Sunday, August 31, 2008
Tall Oak Challenge, Jefferson City
I have never done a race at Binder Lake; always heard that there was some pretty good singletrack down in the river rat city (I can call it that because I played football against those B-stards for 5 years). Shcuck and I decided not to miss the opportunity since we have grown big legs in the past several weeks. I am nearing peak performance with both knees firing on all cylinders. The endurance races really earlier in the year helped out, getting me back the base fitness that I couldn't seem to find last year because of the knee injury. I switched from doing the endurance stuff in July, electing instead to hammer it out in the expert class and take my hits. I had a decent result at Rhett's Run, 2nd place just behind Nate Means of Klunk Cycles in Columbia. Well, guess who was kicking our A all day at Binder.
Freaking Nate was just back from Leadville, placed an almost sub 9:01 hour finish for 52nd in his class. WTF? How can this fat guy compete against the likes of that. Twice in one year. Well hey, that is the hand, we play cards regardless. Shcuck and I were in the two man 6 hour race with 28 other teams with the likes of Andy Gibbs, Nate, and yes, we pulled up a long side Tom Albert and Chris Ploch on the highway on the way there, rolled our eyes and hammered them to Mic D's for sausage. We put a pretty good gap on them, until the race started.
The race started with a Lemans start, not something I was comfortable with because it is hard to get my heart rate down when I finally make it to the bike. I wanted to get in the top 10 on the run because the two man teams we going to battle for position and I didn't want to have to waste a bunch of energy passing on the twisty climb right out of staging. Chris and Andy got the hole shot and were gone, I settled in behind some of the faster solo riders (who would later regret taking off so fast). Nate and one of the Team Seagal solo singlespeed riders took a wrong turn and it was game on for me. They came back quickly and hammered for the next couple miles until I was pretty much skanked. The first lap had to have been my worst as it was nothing more than riding somebody elses race. I was able to hang on to 4th after the first lap.
Shcuck took off and began our strategic consistent process that we would repeat for the next 6 hours. My third lap was my best, the fourth the worst. I screwed up my nutrition and started bonking out a bit while chasing Nate. I would pass his team mate, then Nate would do a double lap and kill the lead, good strategy on their part. Nate was doubling and tripling up on his laps in order to stay in front of us. We went back and forth in third and fourth place all day with shcuck getting nudged out by a minute and a half at the finish.
It was a great race for us, made it interesting to be that close in a long race and have somebody to chase. Chris and Tom got 11 laps, the rest of the top 4 did 10. So we did pretty good, not good enough for the money but things are coming around. Thanks to the folks in Jeff City for putting on a great race.
I am pretty sure I saw some rednecks "noodling" when we were driving out of the park. I told Shcuck I was hungry and needed some food.