IT WASN’T MUCH OF A START.  In fact, I missed the start altogether.  At least, the trail was clear.  Soon, I started passing people.

I could see my buddies way ahead of me.

Then I couldn’t.

I’d taken a wrong turn.  Ugh.

The first of 7 laps, and I’d already given up 5 minutes.

But I started to settle in… to find my endurance pace.  And that was the point:  to see if I had the kind of endurance I once did… the endurance I’d need to qualify for Leadville, and then set a PR there.

As of today, I have 16 weeks to prep for the Tahoe 100... where I plan to qualify for Leadville... and 4 weeks later it'll be on f'reals.

What did I learn from today?

  1. My MTB handling skills are rusteeeeee. I was on the brakes too much, fighting the bike too much.  Good news is my upper body is actually pretty strong from all the push ups and pull ups.
  2. I have the endurance, but my speed needs some work. I kept my heart-rate at a steady 160ish bpm.  Never cramped.  More speed will come with dropping a few pounds, and riding off road a lot more.  My food strategy of 2 scoops of GQ6 and dried figs to snack on was perfect.
  3. Black Magic, my hardtail, needs to move out to make room for a full-suspension XC racer. My back was KILLING me when I was done.  Could be partly the 175mm cranks vs the 172.5s on my road and gravel bikes, but I think it was mainly due to the pounding.

How’d I wind up today?  Pretty dang great... passing almost everybody and winning my age group.  That was nice, but I was more impressed with my steady lap times which were all around 28 minutes.

Oh, and remember the 7 laps?… well, I did do 7 but my age group only did 6.  So, I guess there’s a 4th thing I learned:

  1. Be prepared. Ready to start on time.  Know the course.

Here we go!


Got a chance to meet the Stonehaus crew in person and deliver the team's RaceDay bags. 

Specialized raffled off a sweet hardtail for the Juniors

I don't know the answer... but it would be great to do the podiums right when the race ends for everybody to be there.

This tri-tip was amazing!

... after the grillin' it was great to be chillin'... what a spectacular day!