• Race Report: 24 Hrs of 9 Mile

    This very well might be one of my best 24 hour efforts....and worst. If you are in to the enduro type events, you know how fast things can change from perfect to absolute nightmare. Like I said before...everything has to work in harmony. The nutrition has to be right. The conditions must be right. And the body and bike must work to perfection. Below is a recap from the trip to and from the largest 24 hour event in the midwest...The 24 Hours of 9 Mile.

    Left Friday in the AM for the 5 hour haul to Wausau, WI. Swung by the shop and picked up the bikes, spare parts, and an assortment of Maxxis tires first then hit the road.

    Almost there. Only 77 more miles. Wahoo!

    When I got to Wausau I hit up the venue in search of Chuck and family for a prime pit area and for a bit of preride. We rode the 14 mile course in 1 hr 20 min scoping out all the good lines and picking good and bad routes thru the rock gardens. During this time my Parents showed up for their weekend of being designated Pit Boss'. After the pre-ride I went into Wausau with Chuck to stay with him and his family at the Holiday Inn.

    Got up early and had a good breakfast at Denny's. This was my first Denny's experience. Not too shabby I must say. I slammed down some eggs, and a few pancakes, and some coffee. After breakfast we loaded up the Jacob's Family Wagon and headed to the venue where we both set up our pits further....filling bottles, filling flasks, setting out food, etc.

    The race started at 10 AM. There was a pre-race meeting at 9 something where the event director told us the same thing they do at all 24's....blah, blah, blah. At 9:40 I set my bike up for the running start putting it towards the front and out of the way from being trampled by other racers. This years race was large...something like 700+ racers registered. There was over 100 guys and gals registered in the 12 and 24 hour race. At the line up I started eyeing guys that I knew where experienced, and threats...Unwin, Spence, Patrick H from Manitoba(Patrick was one of the 9 finishers on a single speed at Trans-Iowa), and a few others. I new that I could ride with these guys if not ride aways from them.

    The gun went off at 10 AM. I ran to my bike. I was like the 20th person to my bike out of everybody. I hopped on. Slammed it in the big ring and took off. I settled into my pace and had really, really good legs. I did what work I had to, but also drafted off of team riders when it allowed. As far as I new, I was the 1st place solo rider. I kept my pace keeping the legs speed happy and light.

    On the end of my 2nd lap I was caught by another solo rider. He tagged on and asked to work together. I agreed, and we continued to turn out another 2 laps at an average speed of over 13 mph. I didn't know this guy from any other enduros. He said he did the WORS series. So that means he was a XC racer doing the enduro thing...Good for him!

    At the end of the 3rd lap I told him I was going to pit and grab more nutrtion. I told him to get what he needs quickly and then we would continue. He then replied with..."I have to grab some Slim Fast and use the port-o-potty." I was thinking to myself...."What?!" I couldn't wait. So I took off and my race pace. The only thing going thru my head was: Cruise control and drink, drink, drink.

    I kept turning lap...after lap...after lap. I never saw another 24 hr solo rider again. I just kept riding and riding. Over time I had lapped most of the field and was over 40 minutes ahead of the 2,3,4 place riders. My legs felt awesome! I had great speed and was hardly applying any effort. It was just like a joy ride. You know how you get those "I can ride all day at this pace" feeling? I had that.

    I maintained my pace and lead into the night. When darkness fell I installed the new Cateye Triple Shot LED light. IT WORKS! This is a very cool new light. It was very bright, and the light was a crisp and vibrant white color so you get true color and depth. I rode with...and along with guys that where running Niterider and Light -Motion HID lights and my Cateye light was just as bright. I did not get to run the Double Shot helmet light due to a miscommunication at Cateye about getting the helmet mount. But that is no big deal.

    On my 2nd night lap this is when things got interesting. My stomach started to churn. I wanted to vomit. Any thought of food or eatting made me gag. I kept on riding. But soon enough....Barf, there is Hammer Nutrition all over the side of the course. This was worrying me, cause I have never blew chucks during a race and my diet for this event is the same as all my others. Not sure what to think of it.

    I continued on the lap, but towards the end things got worse again. I had to barf. I made it back to the pit where I dismounted and told my parents of my upset stomach and shakey vision. I sat for 5 minutes trying to shake it, but it wouldn't. I need to vomit. I was going to stick my finger down my pie hole, but opted for a more sanitary plastic knife. 4 minutes later....Barf! right into a plastic sack. I now felt better again.

    I took in some more nutrition due to the fact that everything that I had eat'n earlier was sitting either on the trail side or in the plastic sack. I headed back out. Half-way throught he lap. The same thing happened. My stomach whet bad. I couldn't eat or drink. I was slowly losing all energy from nutrtion...not to mention dehydration from not drinking. I made it back to the pit in 1.5 hours. Remember that my lap times before my stomach went bad where close to 1 hour. That shows you how bad it was. When I got back to the pit I did the induced vomit trick again...only this time with a spoon. I was cooked. I was dehydrated. I was lacking calories. I couldn't see straight. All hell had broken loose! And to the very second that I type this I still have no clue as to what casued it. So that means I have threw-up like 4 times.

    That is when I decided to hang it up. I was in first place. I had a huge lead. I had good legs. There was only like 7 hours left. Why it happened? I want to know why? So that means DNF for Jeff at 24 Hours of 9 Mile. I totally went into this event looking to stand on the podium. I would have, but the stars where not aligned right. Oh well. There is always my next event to make a statement...24 Hour Solo Worlds.

    One interesting note...
    Out of the 4-6 guys riding at the front chasing me... that I thought would also make the podium... either DNF'd or faded way back off the lead lap. Then the guys that were struggling at the beginning are now atop the podium. Who would'a thunk?

    So that was 9 Mile. Good times I must say. As always, all my gear work to perfection...THANK YOU SPONSORS!!! Thanks to the Parents for their nutritional distribution skills. Also a thanks to Chuck and his Family...including the Horse and Brat with detachable feet for a nice bed at the Holiday Inn. Now it's time to hone the skills for World's

    Oh, and this....
    All you readers of this blog that came up to me a Wausau are cool! Thanks for stopping by. Even had Dennis from Tucson, AZ stop by!

    Stay tuned for pictures.