With marathon nationals and a few other relatively short races for my ultra-endurance tastes coming up this summer, I’ve been training at some XC events hoping to race into faster shape. Two weeks ago, Bryan Dillon and I raced at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail. It was a stacked pro field duking it out for 21 miles of hilly singletrack. The pace was hot and it was a brutal intro back to XC style racing for me. Bryan came in top 20 and I managed 45th. I watched some of the other competitions, such as SUP’ing, fly fishing, and dog jumping, and left Vail wondering why I picked such a pain-inflicting sport. Despite some angry early-season lungs and legs, everything else went smoothly for me. Rock N Roll sports has really helped get my bike functioning well and getting the parts I need to make me race-ready this season.
Last weekend, Troy Hiatt and I raced at FiBark XC in Salida. Another uncomfortably fast start, and I found myself around 5th place after the first of three laps. The heat was tough to handle, but I could see the top few racers up the trail and it kept me motivated. I was pushing it on the descents trying to gain some time back. Near the bottom of the second lap, I lost my front wheel on a high speed corner. I got tossed as if I were sliding into home plate, but brushed off the dirt and hopped back on the bike with more determination than before. I imagine I was quite the site with bloody elbows and knees pinning it on that last lap. I passed 3rd place on a techy steep pitch topping out the final climb, and despite my downhill jitters, almost caught 2nd place on the final descent back to town. Troy had a great race and came in 5th! We both cursed the vicious heat that day, but I coped by staying hydrated with Acli-mate and keeping my noggin safe and cool under the Rudy Project Sterling helmet. That thing is sweeet!
Thanks to Griggs Ortho and all of our sponsors for making these and all of my races this summer possible!