We passed Gear Check with an "A" --all that old adventure racing mandatory gear really came in handy! At 8:00 am, after the mandatory racer meeting, Eric and Erinna handed out the maps with the checkpoints already labeled. The two circled CPs were mandatory and we had to get 4 to finish. If you got 5 CPs you got a 3 hour time bonus. I was not really interested in that. As I already said, my goal was an 8 hour day of riding followed by one or more burritos and one or more cold IPAs while cheering on the rest of the finishers.
The race is over and I am pleasantly tired. This race report is going to be long so I'll do it in stages. This was my 3rd time doing this race. The first time was 5 years ago and I was still a beginner mountain biker. Yes, for some reason I decided I wanted to do the hardest races out there as a beginner. Needless to say, the first year my teammate Stephen and I DNF'd after getting 3 checkpoints in 10 hours. We both bonked, we both crashed, and the riding was..just..brutal.
I used to be somewhat of a runner before I ever got into cycling. Now, I hardly ever run--only in the off-season to do something different when it's cold outside. The furthest I've ever run was in a 20-hour adventure race. I think we did somewhere between 30-40 miles on foot..and then I promptly quit running after that because my body was so broken.
But now, my massage therapists Amy and Shannon have me set on this new obsession: Qualifying for the Boston Marathon. After hearing their detailed description of the race I can't help wanting to do it. The problems/issues with this are:
4:30 am wake-up call..who doesn't love it? Monte was already up making the coffee. I was laying in bed listening to the rain hit the roof. It seems like every Cohutta race I have been to has started out 1) dark, 2) chilly, and 3) wet. The pre-race morning hours just flew by..I think the dogs thought we were crazy standing outside with them in a church playground at 5:30 am in the dark and in the rain. The 100 miler was to go off at 7am and the 65 miler at 7:15am. While I really enjoyed having an extra 15 minutes to get ready that wasn't why I picked the 65 mile race.
I had my list of "Don't ever do again" from Ouachita Challenge that I consulted on Thursday prior to the race. Primarily, I made sure to get all this in order:
Nutrition done right
I have realized that even if your fitness is not exactly where you want it, you can still make up for a lot of that with 1) Proper nutrition and 2) Efficiency on the bike. I will get to that a little later in my report.