Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Berryman Epic 08

This race was super fun, I really had no idea what it was going to be like. Back in May when I registered for it I figured I would be lucky to still be racing with what I already had planned, but figured if I was registered I would have to do it. After the Burnin at the Bluff race I was thinking this race was going to be more of a ride than a race for me. Well two weeks is plenty of time to recover so when I picked up Jim Vandeven at 5 am Sunday morning I had some super motivation going on.

Sitting on the start line with guys like Eric Pirtle, Brad Huff, Chris Ploch just to name a few was going to make this race a fast one. The race started out with a neutral start until we got to a long gravel climb then we were off. Nothing to crazy fast like I expected. There was some passing here and there as we were going up the gravel road and the pace was picking up a little bit. It wasn't long and we were flying down some pretty cool single track with I think Brad Huff leading the way. Eric was on my wheel and it wasn't long before I let him by, it was a lot more fun following him down the hills than being in front of him. Before I knew it we were at the first checkpoint.

From the first checkpoint to the second was pretty fun, I was riding in a group with Chris, Mike Best, Clayton Bell from Arkansas and Matt Keeven not to far off of my wheel for most of that lap. At some point Brad Huff had gotten a flat. I was stoked to get to the second checkpoint was feeling pretty warm so I wanted to get rid of my jacket. Chris pretty much went through and never stopped. Mike and Matt were getting water bottles so I decided to make it quick and lost the jacket and jammed. Leaving the Berryman campground I headed down the dirt road, when I came to a split in the road I saw the arrows pointing left, I didn't see the trail just thought I was supposed to stay left on the road. It didn't take long to figure out my mistake. I made it back to the trail that was perfectly marked and started trying to make up lost time. My heart rate at this point was averaging 169 and I was worried about putting my self to deep into the hurt zone. At this point I had no idea how many people had passed me when I went the wrong way. The first person that I came up to was my road riding buddy Jim, This was cool he was riding pretty strong. At this point I probably should of just stuck with Jim but I decided to go up a head. I passed Jeremy and made my way up to Richard Maycheck (sp). I am thinking this was probably around the 30 mile mark. I was starting to hurt pretty good from the hard efforts of trying to make up for lost time. Making it to the next checkpoint just barely ahead of Jim, I was going to wait for him but he was taking to long to fill his water bottles and Rich was taking off. This was a long gravel road section with a paved road section that led to a pretty big climb back up to the Berryman Campground. So as hard as it seemed me and Rich were riding I never could get on his wheel and Jim was coming on strong. Going up the steep climb I did what I could but Jim and Rich got a way from me a little. Going through the Berryman Checkpoint I was focused on making it back on to there wheel and it wasn't long before I caught back up to Jim who was hurting a little. Me and Jim ended up riding the rest of the miles together and by the time we reached gravel road section he was teasing me just like he does on the road by letting me get within ten feet or so and then hammering it again. We never did see Rich again, he ended up finishing a couple of minutes up on us. Finishing up the last race of the year was awesome, I owe it to Jim for helping me build such a killer base with all of the Big rides last winter. There is no way I could of felt this strong this late in the year without it. And to Mitch for all of the great summer rides and races. Congrats Mitch for a huge sixth place finish!!! And to Chris for a huge win.. Me I will take top 10 any day with the amount of talent at this race. Congrats to everyone that finished this race. And a huge thanks to all of the people that made this race happen.

Stats for the race. The highest average I have had for a 5hr plus ride since using a hrt rate monitor and the funny thing is I didnt turn it off as soon as the race was done. I will post results when I get them...

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