Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Frozen 40-Race Report

We are back from a whirlwind trip to Minnesota. We were gone for 3 days and did a total of 24 hours of driving. Ouch. The race was totally worth it though. It was a lot of f'ing fun. In fact, I think the promoters should put that on their winter beanies next year. "Frozen 40" on the front..."F'ing Fun" on the back :-)

Here's my race report...

Initially Scott and I had planned on driving all day Thursday so we could spend Friday pre-riding a little of the course and hang out in Minneapolis (one of my all-time favorite cities). Unfortunately we weren't able to leave until Friday. Boo! Driving 12 hours the day before a race is never ideal but oh well...there was no point in worrying about it.

After a long drive filled with coffee and chipotle stops we reached Minneapolis. I realized that I had forgotten my gels (that was worth worrying about) so we rushed to Whole Foods so that I could find something to eat during the race. There was not one gel in the vicinity. I settled on some organic fruit leather and Justin's Peanut Butter Cups.  I was all, "go ahead, twist my arm. I'll have to shove chocolate and peanut butter in my mouth all day."

We ate dinner and then it was lights out. It seemed like I had just shut my eyes when our alarms were going off. After a quick breakfast we headed to the race venue. Besides a text from MBR Ben saying that it was non-stop pedaling I knew absolutely nothing about the course.

It was SHOCKINGLY cold out the morning of the race. It's been cold in Michigan but not like this. I think it was 4 degrees when we pulled into the parking lot. By the time the race started it had risen to a balmy 6 degrees. My eyes were involuntarily watering and I decided that my warm-up would consist of me sitting in the car with the heaters blasting.

Finally it was time to start. Hooray! We rode a small doubletrack section in the beginning to break up the field and once we entered the race course I could see why. It was really tight with almost zero room to pass. Eventually we all spaced ourselves out, and by the end of the first lap I had a little bit of a lead in the females division. I knew that I was going to have to work my butt off though if I wanted to keep my lead, as super speedy April Morgan was right behind me. My legs felt really crappy and tired at first. What is it about long car rides that are so tiring??? There was nothing I could do about it though so I decided to kick the "my legs feel crappy" demons out of my head and pushed myself harder.

The course was groomed perfectly for fat bikes and I couldn't believe how much fun the singletrack was. The sun was shining down through the trees and the snow was all white and sparkly...I felt like I was in heaven...fat bike heaven :-)  Especially when shoving a peanut butter cup in my mouth...ha ha.

Photo by: Mike Riemer (Salsa Cycles)

MBR Ben was NOT joking when he texted that the course was non-stop pedaling. It was a complete hammerfest. Even the downhills required concentration and total control of the bike if you didn't want to end up in a snow bank. By lap three my legs started to open up and by the fourth lap I was completely in my endurance zone. I couldn't remember what lap I was on which is kind of scary since I only had to count to four!

I ended up finishing in first place with a time of 4:28:something. I have to admit that I was shocked when Scott told me that I was out there for almost 4.5 hours. I COULD NOT believe that I had been out there that long, because to me the race seemed to fly by. I think it went so fast partly because I was having so much fun but also because I had to be "on" the entire time. No time for daydreaming on this course.

We hung out at the race for a few hours and I stood so close to one of the fire pits I was practically in it..the heat felt good.

This picture cracks me up. We have so many layers on you can't tell who we are. I'm with April Morgan (2nd) and Martha Flynn (3rd). Two really fast ladies! And on a side note I think we need to beg our sponsors to make us custom snowsuits with our sponsors logos on them for winter podium pictures :-) That would be awesome!!!

April and I checking out our prizes...

I can't say enough great things about this race. It was really well organized and a great course. I definitely plan on coming back next year. By then I will have to restock my gummy bear supply too...thanks to the promoters for giving me enough ride food to last at least a year week :-)

We are now officially half way through the Great Lakes Fat Bike Series. So far each race in the series has done a really terrific job! What makes the series so exciting is that each race has it's own style and format. I'm going to be really bummed out when it's over....racing fat bikes is fun!

Coming up this weekend...absolutely nothing. And after all the traveling we did last weekend I am 100% OK with that.


Paynful said...

Nice Job!! 4.5 hours in the the cold doesn't sound fun... but the pictures make it look sweet!!

I only have one fat bike race under my belt and it was F'n fun!!

Heather Adventure said...

Congratulations! It sounds like fun (in a freezing cold kind of way). :)