WOW! Another whirlwind roadtrip and 12 hour FL race in the books. I need a nap! Left Cleveland on Thursday around 1pm and drove 1,000 miles (16 hours) straight through to Ocala, Florida for the 12 hour of Santos. We packed up and headed down in the Element with Darren Spence and my cousin Marc Davis. Dustin Clouse of Solon Bicycle met up with us later on Friday. Arrived in Ocala at around 5am just in time for a BIG breakfast at Aunt Frannies diner. We lingered around until around 8:30am when the gates opened up. Ended up being the first ones there and got a prime piece of real estate right on the course. My parents also swung by as they are RV’ing through Florida the month of February to escape Ohio winter.
We proceeded to set up camp and then did a nice pre-ride. With Cleveland weather being so crappy the last few weeks, I used the pre-ride as a shakedown for some new drive train components. After some wrenching, I had both bikes in pretty good shape. We had a few cocktails Friday night and went to bed early.
Got up around 8am Saturday morning for the 10am Lemans style start. I mixed up 12 or so bottles with a special blend of Hammer products. I got a decent start on the run and was within the top 5 of the solo 12 hour field for the first lap and a half. I did not take any Endurolytes before the race or during the first hour and a half and as a result started to feel some pre-cramping in the legs. Laps 3 and 4 were decent, but on laps 5 and 6 I really slowed down with a few crashes, some BAD leg cramps and general apathy. Lap 7 was better as it appeared the leg cramps were gone and I was finally in a comfort zone where I could bang out 55-60 minute laps with out killing myself.
However, after completing lap 7, knowing a top 3 podium finish was probably out of reach AND with a cooler of cold beer waiting and knowing that Darren and Dustin were done for the day (there were racing 6 hour solo class) I decided to pack it in. Only my second DNF ever since stopping to help a rider at 2006 Big Valley XC race.
SOLON BICYCLE / SPECIALIZED
Lap 1 - 32.58 (first lap was short)
Lap 2 - 45.78
Lap 3 - 47.70
Lap 4 - 52.04
Lap 5 - 60.47
Lap 6 - 59.15
Lap 7 - 54.36
No regrets though. It was fun hanging out cheering on the other racers, drinking beer, and raising some hell with “more cowbell.” With less volume and frequency in training (compared to last year) in the 7-10 weeks leading up to the race, I would have totally crushed myself to put in anymore than 12 or 13 laps. Harvey Minton, the winner did 16 laps!! 12 laps would have put me in the top 15, 13 laps the top 8 and 14 in the top 5. 2nd and 3rd did 15 laps of the 9 mile course.
Couple of good shots from the race.
Photo 1 - Yes, I am a little porky and a lot angry.
Photo 2 - Yes, Rays MTB Park is paying off.
Photo 3 - Yes, I am clearly out of control and about to die!
I am going to buy these, more here including my miraculous save from Photo 3.
Kudos to Darren and Dustin on their first 6 hour races and thanks to Marc and my parents for the support.
Watch out for a stronger performance from me at Mohican 100 on May 31. Gotta put that dinner fork down!