Here's the low-down on the race...
Scott had to leave really early on race day since he and his teammates were putting on the race. I ate breakfast, walked the dogs, dropped them off to their grand-dog-parents and then headed to the race myself. The whole way there I felt like I was forgetting something and it was because Scott had taken my bike for me. It felt weird to be driving to a race with just a helmet, hydrapak and shoes. I felt much better once I was reunited with my bike.
The parking lot was full with fat bikes and friends, and all of my race nerves disappeared. One of the reasons why I like endurance racing so much is that the atmosphere is pretty laid back. Well guess what? The fat bike race scene is twice as laid back :-) There were quite a few snowboarders and skiers arriving too and I caught quite a few curious looks. Not only were we taking over their "turf," but we were dressed in about ten less layers then them. The snowboarders were wearing big pants and jackets and most of us were wearing just jerseys and shorts. We had been experiencing a freak warm-up that whole week and temps were in the mid-50's on race day. What the????? There was still snow at the base of the ski hill and it felt completely surreal to be walking over it in shorts. I have to admit that I liked it a lot.
Before I knew it we were off the starting line and racing up the first climb! The course is sand based so the melt down actually made for perfect race conditions. Most of the course was super fast...
Except for the parts that weren't. There were a few short hills that really started to make my legs burn about 1.5 hours in. It's funny, at the start of the race I wasn't too worried about the length of the race. "3 hours??? That's not too long!" I always forget that riding for 3 hours is a lot different then racing for 3 hours. There were tons of people on the course cheering though, and it helped a ton. Anytime my legs felt like they wanted to slow down there would be someone shouting at me to go faster!
The back end of the course had a sandy section that was a blast to ride across...and perfect for fat bikes. It was pretty windy but I was not complaining a bit. After all, it was January and I was racing my bike in shorts and a short sleeved jersey.
The very end of the course was the hardest to navigate for
I finished with 10 laps in 2:54:50-something. Good for first place and 5th out of the guys!
I have to admit that I'm a little bummed the race is already over. It was so much fun! I'm not sure what it is about racing fat bikes but the "fun level" always seems to go up a few notches!
This was a great way to kick of the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series. I definitely had the home court advantage in this race since I ride at Cannonsburg a lot. However, from this point on I'll be trying to hold on to the series lead on courses that I don't know at all, and will be racing against a lot of different women. I'm excited! I took a lot of time off the bike after Iceman but I think my endurance has definitely bounced back. For the most part of the race I felt really strong (minus the times I was trying to navigate the snow shoot).
Oh, and before I go. Tonight I'll be on Mountain Bike Radio with Jorden Wakeley (solo mens winner). We will be on at 9 p.m. EST. so be sure to tune in. You can hear my awesome, awesome midwestern accent. Personally I don't think I have one at all, but I have been told otherwise :-) I should be fine as long as no one asks me to pronounce the next race that I'm doing (Noquemanon).
Ben Welnak (the guy behind mountain bike radio) says that it will be about 30 minutes long, but clearly he's never talked to me on the phone before....bahahaha.
PS. If you haven't seen it yet, XXC MAG has a great write-up and video on the race. Watching the video makes me want to go and do the race all over again!