Once again Jon suggested we take a 14 hr road trip to warmer weather for a 10 hr race. He is such a good or bad influence depending how you look at it. Dave from the Trek Bicycle Store also joined us. We took the store van which made it easy with all the room it has.
You never know how these will turn out, after hours of traveling, and eating out, poor sleep etc, the race could be a disaster. For me, regardless how it turned out, it was good training for 24hrs in the Old Pueblo, which I’m doing solo this year.
The event was just outside of Phoenix AZ on a fairly flat circuit with about 600 ft of climbing per 15.5 mile lap. With 86 other soloists, you never know how thinks will go. The race started right at Dawn, 7:13am, and you have to be out on your last lap by 4:30pm. There were also Duo’s, 4 and 7 person teams.
Here is the short story of how the race went down.
After a very fast start, racing with the duo’s and 4 person teams for two laps, I separated myself from all but one other solo, Jon, who had a commanding lead. I caught Jon on the third lap, but he pulled away from me pretty quickly and I never saw him again until the race was over.
On lap 4 I was caught and passed by a couple of other solos, but by lap 6 I caught and passed them. Eventually, the guy that got second place and I battled for the second step on the podium for the last three laps. We traded places a number of times, but lap number 9 he put 6 min on me. Dave ended up with spot number 4 a few min back.
Each time I do and endurance race I learn more myself, and how to improve time with speed on the course and in the pits. I know where I lost 6 min, to second place, and it wasn’t the final lap. I’ll be working on strategy to become more efficient in the pits for the 24hr solo.
This was a great way to end the race season, and I feel like the work I’m doing, I’ll be ready for Old Pueblo in Feburary.