April 28, 2008

Good Times @ Hurkey Creek

Well, we are back at home and spent after a weekend in the hills and sun. The eight hour version of Hurkey was a perfect fit for a training session and we managed to pull off about the same amount of riding and sleep as we did at the 24hour version last fall...A good and bad thing but we almost stuck to our plan for the race with the exception of getting a little too excited...going a bit too fast early in the day. Easy to do at such a fun event!

We met up with Keevin, Mandy, Marius and Nick just about an hour before the race start and found a little camp site right across the road from the transition area. We registered a camp site the night before so it was not "scheduled" when we arrived so we just picked some dirt and called it home. The "spot" we selected was just perfect and we had no time to waste with the race start just around the corner. Warm ups? Thats what the first lap is for...

(the adrenalin starts)

Before long we were off and running, biking and doing the transition shuffle with the passing of the wond. I almost forgot how much fun that course was and how cool the people at these races are...It all adds to the joy of the day and the event is so well supported that it may find its way into our schedules every six months or so... Here are some pictures from the day.

(This guy is praying Monique doesn't pass him!)

(the jacket or the baton?)

(I'm heading out for another lap)

(Nacho(Harold) holding down the fort)

(Marius - Cooling off??)

(Keevin Killing it lap after lap)

(So pretty in pink)

(Nick and me enjoying some food time!)

Keevin was racing the eight hour solo and started his first lap of with a 54 minute split! He went on to take 6th place out of over 50 people registered for the eight hour solo. Nice job!!

Marius decided to ride his cross bike and to no surprise it did not slow him down but he was slightly shaken... The laps and the time started to fly almost as fast as Mandy around the course. She ended up doing 50 minute laps for her first two laps and only slowed by a few minutes at most throughout the day!

We were in the presence of greatness and stoked to get in another good workout... We managed to stick to our plan...however, much like our training we just cut some of the running out of the day. Monique put in a solid three laps/30miles in our eight hour window and I got in one solid brick with two laps, a 30min run before another two laps - skip the run. I will have to go over some of my "lessons learned" in another post when I can think a bit/recover my brain more, but here is my GPS dump from the race.

Sticking to two laps at a time was the best thing to help me work on pace... It broke out something like this

Lap2 - :51
Lap3 - :54
30min transition run
Lap5 - :58
Lap6 - :55

I got a good understanding of pace and felt better and better as the day went by. . .I started to get a feel for where I could push and rest. On my third lap I tried to keep my HR down for the lap to see how much it would effect my time and it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I averaged a 157bpm heart rate that was over 10bpm lower than any other lap and only a few minutes slower. This pace would be key for longer races for me and I think I have that feeling in check now. My last lap I had some cramping in my hams and the heat just got to me. I cut the last run and a potential last lap for our team of two out and I am now stoked that I did. After that last lap I was done.

When the sun started to settle down and the temps started to drop it was the BEST feeling to be able to shower off and dig into some food.... Ahhggg... those 24 hour solo types have another kind of motivation fo sho. Dinner and the conversation were on spot as usual and the excitement in the air kept Monique and I up most of the evening... We walked around the course and cheered on the crews pushing though the night and had some fun with it. The course was more exposed than I remember with rocks and ruts all over the place which I am sure made the night riding even more exciting. The 24 hour teams showed little sign of it slowing them down at all.

(Ryan pushing through it all...even with flats!)

(4am in the morning...go dudes go!!)

Super fun event and I highly recommend it! The support and organization of the HOA events are top notch!

The next day Nick and I found a little trail that heads into a "whole new world" that we will have to explore next time out. I wish I had known about it instead of running around the camp parking lot! They even have some cross country races on many of these same trails and I am thinking about trying out some "mountain bike only" races outside of the "endurance" category or at least using their maps posted on the site for now ;-)

Posted a few more pictures over here and until next time (Sept?) I will be missing that place...

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