August 26, 2009

Mt. Ogden 50k Participation Report

Yeah, the title reads "participation."

If you are hoping to read a harrowing tale of speed, fighting for position, bloody crashes and a testimony to the triumph of the human spirit you'll have to read elsewhere. Because nothing outstanding happened at the inaugural Mt. Ogden 50k at Snowbasin.



Sersly, the days leading up to the race as I attempted to recable the Titus were more exciting. I didn't bring my HRM, so I have no numbers to share even.

I started slow like I always do, which resulted in me being near the rear of the 175-strong field as I approached the singletrack. But knowing my fitness isn't great, I felt that being ultra conservative would be the way to go. So I just got in line on the singletrack and kept up. It was dusty (drama!) but we moved along pretty well for the next 45 minutes of mostly descending terrain. Things broke up some on the climb back up east fork, which I felt good on. Eventually, a 1.75 mile climb brought us back to the start/finish. My first lap, even with traffic was 1:44. I was cool with that.

Did I mention it got really hot, too?

As I started the second lap, the heat became hotter. By the entrance to the first singletrack I could feel my legs weren't right. Though I had been drinking a water/electrolyte mix, I hadn't been drinking enough of it and was starting to feel the effects of dehydration. I started drinking, a lot, and noticed my Camelbak was pretty empty. I planned to drink it dry and refill at the mid-lap aid station. Unfortunately, it was too late to save my legs and I really had to throttle back to keep from cramping. If I had to surge over a rock or a short hill the cramps would start, but they never fully kicked in.

At the mid-lap aid station I filled my Camelbak and started back up east fork. I was caught and passed several times, but made it without cramping. Finally back on the paved road, I was passed a few more times. With 25 yards to the finish I looked back and saw a rider about 100 yards behind me. With 10 feet to the finish I heard a grunt and the dude had buried himself to catch, and pass me. I think my words to him were, "If you want it that fucking bad, you can have it." He took it. Second lap, 1:56. Winning time, 2:36. 2:36! SHIT!

They took my timing chip and my legs finally had enough and started to cramp, forcing me to stand there until I felt okay to move to a shady spot where I could just lay down and rest. Which I did until I remembered the one thing that got me through the last lap.

Big Sky Brewing India Pale Ale.

And I limped back to the truck to get one. Because I'll risk falling down in a parking lot with leg cramps to get an ice-cold beer.

But the race was fun. And even though I no longer possess race legs, I can participate and have "fun" doing silly stuff like this. I need to train my ego to know this is how it's gonna be, that's all.

Or, or... I could train for it next year.

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