Welcome to Breckenridge, CO and the 2008 USA Marathon National Championships!
Nearly 900 racers staged at 10:45 AM for the 11 AM start. As mentioned in earlier posts...the Pro men's field was stacked. Basically this race was up for grabs. Have good legs and no bike or body issues...you would have a good day. Toss a coin, who is going to win today?
Lap 1: 25 miles, 2 hours, 11 minutes.
We rolled out of town at 11 AM. The pace was pretty calm as we headed up high on Boreas Pass Rd. About 2 miles into the race, some riders touched wheels and there was a crash that took down like 3 riders. It was your typical bike race crash on pavement: skidding tires, screeching brakes, the sound of ultra light metal sliding on sun baked pavement, and riders swerving in all directions in hopes of clearing the carnage. One of those riders was Jay Henry...last years race winner. Riders quickly remounted and continued on. Me, I avoided the crash and kept at the HR pace Coach assigned to me. Shortly, the pace picked up and 2 specific groups formed. I found myself in group 2 and was moving along at my pace...no worries...life is good. The rest of the lap was uneventful....which is a good thing. I ate, drank, and stuck to the race plan that was preassigned. I even took in extra water and endurolytes due to the warmer temps today. I finished lap 1 in 2 hours 11 minutes. That was 1 minute slower than the 2 hr 10 minute pre-race estimated time.
Some of the final singletrack in lap 1 before the drop down to Carter Park where the Start/Finish line was located. Dig! Dig! Dig!
Lap 2: 25 miles, 2 hours 40 minutes
Lap 2 started off as planned. I grabbed my pre-made bottles, slammed 2 endurolytes, and a gel. I headed off on my 2 lap with the plan to up the pace. That was the plan from the get go. I headed up Boreas Pass Rd. Within 5 miles of that 2nd lap, my left hamstring cramped up. Enough so, I had to un-clip and straighten out my leg to cease the cramp. It went away....briefly. As I climbed the road I drank and took in more endurolytes. I made it another 15 minutes....and the cramp was back. I had to deal with this the entire 2nd lap. It sucked as I could not put max pressure to the pedals. I was forced to do a light effort on the pedals. This kept me moving forward faster than most racers....but it also allowed guys who I put time on in the first lap to catch me. The 2nd lap was slow going. My goal was a 2 hour last lap. The cramping left hamstring added around 40 minutes to that last lap. I finished...but not with the final result I wanted. Official final result was 23rd. I started lap 2 in about 15th. I believe like 45 pro men started...only 32 finished. Full Results...and keep in mind who started!
My dirty mug thinks...."What could have been." I can't complain too much. My equipment worked perfectly and Coach brought me into this with a plan and fresh legs. I wish we could do a re-race on Sunday. I want a another shot...oh, well got to wait until '09. Time to focus on the bigger challenges down the road. I am racing the 68 miler up here in Breckenridge in 2 weeks. Can't wait!!!
Here is my profile chart and HR data for the race. Suunto T6 showed around 6500 ft of climbing. That is wrong, there is much, much more. Just ask anyone who raced today!
Dave Wiens had a good day in the saddle. He rode a smart race to take 4th in the Pro men's race. Todays winner was Jeremiah Bishop of Trek/VW. The podium was a bit of a shake up. A lot of pro men had bad races and pulled the plug early.
Next up in a 12 hr training block over the next 2 days. I am staying up here in Breckenridge to ride some high altitude alpine trails and prep for those next events. A Goat and a pair of Carney's in tow. Maybe even some Toast on Sunday.