First off, Jeff and I both won our races! 1st place! Yeah!
We headed to Wyoming (but actually had to drive into ID to get to Grand Targhee in WY) on Thursday. We set up camp after 9 hours in the car. Trust me, driving across WY on I-80 can be so numbing, so the mountains were an amazing sight!
This was my first time to NW Wyoming, and we could see the back side of the Grand Tetons from our campground, and at various points in the race.
The weather was supposed to get sketchy come race day, so were were prepared for it. The forecast called for rain, and and off all day with cooler temps. It was in the 30s at 4:30 AM when I wrestled out of the tent… in the dark! I downed a bagel with pb and honey, and some coffee, got dressed, and we headed to the venue. It was still dark.
6:30AM brought us to the start. I thought about all the Leadville racers starting at the same time. We had to do a 3 mile start lap to “sort” the traffic out which was 800′ of climbing, and added about 20 minutes onto my overall time. Each subsequent lap after that was about 26 miles and 4100′ of elevation gain.
17,200′ of elevation gain
Fun and ripping fast singletrack
Good, honest pain
Hail, sleet, rain on and off (with patches of sunshine)
Lesson learned: don’t waste so much time pitting! Be more organized.
Race Time: 10hr 40 min
I set my bin of race stuff (bottles, clothing, gel flasks, more clothing, Acid Zapper, ibuprofen, Pop Tarts, Power Bars, chicken wings…) ok. no chicken wings by the start/finish where I would stop before each lap to change out bottles, flasks, take whatever pills needed (ibuprofen was awesome), and put on or take off clothes. I spent too much time pitting (like on the order of 3 minutes per lap). Oops.
My approach of this race was much different than Breck 100. First of all, I wasn’t sick which was already a huge advantage! Second was that I treated Breck 100 more like a “ride” where I actually tried to race this one. I admittedly went out much harder than I should have, but I wanted to experiment and see how that would play out. I also felt pressure b/c the 1st lap was 3 miles longer with almost 1000′ more climbing than all the others and I was trying to save time.
The course ROCKED!!!!!! Ripping fast singletrack for the first half. I came up on a cow while rolling 20+mph. Thank goodness for disk brakes. I whistled at it, and it promptly moved. Good thing too, or I might have made beef jerky out of him! The second half of the course (see course profile a few posts back) was lots of up. Pavement climbs, double track descending, a right through a ranch and horse corral, and a heinous climb to finish the lap. Oh how I dreaded that last doubletrack climb each lap.
Lap 1: Awesome! Rode hard, and felt awesome. Being longer and more climbing, it was still my second fastest lap… so that’s an idea of how hard I went out 🙂 Including start lap: 2 hr 40 min Weather was good. I was sweating profusely(but wearing arm warmers, knee warmers, and a vest). Grunt grunt.
Lap 2: Started to feel the effects of lap 1. Backed off, but kept pushing. Rode back and forth with the woman who won the 50 mile race. She finished about 1 minute in front of my 50 mile split. Good job! Lap time: 2:34
Lap 3: AHHHH!! I’m tired! I rode too hard… must back off for awhile, eat, conserve, and call it a comeback on lap 4. It hailed…. so much you couldn’t see the brown on the trail anymore. What? I have to ride that climb at the end of the lap??? Crap! I have to get off and run for 20 seconds. I need a great-granny gear! Oooo! Cake! Lap time: 2:46
Lap 4: She’s back with a vengeance, but crap! It’s raining…and sleeting! Do I bring my gortex on the lap? Nah… I’ll risk it. I suffered as much as I could on this lap and came in with a lap time just over what lap 1 was. Lap time: 2:41
(Spits are approximate, but I was trying to keep track)
Rolling through the finish. It was really cold… everyone was wearing warm jackets and hats.
More photos can be found HERE. Enjoy!
They said for the ladies, 10.5 hours was the belt buckle cut-off, but they cut me some slack. Maybe if I hadn’t been stuffing so much food in my face at the aide station halfway through the course, I could have made up some time 🙂 and the beer… they only make 100 bottles of those a year. They, being Grand Teton Brewing. I look forward to sampling.
We will be back next year… and you should too, or you’re missing out big time! 🙂 The event was awesome, very well organized, and super fun.
Recovery is the ticket for the week… a little bit of riding, and a lot of work. I have a job change coming up in 2 weeks…. what can it be? Stay tuned! 😛 🙂