Results Rehash: Mud and Rain

Hurtin' BruceIt didn’t rain everywhere, but it did rain a lot.  And we had people all over the place this weekend, from epic mountain bike races to sprint duathlons.

Bruce MacDonald and John Willse competed in the Mohican 100k mountain bike race, which was, by all accounts, simply terrible.  Bruce submitted a report, but it doesn’t do justice.  I hope to get someone to cough up a report that accounts for the horror that resulted in half the field quitting– or not even starting.  There were tornadoes.  There was wind.  Flooding.  Locusts.  Satan himself manned the rest stations.  At least, that’s what I heard.  Stop back later this week and hopefully we’ll have a full report of this sign of the coming apocalypse.

Brian Stern raced Micky Rzymek’s Twinsburg Duathlon. Ironically, Mickey could have started this race with a swim, it was so wet.

In lighter news, Scott Zubricky and Brian Kostura lit up the Nordonia HILLS duathlon, with the HILLS in all caps to emphasize the major feature of this course.  Brian took a few minutes off his time by…  wait a second, what?  He did what?  Well, I guess lifting weights before a duathlon is really no more strange than swimming before one.  Read his report and more, below…

NEW!  From Willse:

The Mohican MTB 100/100k is a unique race, right here in our backyard on some of the sweetest stretches of single track you’ll find anywhere in the midwest. Both race distances are completed on 1 single grand loop. Last year was a great turnout, with over 400 people lining up in downtown Loudonville for the start. The conditions that day were great….but that was LAST year.

6/4/10: packet pickup day. heavy thunderstorms, hail, severe rains….bad omen.
6/5/10: alarm wakes me up at 3:30am. Bruce and Greg are in my driveway @ 4am. It begins to rain. I look at the radar on my BB, and a blob of red and orange are engulfing Loudonville, with plenty more to follow from the west. “It’s gonna be wet, boys…” —–  understatment of the day.

John to Greg: “Greg, I’m not sure of those super light race tires, mounted to my new super light race wheels are going to hold up if the conditions are really nasty…I’m going to bring the other wheelset just in case.”
Greg (having gone to the shop Friday afternoon to CHANGE his tires while I was giving him conditions reports and picking up his packet) says “nah you should be fine.”

Question: what is the opposite of a GOOD IDEA?

We pull up to the lot, it begins to rain again, we gear up, top the bottles, and ride from parking area to the start, (1 mile). We turn the corner and look up to find roughly 400 multicolored nervous-looking racers on mountain bikes crowding the Main Street start line under the Mohican 100 banner in the center of town. What a scene.

7am, siren sounds we get led out of town and within 1/4 mile (on the road) we are in the midst of our first climb. This thinned the herd quite a bit. Quick left turn and we’re off the pavement and onto the single track. Rain is still falling. It took all of about 9 feet on the dirt to determine that this was going to be a very tough day, and a very hard 62 miles. This is a tough course (over 7,000 ft of ascent on the 100k course alone) when it is dry. Pedaling through muck, swollen rivers, and fast but “greasy” trails on this day was going to require a special amount of patience and mental toughness.

I get a decent position at the beginning of the single track, right with Jackson. We are together for the first 7-8 miles. His downhill skills were on display through some of the early sections. Gravity works. And, when brakes don’t slow inertia going down a slick, tree-lined, trail, you better be able to hold your line or you most assuredly will be introduced to Trouble and his brother Pain. We get through the first sections and I settle in, feeling great, and then hook up with a fast group of 4-5 other riders. All is going great, right with Greg and this group, and we hit a fast moderate decent. I get out of my line and I’m on marbles…..crash. No big deal. Back on, but lost that group. The next time I see Jackson was at the finish line. 4-5 more miles of a really nice pace, and my tires are just not grabbing anything, lose a line slightly, and I’m down again. This time it was not so smooth. My left (front) derailer is now toast. I am in the small ring for the rest of the day. Still I am in a good position and try to get back into a rythm, working the hills and the deteriorating conditions. 3/4 of the way up the second big climb of the day…POP goes my chain. F*%k! I turn my bike over, scraping my mud-caked hands as clean as I could get them and fumble around with my chain for what seemed like 20 minutes. “You got everything you need?” “You ok?” “Need anything?” All comments sppoken to me as rider after rider passed me (saying to themselves “sucks to be that dude.”) I am giving up mucho time and positions. Finally get it fixed, ride another 3 miles, and POP! F*&^$#ng chain breaks again. Now, not even 25 miles into a 62 mile race, I am less concerned about placement/time, and more about avoiding a DNF. I successfully mend my chain again, knowing that if it breaks again, my day is over.
Well, the chain held, but without a front derailer, and limited gears available in the back due to a shortened chain. i am focused only on a steady, controlled pace the rest of the way.

Because it held, I was able to see not only the worst trail conditions I’ve ever ridden, torrential downpours, thunder & lightening, streams of water going where streams shouldn’t be, but I was also reminded of why I love mountain biking so much. The comaradarie and true spirit of competition, born from common suffering, was embraced and relished on this day. I applaud all of those who elected to line up on that line at 7am, and not be named as DNS. That was the easy way out. For those who took the hard way, I salute.

Wait ’til next year……

From Bruce Mac:
Hurtin' at Mohican

I didn’t have high expectations coming off a week with 3 crashes in 6 days, the last of which ws in a ditch full of poisin ivy. Had a good pre-race meal at the Rood hour finale, and managed about 3 and half hours of sleep prior to the 4 am departure. Farthest ride to date was the hell or high water last saturday, 48 miles. This was 62, with a ton of rain and mud. Jackson and Willse ( plus 2 broken chains) had great times, as did Chip. Tom Humphrey and I rode together througt the rain and mud, crossed waist high rivers, and dealt with a painful abrasion caused by 9 hours in wet shorts. Still can’t feel my hands…..good times.

From Brian Kostura:

This was a great race, and it was nice to see the Rood family and Scott Z. out on the course! The attraction to this race was that they had a “Pump and Run Duathlon”…something I had never done, and as it turned out it was “the first multisport ‘Pump and Run’ in the world”!

So what is this you ask…well, you may have heard of the “Pump and Run” associated with the Arnold Classic, where you get to bench press a designated weight to take time off of your run time, well this is the same thing, but in association with a duathlon! Since I’ll take all the time I can get…haha…I decided to participate in the Pump and Run Duathlon! I had to bench my weight as many times as I could, up to 30 reps, receiving :30 seconds off my time for each rep. I managed to get 5 min off my time, which got me an overall 3rd Place finish in this division (I definitely need to hit the weights more than I have been recently)!

Even though Saturday was a hot and muggy day, I really enjoyed the race and it was a nice change of pace! I’m definitely gaining a whole new respect for the duathlon!

From Brian Stern:

Woke to the monsoons and decided rain or not I was racing. Drove though heavy down pours and arrived to grey windy skies (rain held off for the race). Ran the first 2.1 hard took the lead and went wire to wire for the win. The bike portion was the first time I had to lean sideways while moving forward. Nice race with rolling hills and Mickey is the RD.

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