American Zofingen 2011

SSSMST was out in full force last weekend!  Reports to come, but in the meantime, here is something for your reading pleasure!!

Scott finishes the American Zofingen 2011

Those of you who know Scott Zubricky know he likes to race.  A lot.  As he’s got about 10x as many races and reports on the website than anyone else, it seems fitting to have a post devoted entirely to his A race for 2011.  The big race was the American Zofingen, which is an extremely difficult long-course duathlon in the Catskills.  (For some additional background, check out Anne and Kevin’s Zofingen experience from 2010.)

(note: this report is a feat in and of itself!  Scott is anti-computer and typed this all just for the website.  You don’t want to miss it!)

Kevin Krol has been talking about this race for 6 years. O.K. I’m in. Check the date and realize this would have been my 30th wedding anniversary.  Maybe Barb would shine on me, (or maybe she would beat me up).  So I sign up and start training.  I hired a coach– I would never do to myself what a coach is going to do to me!!  Overall, training goes well, and I am healthy, fit and ready to go.

 As Kevin, Anne and I are driving to the race, I start thinking these are not little hills here. Oh No! What did I get myself into??  Saturday morning before the race, we all get up and do a few mile run, then Kevin and I go for a little ride. Then we head into New Paltz for breakfast and packet pickup. Kevin and Anne were great all weekend, prepping me and supporting me during the race.  Later we drove the bike course and I am thinking maybe this was not a good idea! haha! The area and scenery is very nice, and I was so glad I got to see it on Saturday.

Race morning: it’a little wet outside.  I eat a little breakfast and drink a little coffee, load up my stuff and head off to the race.  It’s a grey overcast morning, then the rains start.  Trying to stay focused, I get set up in transition. It’s still raining a bit, everything is wet and it’s a bit foggy.

Ready to go!

Kevin is the honorary starter for the race, as the only six time finisher. He says go, and we are off.  Now I haven’t seen the run course at all. We go across some grass fields that roll a bit, then we get to the woods and the first climb. There are two big climbs on the run course, so I am already thinking I’ll be doing some hill walking on the second run. Its raining the whole time we are running, don’t know how hard because it’s all woods. When we come out, I realize it’s raining pretty hard. I head into transition, decide what gear to throw on and ride off on the bike.

When I leave transition, I travel down a gravel road to the wet and rainy street.  I think to myself: I’m glad I cyclocross!!  I make it out on the road and start climbing.  All the climbs from here have me out of my seat a lot. When I get to the top, it’s a good descent.  It’s pouring now and the roads are wet and slick.  I almost lost it on the one turn, but got it together and started to settle down and get a feel for the roads. The bike course is three 28 mile loops.  The one climb is two miles long, and I pass the aid station and transition road on this climb. To the aid station I can basically stay in my seat, but after, it’s out and grind.  The other big climb is at least thirty minutes of climbing before I got to one spot and start downhill a bit.  I think I’m good until I make a right turn and am climbing again. The course features these two climbs, a lot of rolling roads, false flats, and fast descents.

The whole time on the bike it rained, with fog with little visibility, 100% humidity, and wet roads. I was cold and shivering one minute and then hot the next. On the second loop, I started cramping badly in my quads.  They were locking up and making any climbing harder than what it was. I got to the aid station and thought of quitting, but Kevin and Anne talked me into giving it more. I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and reloaded water and gatorade and off I went.

I made it through the third loop and into the transition road. By now the gravel road was water and mud and uphill—again, glad I cyclocross.  I get back to transition and am ready for the second run.

I start out onto the run course and realize I don’t have my number, so back I go to get it. Start over.  By now the run course is under water in spots , or churned up mud. I walk the ups trying to conserve energy for the three loops. I run all the flats and downs which tear up my quads too. On the third loop I get to the top of the first climb and I start to feel very woozy. I have to stop for a few minutes. When I start to move forward again, hoping for it to pass. I am walking like I am drunk. I haven’t walked like that in ten years, what a weird feeling.  This passes and I am able to return to my now slower pace, and thankfully have no more issues the rest of the way. The thought of the finish coming soon keeps me moving along. Kevin came and ran some with me on the second loop and on the third loop, bringing me to the finish. 9:37: and some seconds, and the hardest race I have ever done. I figure Barb beat me up a bit, but she also shined on me too!

I do plan on going back to try and do better.  I just want to say that it would be nice to have some company competing with us!!  I’m glad Kevin talked me into the race.

Well done Scott!!!  If you’ve read this far, leave a comment and congratulate Scott on the awesome race (or on typing up the report).  What an accomplishment!!

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3 Responses

  1. Scotty,

    Wow! I am impressed and very happy for you. There is a lot to think about in these long races and I loved reading about your thoughts. Keep inspiring us with your racing! See you on Wednesday…

  2. I think you are all very brave souls to tackle such an event. I have to be honest, the course scares the crap out of me, and I would much rather race an extremely tough Tri then punish myself on American Zofingen.
    I’m truely humbled by your feats (this will make everything else seem easy in comparison).

  3. Scott,

    Wow! That sounded brutal… but sorta fun. I may be in for next year. Keep talking to me about it.

    Great race report. I sometimes wonder what you are thinking and now I know.

    Congrats!

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