Sunday, January 11, 2009

6 hours of Erwin Park - redux

Saturday saw a return to the scene of my last 6 hour solo mountain bike event - Erwin Park in McKinney.

Last month I did a 6 hour event with David, one of my morning Starbucks buddies. We did fairly well and decided that if the weather was nice we would partner up for the next event. As time to race came closer life (work and family responsibilities) seemed to start to get in the way for David and ended up that he would not be able to do the race. The weather wasn't looking very favorable either with a high in the low 50s and 15-20mph winds.

I've never claimed to be real smart - so I signed up for the 40+ solo woman's class. It helped that Kyle was racing, too, in the 2-man relay. At least I had a partner in the "let's get up early, freeze our butts off and go race"madness. BTW - on the way out to the trail the car thermostat went from 40deg to 34deg when we got to the park.

Considering the cold and wind there was a good turnout for the race with 119 solo racers and 42 assorted 2-person relay teams (which was a larger turnout than the previous 6 hour in warmer temps). It's nice to know that we weren't the only ones that couldn't find a good reason to stay in a nice warm bed.

This time we were able to use the entire course for the race, almost 8 miles, with all of the technical sections in play. Tight-twisty somewhat rooty single-track, rolling dips, open fields and a couple of larger than normal log pyramids make up the trail. A fun course, but one that can wear the body down after multiple laps.

In 6:01:01.663 hours I completed 6 laps for a total of 46.5 miles. I didn't have much down time between laps, my longest break was less than 10 minutes after the 2nd lap when I stopped at the car to put on my booties... my toes were FREEZING!!!! After that it was only stopping long enough to grab a fresh bottle, shove some food in my mouth and the occasional visit to the little blue buildings. I was so happy to hear the announcer countdown the final seconds and close the course to additional laps before I made it to the finish line. I don't think I could have made another lap and it would not have moved me up in the placings. My 6 laps was good enough for a 3rd place finish and a little cash in the pocket.

The next race won't be until February when we head to Terlingua, Texas, and the start of the TMBRA Spring Championship Series.

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