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WEMS RD.4 Stump Farm 100.
ZenoM
#1 Posted : Sunday, May 28, 2017 11:51:04 AM
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So in between the WORS races I've been doing some of the WEMS stuff, that is Wisconsin Endurance MTB Series, and yesterday I decided to race at one of my favorite venues, the reforestation camp in Suamico, WI.
Needless to say I'm hurting today...
First of all it was a pretty long drive (3 hour each way), especially for the early 8am start, and how tired I'd be afterwards. I woke up at 3 and the drive back was brutal.
Super fun fast flowy course, not many super technical features, but lots of turny single track with very few hard climbs, just my cup of tea. Because of that, I decided to sign up for the long race, 100 miles.
I learned that setting up your pit is pretty critical in these endurance races, you want to minimize the number of stops and make them as short as you can. I had everything set up on side of the course, 2 coolers, one with many bottles of water/gatorade plus extra jug just in case, and one with food and of course the pickle juice crap I picked up from the bike shop the day before.
Race starts off pretty fast for being a 100 mile race. Two dudes just kind of take off right away, I let them go because A. I don't want to blow up just yet, and B. I'm not even sure who's in the solo, duo or team race, so, for all I know, they might not even be in my race. I'm riding with a group of 4, then 3 guys, for basically the first half of the race. One guy lead the whole time, he was a good pace setter so I think the other dude (that we will call white bike) and I just let him stay ahead. I had a feeling white bike would make an attack at some point in the race, as he seemed pretty strong, I just didn't know when. Pace setter had a camelbak and two bottles on his bike, plus a refrigerator worth of food in the back of his jersey, so he would never stop. WB and I both stopped briefly at our pit just about every lap to swap bottle and what not, maybe 15-20 seconds. It wasn't really that hard to catch back up to pace setter though. One of the two dudes that took off in the beginning blows up and we catch him on lap 2 I think, he stayed with us for a little bit but then gets dropped.
The whole time I want to attack because pace setter is gradually slowing down a bit, but I'm also thinking "calm down Zeno, this is a looong race". Plus I don't know how strong these dudes are and if they are going to try to tow along. I'm honestly more worried about WB than PS. Then I see that opportunity: end of lap 5, I make a super short stop, WB stops too but he's taking longer. I get ahead of PS in the long double track following the finish and leading into the single track, and just go for it. My hope is that PS doesn't follow me and by the time WB catches up to him, he A. thinks I took a longer break than him in the pits and am still behind him or B. just settles behind PS like he's been doing so far thinking "oh that guy's not going to last, it's too early for an attack". Well, I talked to him after the race and it turned out B was the case.
Anyway, this is about to go terribly wrong actually... 2 miles into my attack I already have a pretty good lead on PS, but I am starting to run into some traffic. This is when disaster strikes. I'm on this double track section about to make what should have been the easiest pass on this guy, literally going twice as slow. I should just zip by him but I decide to announce my self with the standard "ON YOUR LEEEEFT". Well apparently this guy uses metric lefts, because what I thought was standard trail etiquette translated into swerving to the left, directly into my path the very second I am passing him. I got on the brakes hard, hit the back of his bike, flew right over the bars and drilled my face into the dirt. The back of my head just about touched my ass. I am pretty pissed off at this point at I shout out in frustration: "YOUR OTHER EFFING LEFT". I get up pretty quickly given the circumstances, and try to assess the damage. Bike is fine, I think, but I am not. My face is bleeding I can tell, but don't want to rub it much cause it's also full of dirt, my whole body in fact is full of dirt. My neck hurts pretty bad, I don't think I broke anything but at least got some good whiplash. I also have a fat lip and my throat feels like it got karate chopped from landing on my Adam's apple and it's hard to swallow. But worst of all I think I got slightly concussed on top of that, as for the next couple of minutes my vision is really blurry and messed up. Despite all this, the one thing on my mind is my attack and I am really mad at how this put a damper on it. It kind of actually put the fire in my belly and I proceeded to hit it even harder for the next lap or so. Then I backed it down a little as I figured I must have a good gap on them, but even in cruse control was still going faster then the earlier laps following pace setter.
From there on it became about trying not to get cramps (and I did drink that disgusting pickle juice crap) and thinking "is this over yet???"
Well eventually all painful things come to an end and after 7 hours and 30 minutes I completed my 10th lap. All in all I went through: 9 bottles of water/gatorade, 4 bananas, 1 apple, 3 cliff bars, 8-9 serving of gel.
I was a freaking wreck afterwards too, mostly due to that crash though.
It turned out that the guy who took off at the start was in indeed in the solo race, so I ended up 2nd overall.
Ok back to hurting now.
caffeinated rider
#2 Posted : Sunday, May 28, 2017 9:19:41 PM
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Haha. Love the write up. Nice job. Hope the noggin heals. Let me know next time you do something stupid like this. I may just join you.
Lord
#3 Posted : Sunday, May 28, 2017 11:57:15 PM
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Great race report. Hope your ok and awesome job - 2nd. Very nice
ZenoM
#4 Posted : Monday, May 29, 2017 5:16:48 PM
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Dave, I do stupid stuff like this just about every weekend. If you're talking about the WEMS stuff specifically, the next three are kind of far, I wasn't really planning on doing them, but I can be talked into it. The last three are pretty close, within 1-2 hours, I will probably hit a couple of those. The chequamagon 100 is coming up June 17th. It'd be cool to do that one but I think registration is closed, although I've been told there are ways to get in.
Jim
#5 Posted : Tuesday, May 30, 2017 8:30:30 PM
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Should have read this last night. Now I get the "on your left" comments at sbux this morning. Nice work on 2nd!
Costinator
#6 Posted : Wednesday, May 31, 2017 5:10:50 AM
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Great report and sorry about the crash. Never continue riding after a concussion. Take it very seriously. Please read up on concussion protocol.
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