I went into the Front Range 50 feeling prep'd and ready. The days leading up to the event had me feeling fresh as I crawled out of bed on Saturday AM. Breakfast consisted of 2 eggs scrambled and 2 small pancakes topped with agave. Of course, it was all washed down with water and coffee.
The field was stacked with lots of local talent. Of course we were all racing for the overall, but the race was only being scored by age groups. In my age group (30-39) there was 88 riders at the start line. Wanting to get a good start, I lined up in the 2nd row new to Yuki. At 8:30 AM the gun went off and we all scrambled up hill to the singletrack. For me the start was good. I didn't peg it at 100% in fear of red lining too soon and blowing up. Up the hill, I was the 4th person into the singletrack as I followed Yuki, Bryan Alders, and Braden Kappius. The pace was comfy as we pedaled out the first section of trail. Soon the group slowed....but I kept going riding a comfy pace. It was not until the first major climb did the group split when Braden attacked going up the longer climb of the lap.....followed by Yuki.
I soon found myself riding with a gap from this small group....but not far behind me was another group. Here I sat up to wait for these riders to have a group to work and pace off of. We rode together as we finished out the lap.
On the 2nd lap, things changed for me. As I was pedaling along a flat trail section, my legs filled with cement....and became super heavy...and lost the snap needed. No matter how hard I went....the bike would not more forward. It was like I was dragging a boat anchor. Knowing this race was going to last another 2.5 hours I kept pedaling and fueling hoping I would ride out of the funk I was currently in. Unfortunately it never happened.
As the laps went on.....rider caught me from behind....and I caught some other racers. It soon became a time to simply get in the race effort and forget about grabbing one of the 3 podium spots. I finished out in 14th place out off like 78 finishers in my race.....about the same result as last year....but my finishing time was a bit quicker.
Yeah, I was totally bummed, but it happens. It is time to refocus and get ready for the 64 mile Gunnison Growler in couple weeks.
Special thanks to Jeremy Hamilton for the photos!