Sunday, September 6, 2009

Park City Point to Point Race

The 1st Annual Park City Point to Point is now in the record books and from my perspective, it was a great success. For a 1st year event, these guys did a superb job. My only offer of advice is put together a better website that is more informative and user friendly. Other than that, wow - job well done.

After I finished and was at my car cleaning up and hacking and weezing, my wife of 25 years said, "why do you do these things?" I think she was looking for an answer other than my standard one, but, as usual I disappointed her. While my glory days are far behind me, I race now to be part of something that is exciting and ultra positive. I race to be with young, motivated people that know no boundaries, that are able to look at adversity and over come it. People that face their fears and self doubt and challenge it instead of running away. People that push on even when their minds and bodies say please stop! I race to be with my friends, young and old, and new ones I meet on the trail. I race for friendship. I'm coming to grips with my limitations and realize that is my challenge now, and I'm ok with that. Why do I do this? Cuz I'm crazy just like you :-)

Back to the race. We started at the Quinn Trail Head at 0700 with comfortable temps, no wind and cloudy skies. To my surprise, the Leadville type start worked real well and I never got held up on the trip around Round Valley. I was hoping for a 60 minute time and that's exactly what I put down. I got a hand up from my wife and headed off to Lost Prospector and Silver Lake. After turning the corner to the Rail Trail I looked straight into a black sky and new we were headed for rain. Damn, I had dropped my arm warmers and did not have a rain jacket and was thinking about Leadville and LoToJa 2005. Luckily, the rain was not heavy and the temps did not drop. To be honest, it was quite refreshing, but it did make for some slippery situations.

While on Lost Prospector, Lynn Ware Peek caught up with me and we rode together for much of the next 2 hours. I was a little stronger than her on the uphills but she was wicked fast on the downhills and I just got out of her way. Riding with someone in these long races is a big advantage, so Lynn's cheery company was very welcome. We rode into Silver Lake with Bob Dawson who at 50+ was riding a rigid single speed. Unbelievable! Talk about a strong guy physically and mentally. Lynn and I parted company at Silver Lake and I headed up the hike-a-bike with Bob. I ran into a new friend named Brad - I'm sorry I don't remember your last name - and we hiked and rode much of the nasty steep and loose section together. He pulled ahead on the climb and I never saw him again. I'm certain he finished with a very good time so congrats Brad and thanks for your company.

After the nice flowing downhill section I made a wrong turn. Instead of turning left and going around the mtn to the south, I headed straight. I was riding with a guys and he blocked my veiw of the left turn arrows at the intersection so we kept going straight. After about .5 miles we ran into traffic coming towards us and I realized my mistake. I turned around but the "dude" said he was and he continued on. I got back on track just in front of Dawson and had no more issues the rest of the day. Bob and I headed back to Silver Lake 2 and took on fuel and water and headed out.

After about 5 minutes Bob says, he had to turn around because he forgot his water bottles. Age can be cruel at times ;-) I continued on knowing he would catch me, and he did. I bonked about 30 minutes out of Silver Lake and had to stop and gather myself. By the time I was ready to resume riding, Bob came along. We rode together for a few more miles but then we got separated before the horrible John's Trail descent and I never saw him again. That's not a good place for a rigid fork. I hope you're ok Bob.

After John's I headed up the Step's to Shadow Lake. OMG, that's was the crux of the ride for me. It seemed to take forever and I saw nobody for at least an hour. Thankfully, the trail was well marked. This leg took 30 minutes longer than I estimated and really kicked my butt. I was very happy to arrive the the PCMR aid station before the cout off. I stayed there awhile and had my bike worked on by the very helpful and friendly mechanic and was on my way to Spiro at 2:45 pm. By this time I new 10 hours was out the window, but who cares. I'm gonna finish this thing and that's an accomplishment in itself.

Usually I ride Spiro in the middle ring all the way to the Mid Mtn trail, but not today. I was in the granny most of the lower 1/3, but I kept a steady pace and made the Mid Mtn in about 45 minutes. What a relief to be there cuz now the bad stuff was behind me and I know I'm gonna finish. I made it to the neutral aid at the Colony and to my surprise, Lynn Peek was there chatting and eating up. We both looked at each other and laughed and decide to ride the rest of the way together. That was a huge lift to my spirits and made the last 10 miles go by fast. Like earlier in the day, Lynn was blasting the downhill and I had all I could do to stay with her - she may have been holding back, but I'm glad she did. We parted company about a mile or 2 from the finish when Lynn had to stop for something. Although I finished ahead of her in the stats, we were togehter in my mind and forged a life long bond that only adversity like this can create. Thanks again Lynn.

At the finish I was greeted by my wife and Mad Dog teammates, and Lynn's family. We took some pics and and exchanged hugs and relived our day with our loved ones. It was very special and gratifying. I overcame the constant thoughts of quiting between Deer Valley and PMCR and finished the race. I made some new friends and have another story to tell my grand children after I hang up my cleats. Hopefully I'll still be able to remember these things in 20 years!

See you next year.

Pics and stats to follow later. Sorry for the long post.


Genericyclist said...

What is left on the agenda? Moab? I am pondering a day off, in the next month, you have to ride single speed, single leg (the bad one), but we should get out.


StupidBike said...

Nice write up Brad, way to hang in, the 43 miles I did as part of the duo category kicked my butt, I bet it was Brad Sneed that you rode/hiked with up Bald Mt.

OilCanRacer said...

i was at the #2 aid/food/mechanic station when you came in. ya looked tired, but also had that determined "i am going to finished look".
glad to hear you made it and had a good time.

Brad Sneed said...

Great Blog as always, what a great day...thanks for the visit and look forward to seeing at another event. That was a tough race and just glad to have finished and put that one in the books. Take care Brad

Brad Sneed

Brad Mullen said...

C: you know I'm always ready to ride with you. I'l bring both legs though and a 22T.

Stupid: It was nice seeing you at the finish. You always make me smile. That was a butt kicker for sure. You guys did great.

Oil Can: thank you so much for your help. Your adjustment to my front der was perfect and was just what I needed to finish. You don't know how much people like you mean to us. I owe you a six pack.

Brad: thanks again for the support and encouragement during the race. You're what Mtn biking is all about.

Aaron said...

Hey, your reasons for racing are inspiring. I'm sure you realize that when it comes to mountain biking, you can crush 99% of the population that is half your age. Great job, once again.

I left a vest in your front seat and forgot to grab it after the race. I'll try to hook up with you sometime soon to grab it.

Unknown said...

Hey Brad I didnt see you after the race. Good work. At that point all I cared about was getting something to eat.

I didnt finish to much in front of you. I actually think I rode with Brad Sneed from the last aid station until close to the finish.