Sunday, April 13, 2008

Cholla Challenge

What a beautiful spot for a race.

The "over the hill" podium.

Chris, me, KC and Dwight

What a perfect day for a race. The average temp was 72F, the skies were crystal clear, there was very little wind, the course was dry and dusty and the usual suspects were there in fine form with smiling faces and happy hearts. It sounds like Pleasantville instead of stop number 2 of the ICUP Series in Hurricane Utah.

Last year this course ate many top flite riders and spit their carsasses out in the sagebrush and red rock. The buzzards had a field day with all those lean, skinny bodies dotting the desertscape. Heat, dehydration, wind and bad luck was the norm in 2007, and almost nobody was exempt. Not this year! The weather cooperated, Jerry reversed the course, it was fast, fun and nobody died. All the climbing was left to the last 3 miles, along with a nice dose of sand and gravel in the drainages, but the first 9 were reasonably well packed, sometimes dusty, and fast. My per mile average times went from 4:48 in 2007 to 4:22 this year.

My race went well and I finished 2nd, 2:13 behind teammate and ICUP points leader Dwight Hibdon. I rode with Dwight on the Rim Ride "social event" 2 weeks ago so it was fun lacing 'em up and doing battle in a real race. I hung with him the entire 1st lap but had to let him go as the 2nd lap began due to implosion and poor planning on my part. Ya see, I'm beginning to think I'm superman because I can do these long races, and, I know Lynda and Dave. Just knowin them makes me special (in my mind) and vicariously I can do what they do - go long and go hard. 24 miles is nothing! I wish I could say ignorance is bliss, but I know better. My mistake was pre-riding a full 12 mile lap before the start of the race. Dahhhhhh. That was stupid! I felt fine on the pre-ride and first lap, but that was it. The pace of a XC race is soooo different and intense, it doesn't take me long to fall apart. Dwight's pace was way too ambitious for me and I was cooked. The anerobic and VO2 max portions of my training are sorely deficient, and it shows when I race XC. My lungs are good (I think the IHE training has something to do with that) but my legs just give out. No, it's not age - it's effective, specific training that I'm lacking. Hopefully I'll get that addressed shortly, then, watch out!

Congrats go out to Chris and KC Holley. The dynamic husband/wife duo topped the pro men's and women's podium and took home the bacon! That is so cool...

All-in-all, it was a good day. I love to race and really enjoy my teammates and the friends I've made through biking. Events like this make the long, cold winter days tolerable. Helllllllllo summer!!!


UtRider said...

Man, I think that comment about summer has jinxed us - did you see the current forecast? :)

Brad Mullen said...

I'm sorry :-(

KanyonKris said...

Good report - well said, Brad!