It was a lovely day in Meeeechigan (that state up north), 80 degrees, nice breeze, a 25 mile loop x 4 equals 100 miles of fun filled mtb racing. Along with 250 other like minded cyclists, I rolled out at 7am Saturday June 16th for one hundred miles of singletrack racing. Round #3 of the NUE Series saw many pro and semi-pro racers looking for top results at 2007 Lumberjack 100. In the end I finished 30th overall with a race time of 8:30.
I rolled out of Cleveland Friday afternoon at 4:30pm (after the most important meeting of my life) and solo'ed the 400 mile drive to Wellston, MI and the Manistee State Forest. After a smooth and relaxing drive (did I just say that?) I bunked in nice little rental cabin with Ross, Kevin and their wives. After changing some tires, fixing my bottles and enjoying the Miller High Life I turned in around 1:00am. The 5:30 wake up call came very soon thereafter. Ate some breakfast, got the pit area ready, then prerode the first 2 miles of the course.
The race started with a 1 mile paved section followed by a sandy climb. I got a good start near the front and quickly settled into the top 20-25. Soon I caught onto a group that was lead by Gerry Plug, Ernie M., and others. Kevin was in the group also while Ross was up the trail.
Ended up riding the first lap in 1:47. Second lap was ok, staying consistent with the Hammer products. Ended up heading out for 3rd lap at 3:54 race time. Third lap seemed to be the longest lap EVER. Lots of bad thoughts, but lap time was actually ok. Headed out for final lap at 6:04 about 4 minutes behind Kevin. I felt ok, I was not bonking, but I just lost my desire to ride, breath, live, etc. As a result I did a 2:25 lap and finished in 8:30, shitty, but still a pr for a 100 mile. I lost several spots in the last lap and the 20 through 30 finishers were all very close on time. However, I am generally happy with the race...felt good and strong, nutrition was good (except for last 1:30), no crashes, no mechanicals, great trails, delicious free beer by Founders, good people...yeahh!!
The party afer was great, lots of yummy Founders brand beer, some old friends like Alex and Joe from MI. I am really starting to like the 100 mile race format. I do prefer 100 mile point to point version versus Lumberjack lap version, but I am still going to be back next year.