Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Landmine Classic

Today's Landmine Classic Mountain Bike Race at Wompatuck was unbelievably difficult. It was way more grueling than the 100 mile road ride that I did a few years ago in Portsmouth, NH. I'm proud to say that I finished all 25 miles, even if just barely. I had to take Geena's car, which got all muddy , because my car had a flat, which I didn't notice until I had loaded the bikes on it and started driving towards Hingham...

I laugh when I think back to the beginning of the race, when I was actually trying to keep up with the pack and minimize the amount of riders who were passing me. Eventually, I gave in and just rode at my own pace. My reasonably good downhill abilities were not even close to being enough to compensate for my lack of endurance. It probably would have been better if I had known about the race for longer than 1 day before it. The deep mud didn't make things easier.

I was still doing OK when I met up with Geena at the second feed station around 9 miles in. She had biked to Wompatuck to cheer me on. She told me that I would see her again soon when I rode by it again on the way back through. It wasn't long after that when I started seriously thinking that I had to bail out of this race. I had gotten in over my head and I needed to cut my losses. I'll admit that I wanted to quit, and I thought that it would be a good time to do it as soon as I got to the feed station for the second time. Unfortunately, I had not remembered that the course ran for another 10 miles or so before I would pass by the feed station again. I was really hungry, tired, and my legs were cramping up on me frequently. I was foolish not to bring food with me. All I brought were some energy gels, and the feed stations only had water and more gel packets. I came upon this kid, Nate, who had just had his second flat tire of the race. He offered me half of his Cliff Bar when I told him how hungry I was. I felt it was only right to offer him my spare tube and let him use my pump to fix his flat. It also gave me a great excuse to lie down for a couple of minutes.

By the time I got back to the feed station, Geena had been worrying because the loop had taken me about an hour longer than it should have. I had already ridden 21 miles, so I decided to suck it up and finish the race. I was constantly cursing the ridiculous number of exposed roots and rocks that were sapping every bit of energy from my body the entire way. I was also daydreaming about the barbeque that I knew was awaiting me at a tent near the finish line. It took me a total of about 5 and a half hours to finish, but I'm proud to have made it. I'm looking forward to seeing the results. Hopefully some of my competitors in the "Sport, Age 12-29" category didn't finish so I won't have come in last, but I'm not holding out much hope. If I do this again, I'm going to try a shorter race.



Ray said...

Congratulations! You finished without giving up. It was a brutal course.

Fitech said...

Thanks Ray! Thats a cool story you linked to. I forgot about the Red Lantern.

Fitech said...

My official time was 05:01:23.

I think I've officially earned the Red Lantern.