I just arrived back from Park City, UT and competing in the Endurance 100 race. I traveled down with my good training partner and arch nemesis TH. Beltro was also supposed to accompany us down to the race, but recent doping allegations sidelined his plans (see media update blog below).
I knew there was trouble when I was gasping for air building up my bike and walking up stairs. Similar to Superman’s vulnerability to Kryptonite, the 7,000’ elevation at the base of the mountain was immobilizing me with pain and suffering. My little sea level legs and lungs were no match for the forces of less oxygen. We would need to be strategic in our attack of the race.
Our strategy for defeating the villainous Park City was to wear it down…take it slow the first few laps and then unleash our astounding, superhuman attacks on the field and mountain. The first part of the plan (taking it slow) has never been a problem for me. However, unleashing any type of attack, let alone after 40+ miles of riding would be comical.
The race started; yup you guessed it, with an immediate climb. We rode on a fire road for roughly a mile then it shot us right into single track switch back climbs. The remainder of the race would see 95% single track…amazing. We rode very conservatively, as planned, the first lap and everything went well. I started the second lap a bit sluggish, but this started to feel much better. I picked it up half way through the second lap and into the third lap. The climb out of the transition area in lap three was simply nutty. Little did I know we would do this climb again on the fourth lap and then climb another 1,000 ft immediately after…BRUTAL. Going into the fourth lap someone shouted that I was only 10 minutes behind 2nd place. What? I was feeling good, but 3rd place??? With my new found energy and excitement of possibly placing on the podium I picked up the pace. This is a bit overstated since picking up the pace at this point meant my cadence went from 76 to 77...simply viscous!!!! When I reached the summit I was told I was only 6 minutes back on 2nd, but since the final 12 miles were descent my goal was to keep the rubber side down and secure 3rd place. I crossed the line in 9 hours and 17 minutes. Good enough for third place and the podium!!!!
The course was as follows:
Stage 1 – 20 miles, 3,000 ft vertical gain
Stage 2 – 23.5 miles, 3,590 ft vertical gain
Stage 3 – 11 miles, 2,054 ft vertical gain
Stage 4 – 17 miles, 3,055 ft vertical gain
The total distance was 71.5 miles with almost 12,000’ ft of climbing.
Machines ready for battle!
TH corresponding with Velo and Cycling News
Who doesn't belong on this stage?