Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lewis and Clark Ultra race report.

May 29th 2010
Garmin File
Photo's from the race

Drove down to Battle Ground Friday night, between traffic and an accident it was a four hour drive. The race started at 6:30am, we arrived at the start about 10 after 6:00 just in time to catch the pre race briefing. My official start time was 6:37am. I had 20 minutes to get dressed and get my bike ready. At the last minute I decided to put on a windstopper jacket, I’m glad I did it stayed on for the next 9 hours. Racers started 30 seconds apart beginning at 6:30, at 6:37 I was off.

The first 3 miles are flat and being aero was nice, I passed a couple people that started ahead of me. Right at 3 miles you run into an 18% grade hill, oh hello nasty hill, I’ll see you again another 5 times on the short course. There were a couple 600’ climbs in the next 27 miles before we dropped down into the Columbia Gorge at mile 30. The rain was falling heavily for much of the first few hours. It was nice catching occasional glimpses of the river, Beacon Rock, and the Bonneville dam. At roughly 50 miles we headed north through the town of Carson. The next 15 miles was a gradual climb gaining a little over a thousand feet. The roads were quiet for the most part now that I was out of the gorge. Anessa and Hunter had stopped for breakfast earlier so I was on my own for about an hour and a half. One of the relay teams swapped riders around the 60 mile point and the fresh rider bombed past me, this was a low point. The gradual uphill that never seemed to end was weighing on me, getting rained on and working reasonably hard but only making 16 miles per hour.
In typical “Jason style” I briefly read the route description and knew there was a “big climb” around mile 70 but that was about it. Little did I know I was climbing a damn mountain pass, Old man pass to be exact. My biggest worry doing this race was cramps, prior to 2008 they had never been a problem but the last couple years they had struck at various running races. I am by no means a climber so I didn’t have to swallow much pride to take it easy on the climb. My 39/28 gearing worked well but I was still out of the saddle a fair bit. Time Station #2 was on top of the pass at over 3,100’. It was great to see Anessa and Hunter at the summit, I had a few orange slices at the time station and started the descent. The ride down Old Man pass was wet, wild, windy, and dangerous due to limited visibility at high speeds (49+mph).
(Picking this report back up on 10/2/10, I’m a total slacker)
The final check in station was in Cougar and went by w/o incident. At this point I had not seen another rider for probably an hour. I made my only big mistake around mile 120 in the town of Yacolt, I missed a right hand turn and ended up doing a 5 mile detour (check out the Garmin file). Once back on track I was feeling great and finished the 140 mile big loop strong. When I rolled into the high school check point the volunteers were chatting away and seemed a little surprised I was checking in. I used the rest room and chatted with Hunter and Anessa for a bit before starting the short loop(s). I had no idea where I was in relation to the other riders but I was enjoying be out there competing.

After 4 short loops I was ready to call it a day, there was less than 30 minutes left and I knew I couldn’t complete another full 10 mile lap. I was urged on by a volunteer to try to squeeze in a few last miles, and figured that was probably the thing to do. Anessa and Hunter were great when I asked them to follow me out on the course in about 20 minutes. I made it to mile 6 in 11:59 so I pulled over and waited for Anessa to pick me up. I reported my 6 miles back at the high school and then headed back to the hotel. Once the results were posted later I was shocked that I took 2nd place despite the extra 5 miles. I felt even better when I found out the guy who beat me is a pretty hardcore CAT3 racer who was intent on winning this race. His race report is here.
Not bad for a fat guy who bought his first road bike 10 months before this race.
Breakfast consisted of a Starbucks sausage and egg breakfast sandwich, a chocolate old fashion doughnut, a small Super Food, and a Starbucks energy drink.
On the course I consumed:
• 3 King size and 1 regular snickers bar
• 8oz of Hammer gel
• 2 32oz red Powerade’s + 8 scoops of Carbo Pro
• 1 Almond Joy
• 2 Banana’s and ½ an Orange

What I will do different next year:
• No TT bike, road bike with semi aero wheels and clip-on bars.
• Don’t get lost!