Good news: I set my alarm for 3:30 a.m. To make it to the start on time.
Bad news: I was awake at 2:00 and couldn’t get back to sleep.
The great news!:
Saturday was the first race of the year, it should have been the third but I wanted to focus on my training a little longer. The news is still coming...
So for a little play by play of my Vision Quest:
The race: 56.6 miles 11,000 feet of climbing, 5:30 start(the most painful part).
The gun(it could have been an alarm clock for all I know) went off at 5:30 and people were ready to race!!! People were so aggressive they were almost going down hard in the first 50 yards. I hung back a bit, I knew I had some time to catch them. There were two miles where the geared guys(and Pua) were blowing past me before the first climb started. Shortly after starting the ascent the people in front of me started getting closer to me really fast, I was climbing well. There were a few people that finished close to me last year that tried to keep up for a bit but then dropped back. I would say I passed about 20 people climbing Black Star. When I hit the main divide I was in a group of about 8 and were together all the way to Silverado Motor-way. I thought I could descend faster than most of them so I made a push over the last rise and dropped all of them. One of them caught me half way down, I was still trying to remember how to ride a mountain bike(I have only ridden one for about 5 hours total since Thanksgiving). He motivated me to ride a little faster and I was getting pretty fast then PING! I got deflected off a rock, caught my arm on a tree that sent me flying(almost off a cliff). I hit the ground clawing at the dirt and rocks with my hands so I wouldn’t slide off the edge. I stopped with most of my legs hanging off the edge. Back on the bike and down the last 200 yard to aid station one.
A quick refill of Cytomax and Cytomax Gel and I was off.
I was on the second climb for 6 or 7 miles and had not seen another rider or even any tire tracks(more on this later) I knew I was climbing better than the 8 that were behind me and I knew that Manny was still in front of me, it was time to go for the guys in front of me. After a little while longer I had not sean anyone and I had a theory that Manny is so light that he was not leaving any tire tracks, and there were no others marks. I was in second place overall!!! I knew I was feeling good, so realizing I was in second was even more motivation to keep the pace high.
From aid 1 to aid station 2 I never saw another rider. I pulled into aid two and they said Manny was only 15 minutes ahead “Go catch him” they yelled. I knew I couldn’t catch him but I still wanted a good time so I kept pushing on. Ten minutes after I left aid 2 I looked at my clock and realized I was in good shape to beat my time from last year. A few minutes later I realized I was going fast enough to get close to the Singlespeed course record, time to work harder. After finishing the hike I had about 40 minutes to ride across the main divide to the descent, down the descent and out the 5 mile road to the finish line. Things were great until the the last 5 miles of road, 200 yards before aid 2, I started getting a flat. For some reason it wouldn’t hold air, and I had a choice to make.
Stop and change the tire or ride a flat for 5 miles on a bumpy off camber road. I wanted that course record and I knew I couldn’t make it if I fixed the flat. So after 5 miles of riding a flat I crossed the finishline. No one passed me, I finished in 2nd place over all in a time of 5 hours and 37 minutes. 19 minutes faster than my time last year and one minute faster than the old course record!!!