So we packed up on thursday night and headed out to Blanchard springs, home of the syllamos revenge race. I thought this race would be a perfect camping trip for the wife and kid and so it was. We got to the campsite at about 11 30 thursday night. The sky was starting to clear a bit thankfully, considering it rained most of the way down. So we got the pop up all ready and headed to bed, Lucas was fully stoked to be on his second camping trip.
The morning brought us some chilly temps with a little bit of sun peeking over the trees. finally the rain is gone, so after some cool hiking with Bettina and Lucas we have some lunch and then its off to preride some of the course. So i got in about 2 good hours of riding the legs were fresh and ready to race.
5 am had arrived with the sounds of race day beeps from the heart rate monitor singing tunes of lets get the heck out of bed and race. So i eat a bagel and have my usual NOS its a race day must ok so its now a everyday must. soon after chris shows up ready to do a little pre warm up i can tell he is highly pumped and ready to race, we were definitely feeling the good vibrations! So we do the racer meeting and then head over to the start line, I line up in front with some guys that i have looked up to since i did my first race back in 03 at the very least i actually felt comfortable being up front for the first time.
So the race started off pretty fast with Bob leading us off to the big hill climb then with sum pre planned race tactics i pushed the pace on the climb hoping to thin things out a bit and get everybody a little in the red for the start of the single track, approaching the top of the climb, chris, eric pirtle, and matt long passed me leading us in to the single track. I had no problem with that figuring they would hit it hard and was just wanting to set my own pace and get comfortable for the next 48 miles of single track. Well the bummer was chris was at the bottom of the first downhill with a flat, worst spot of the race for that to happen considering how tight and rocky the single track was. So i kept to the plan and tried to stay smooth, I managed to catch up with eric and saw that matt wasnt very far ahead. every thing was going good until this dude caught up with us and was wanting by in the worst way, no biggie so i let him by, here is the problem though, he would get to every climb and die so i would go by then he would catch up and want by again. the next climb came and so i passed him and eric not what i had planned but this guy was driving me nuts! well in the process i was catching up to matt pretty quick still felt smooth and the heart rate was in check, bummer was i could feel my back rim on every rock, the tire was a little low and figured i better add some air. luckily the air held and i was back in business but in my time down eric had passed by. So i get to the first check point and matt and eric or up by 2 minutes and i am still thinking chris is going to catch back up. well i found out later that chris had a few more flats along with some of the other guys from the team. so my race was going very well considering. well other than running in to matt at one of the road crossings he was stopping his race, never did hear why? i never did see anybody else racing, at the second checkpoint eric had gotten more time on me so i upped my pace a little, by the third checkpoint i was still about the same time back 8 minutes or so, finishing up the last loop the smoothest and fastest part of the race course, i got to the last checkpoint and the time was still the same so i was just stoked to be in second place with no major problems like last year. rolled down the last downhill to the finish for a final time of 4:36. 8 minutes behind first place eric pirtle. after a race like this you usually hear some pretty cool stories, well me and the family were hanging around the finish line Mark Bauer came in finishing up his race claiming that a snake he had gone over had bitten a hole in his back tire and the stans had sealed it up and a fellow racer had witnessed the event. that is a hard one to beat! great job on finishing the race mark and great job to the rest of the team, overall as a team we took 3 of the top five spots and would of had 4 if chris would not of flatted. this is a course that will be beat you down like no other if given the chance and hopefully will be waiting for us all again next year! enjoyed the rest of the weekend camping with the family and chasing the little guy around, finally he ran out of energy on the way home.