Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Breck. 100

I have heard of 8 to 10 mile climbs, wondered what it would be like to climb them. over the past couple of years I have learned to love climbing, maybe more of an obsession with them. I had heard of the breck. race a couple of years ago but thought it would be imposable to do because of the whole acclimation thing. After doing the 24 last year and all of the miles I got in through the winter I figured at the very least it was worth a try. So before I knew it I was waking up at 4 in the morning looking out to some killer mountains that I would be climbing in a few hours. Race day mornings or all about the same, loads of energy and well loads of energy. other than waking up at about 2am with a major headache from the altitude? Things were off to a good start. Me and Mitch rode the bikes from the room over to the staging area at Carter Park. The most mellow pre race I have ever been at, most likely because it was not even 6 in the morning yet!! So before I knew it we were off. The first climb was pretty fun, you could see racers up around the switchbacks ahead of you and down below you. (very cool) Finishing out the climb we turned onto some single track. I guess the altitude was hitting me pretty good because I was having a hard time staying straight, Fun stuff!! The downhill off of wheeler pass was just killer. Still wished I could of hit it as hard as I normally would but between being pretty light headed and worrying about doing something stupid like tearing a sidewall I just road it very conservative. The first lap went by so fast. Highlights from the first loop, crossing my first snowfield and sinking up to my knee, again very cool stuff..

The second loop was a little tough. I always felt good on the bike and had it set in my mind that I wouldn't push anything above a 159 hrt rate on any climb. I did better than usual on drinking but never did have much of a appetite which caught up with me a little on the third loop. Anyway the second loop I was riding a lot by myself checking out some killer views and not really paying much attention to anything. I kind of felt like I was in a dream. This loop had pretty much everything you could think of. Big climbs fast downhills, technical stuff, loose stuff, a nice hike a bike section. The only real tough thing on this loop was I had a hard time staying on course. Missed a few arrows my own fault and stopped and waited for some racers to show up on a few other turns to make sure I was going the right way. This loop didn't go by as quick as the first loop and it felt like I had a ton of racers pass me. I was trying to keep a pace to finish in 12hrs. Before the race I had no idea how this race was going to go, how the altitude would affect me, basically you name it I thought about it. So going into this race I was just hoping to finish, dreaming of 11hrs hoping for 12. Finishing up on the second loop I felt confident that I could finish the race as long as I didn't have any major problems, and that was considering that I thought it was 2 30 when it was only 1 30 probably a polish thing thinking that the garmin would change from STL time to Breck. time on its own.....

Going into the third loop was cool. The legs were feeling better than they had on the second loop and other than the stomach feeling a little weird I was having fun. I new the third loop had a long climb up and over Boreas pass but past that my brain was filled up long ago with just trying to remember everything for the first and second loop. This was one of those climbs that just kept going. I remember at one point asking a person walking up the road how much farther to the top. Oh yeah its not that far, oh you mean the very top, the verrrrrry top! So when I got to the gravel road I thought I was getting close (not) I ended up stopping to get something to eat, I have only a few times ever stopped on a climb and took a break. The good thing is I ate pretty good, better than the rest of the day. So I got the wheels rolling made it to the top and hit the aid station and topped off the bottles. This was the part that I made the biggest mistake of the race. When I was going down the other side of Boreas Pass I am guessing that there were some bikers (non racers) standing in front of the arrow to go down the single track. Heck at this point in the race I couldn't remember what I was supposed to be riding on, all I knew is I had to go down the mountain and get to Como so I could come back up and over the Pass to finish the race. So long story short I went at least 3 miles down the mountain turned around and road back up to the top to get on the single track. Pretty much the single track went fast, was unsure until I came out to the road that I was even going the right way so seeing the aid station got me pretty stoked. From there I hammered the 8 mile climb up to the pass in about 50 minutes. ( probably should not of done that) I felt great going up but not so good going down. Luckily we got to turn off of the dirt road on to some cool single track. There was a another guy with me that was hurting pretty good also, so I stopped and asked him if he needed anything. He was pretty much cooked so other than just wanting this thing to be done he was good. Myself I was craving caffeine, so I offered some to the other guy, he was good so I ate the whole thing. It was just what I needed to finish up the rest of the downhill back to Carter park. The cool thing was I ran into Mitch somewhere on that downhill and got to ride back with him to the finish. If I could do it all over again I would of figured out a way for me and Mitch to of rode the whole thing together. Maybe next year!

Finishing this race was for me was the biggest accomplishment yet. total time 12.47 I had 107 miles in at the top of Boreas Pass when the battery went dead in the garmin. other than a few mistakes the race went perfect. and thank god no mechanical or flats!! Thanks big again to Mitch and Michael for making it a more than perfect trip. there is so much more I could say about that but this post is waaay to long already......

1 comment:

zbrace said...

wow! that sounds unbelievably hard.

nice job!!