment:

Lincoln said...

Sounds like a wicked race. Much deserved kudos.