Woke up at 4:15 Saturday morning for the 6 am start and 5:20 sign-in time. MG and I had gotten most everything ready the previous night so thankfully it didn't take too much effort on our part to get ready. We had a 15-20 minute ride to the edge of town where the race appropriately started about 1/2 mile off gravel. Rode up, chatted in the darkness with friends, and prepared for a long day on the bike. About 100 guys and gals rode from the start into a dense fog. We neutrally rolled out with some Pirates leading the way; I tried to sit one-two wheels behind MG at all times...that was the plan at least. I am guessing that about 30 guys worked in the front group, but that number deteriorated quickly as the pace kept rising. The hills started rolling and the group kept separating but the pace stayed high. I was settling in, no one was really attacking the front or forcing the pace uncomfortably, and then in a blink of an eye I saw MG falling to his right, a guy veer left, one guy kind of run over the pile but then endo, and another guy fall. I was lucky the guy right in front of me was heads up, and we slammed our brakes and he went left and I went right to end the carnage. A few of us stopped and waited and word got up to the group so they let off the gas a bit. Everyone seemed to be ok, and more people were coming up so I continued to roll. I never quite got fully back on the group, and after seeing a couple of the guys from the wreck come up I hoped the MG would get up there as I was using him as my rabbit, but he had some mechanical problems he had to address. So I rode by myself for a little while and then I got lulled into a false sense of direction and took a wrong turn at mile 36. Mile 37 was the first checkpoint, by the way, and I really felt like if I got to the first checkpoint was a reasonable group, I would do well in the race, but this wrong turn messed up those plans. I hammered some rolling hills with a tailwind thinking that the town was just a mile or so away. After about a half mile extra I began to get worried, and at two miles the road T'ed off and ended. I cursed and turned around. Now, unfortunately, I had gradual rolling uphills and a headwind to contend with, and I foolishly decided to put in a big effort to try and get to the town and at least be able to hook up with the second group. I rolled into town and saw Kent riding away from the gas station so I knew the front groups couldn't be too far away, but unfortunately for me when I got to the gas station there were only about three guys standing around talking. I went in and got my powerball ticket and a Redbull and decided to continue on. In hindsight, I should have grabbed something to eat and made sure that all of my hydration and eating was going as planned; I knew it was going to be a hot one. The miles up until 50-55 were fairly uneventful. Then out of nowhere my right calf started cramping a little.
Ok in all honesty with starting two new jobs, and being in my actual home for a full week for the first time since May, I have been writing this report for over a week. I am losing recollection of the event, and there are other things to talk about. So here are the facts for the rest of the race:
- Miles 50-85 saw the race heat up, temperature wise. It got into the 90's.
- First 65 miles took 3.5 hours...18.8 mph pace.
- I walked my first hill at mile 86 due to cramps.
- The next 64 miles took me approximately 10 hours to finish... 6.4 mph pace.
- The longest stretch of road that I walked was about 4 miles.
- I cramped riding up a hill and couldn't twist either leg to unclip, so I fell over and laid there waiting to uncramp.
- C.V.O. had to save my life on, I believe, 5 separate occasions.
- I wanted to quit at mile 107, 111 (an hour apart), and 123.
- I slept in a parking lot for an hour and a half...after sitting in a gas station for 30 minutes.
- I couldn't quit at mile 123 because Suvivor's "Eye of the Tiger" randomly came on the radio, and no one can quit during "Eye of the Tiger".