Monday, September 3, 2007

24 Hour Challenge 7 Springs

Mudhoneys 2007
Wendy, Kristin, Heather, & Kim
Slummin' it in the condo..."We have a hot tub..." (cue angels singing from above)
Provisions
The Fleet
Campside
Kristin & Heather surprised us with team shirts
Even the West Chester Cycling Club came out in force...
All Smiles (pre-race)
Baked Beans
Heather & Nancy getting psyched for the running start
And they're off!
Which Sidis are mine?...
The Bronze
Parting shot...
24 Hour Challenge of 7 Springs, PA
Noon Saturday: Heather has a strong running start and a fast first lap (1:28).
Wendy takes off for lap 2 and turns out a flawless and feisty 12 miles.
Lap 3 sees me heading out around 3pm charged up and excited to hit the trails...my lap is just three minutes slower than Heather's. Awesome.
Lap 4 Kristin gives it hell and finishes quickly for our first complete rotation.
We are in third (and there were only 3 Expert Women teams registered), but we feel confident and focused.
Second rotation goes smoothly until Wendy ends her lap in the dark with failing lights (lost about 15 minutes)...I head out for my night lap wary, nervous. Mile marker 3 leaves me a little spooked already...no one has passed me, no one is in sight. Just me in the woods...for several miles, I feel as though I am the sole rider out there in the night. Eerie. Hammer harder, get the night & the creepiness out of my head. Mile 7 approaches the "big climb"...an open switchback up up up the slope. Craig passes me, it is motivating to hear a teammate's voice. Quickly, he disappears...at the top of the climb, the Beans "way station" is all but deserted...just Decarlo stoking the campfire. "Keep it up," he offers. Grind out my night lap nearly 15 minutes slower than the day. We are losing ground. At transition, Kristin struggles as her light won't turn on. Noooo! Wendy disassembles it as I race to mount my backup light on her bars...Lights on, she dashes into the woods. Wendy & I head "home" and refuel, rest...
Third rotation: The dark barely slows Heather down & Wendy is out for redemption...I manage to stay consistent & actually enjoy my second night lap. This time, the Beans tent is completely deserted & camp is quiet at the crest of the hill. The air is chilly around the lakes, but the spookiness is gone. I wrap up my third lap around 6 am...as I coast back to home base, the sun is just barely creeping up over the mountain. Ahhh...36 miles down. Now I must sleep. Every time I close my eyes, I am back on the trail. When Kristin returns, it is my cue to eat. Now it is morning and my stomach is tweaked, as expected. I manage to eat half a bagel with almond butter, I drink some green tea. I beg for Tums & Rob obliges.
We are still in 3rd, but the gap is closing...our goal is to complete 4 laps each.
4th rotation: When Wendy shows up at transition it is 10:24 on my watch...I have one hour and thirty-six minutes to return or the race is over & Kristin won't go out for her fourth. We want 16 laps!
The sun is shining. My forearms are magically no longer sore. My head is clear. My belly is fine.
I love my last lap...I can't believe how great I feel and I am flying, flying, flying. Approaching the big climb, I eat three blue Sport Beans, tearing at the package like a little wolverine...yummy. When the Beans tent is in sight, I dig a little deeper...the closer I get, the harder I charge...the tent is full, but I can't look at anybody...I hear my name and the beloved cluh-clunk of cowbells, so I go for a sassy little sprint and blast it up the hill, just for fun...now they are really making some noise & I go for it...4 more miles...I have to make it, I know noon is soon...sail through the rock gardens, eat up the gullies, mash up the very last, dreaded gravel road climb...
Around the lake, I am pushing, pushing...mile marker 12...Come on, do this!
Turning the corner, a sharp left up a steep loose gravel hill, Wendy & Heather are jumping up and down...utter excitement. I made it, holy shit! With three minutes to spare, Kristin heads out for her 4th, our 16th as a team...we did it.
In the end, all three teams turned out an impressive 16 laps(Bike Line won, with Live Dirty Girls coming in second, leaving us in third) and Millennium Bob graciously called it a "tight race" during awards...I am so proud of my team and we had a blast.
Miles raced: 48+
The Course:
12 dry, fast miles of beautiful rocky, classic East coast single track with a long, double-track descent, a gradual loose rocky wide climb, a monster switchback ski slope climb, 4 distinct flat(flattish) rock gardens in a row, a tight rooty section with a bunch of cool gulley features and a gnarly construction/dirt road climb to the last stretch around the the main lake...so much better dry (remember Hurricane Ernesto last year?).
Food consumed noon-noon: Veggie burger on toast, 4 Powerbar Vanilla Recovery protein Shakes, 2 bottles of Coke, 100+ oz Gatorade endurance, 4 little bottles Fierce Grape Gatorade, 3 vanilla Gus, 2 bags blue Sport Beans, 1 entire package Stacy's Pita Chips (plain with sea salt), 1 heaping plate of pasta with olive oil, salt & Grana Padano cheese, countless oatmeal cookies, 2 miniature Hershey Bars, 1/2 bagel with almond butter and honey, 1 slice of corn bread with honey...
Post-race: consumed 1 Victory Whirlwind, 3 slices pizza...too tired to eat!
We soaked in the hot tub & watched "Zoolander" until every one began nodding off, sleepy & delirious...at 8pm the last revelers (including myself) turned in for the night.
Beans had a great showing with several teams on the podium (Baked Beans, Blended Beans, Mudhoneys...)...Henderson turned out some incredibly fast laps and stayed just as fast through the night...Craig and Ben proved to be an awesome duo (as did Rick & Nancy, with Nancy riding an impressive 7 laps and Evan & Josh) and even Scott's ankles survived.
Can't wait to do it all over again!

3 comments:

fatmarc said...

great to you, you have really had a super season, been fun to watch.

respect
fm

kd said...

Thanks!

Suki said...

*rings cowbell and yells your name*


good work, m'lady!