Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rattlin' 50 Marathon

I decided not to make the trip down to Fool’s Gold 100 in GA on Saturday, and instead opted to race in Mike Kuhn’s Rattlin 50 marathon in Lykens PA.  Yes, maybe I should have traveled to GA chasing NUE points, but at this stage I don’t really mind whether I am 3rd or 5th in the series.  I would rather be able to put in some constructive training and race well in the remaining few weeks (like the Shenandoah 100 in 2 weeks), than force myself to travel and race when my heart (and body and mind!) might not be in it.

Plus there was a party at home on Friday night that I didn’t want to miss out on!  Bill Alcorn from (‘the dude’) is moving himself, lovely wife and baby to Portland, OR.  It’s a very sad time, but I am sure they will set up a lovely life in Portland.  I will definitely still use BikeFlights for all my bike travel needs (like my up and coming trip to Las Vegas…more on that in a later blog).

 Billy ( showing myself and Rachel how to pack a bike last year!

The party at our place on Friday night was most certainly not going to help with a peak race performance on Sunday, but since I was essentially training through the race (I put in a number of consecutively hard days of training during the week) I decided it was ok to kick back and relax this weekend.  Good job I had that perspective as I didn’t get to sleep until 4am on Saturday morning!

I had ridden at Lykens before so I knew I was in for a bumpy ride (with little chance to take on fluids) on some super fun trails.  The race starts with a 2 mile climb on double track which is pretty steep in spots. After that it was a mixture of technical rocky sections (including some super fun high rock ledges/piles) and fast smoother single track…perfect.  Mike Kuhn really puts a lot of thought into how his race flows; he aims to please the masses.  I would say Rattlin’ 50 was 80% single track, a mountain biker’s race!

On the long single track climb (about 10 miles) before returning to the double track decent to the finish I began to pass a few guys (despite my soft rear tire) who had over-heated.  I am not surprised, it was grossly hot and close; there were rumblings from the sky but rain did not grace us while we raced. 

We had only been finished 20 minutes or so when the heavens opened and chucked rain down on us.  All the racers were huddled under a tent, trying to avoid being struck by lightening; it was actually kind of fun.  Needless to say, it was a quick awards ceremony with no podium moments (sorry no photos).  I was happy to take 1st, even though I was using it as a training race.

Mike gives out some super sweet prizes at his races (At Iron Cross I got a pretty bracelet).  At this race, I got an adorable bike shaped flower pot holder; very very cute.  Thanks Mike!  The Rattlin’ 50 is definitely something you should put on your calendar for next year, my favorite 50 miler thus far.

Since I have no photos from racing this week I thought this would be a good chance to show some of Abe Landes and Zach Repp photography from the Trans Epic...thanks guys!

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