That was the final tally at the Lumberjack 100 this past Saturday. I was one of those who finished but the warm weather took its toll on everyone, except maybe prerace favorite Chris Eatough who won and broke the course record. I wound up 31st overall but finished 2nd again by 17 minutes to the guy who beat me at the Mohican. I think I might have been able to do better if I hadn’t gone as hard as I did last weekend. Lesson learned.
It was hot which I think got to a lot of people plus this race attracted quite a few who were trying something like this for the first time and were not prepared. I started feeling the effect of the heat more on the third and fourth lap but pushed through it. On the last lap I came through the pit area at about the 8 mile mark and saw the second place guy in his pit ( I didn’t know then if he was 1st or 2nd) and he saw me but didn’t jump up and get on his bike. He is an Expert racer that has always beaten me before. I kept looking for him to catch me and finally with about 6 miles to go as I was climbing a hill I could see him down below. I ended up having to up the tempo for the last five miles in case he would catch me. Not what I wanted to do at the end of a 100 mile race but I ended up beating him by a good margin in the end. I was taking with the winner in my class who has won quite a few 100's including the Wilderness and the Shenandoah races and he said he had never done one like this before where you had to pedal almost all the time. He was used to races with more climbing where you had chances to recover. Welcome to racing in Michigan! I would say he still managed OK though.
Once again the Cannondale Rush was fantastic. It allowed me the comfort to finish, offering superb handling in the singletrack (98% of the race) as well as being able to bomb down the bumpy hills and power through the undulating trail.
My team mate Robin Scurr did an incredible 75 miles on his SS and made the cutoff to go back out for his final lap but elected not to. I'm glad I had the gear to crawl up some of the climbs later in the day. A special thanks to Robin's wife Shari for doing pit duties for not only Robin and myself but it seemed like half of the other racers as well. Must have been something about having the Hammer Nutrition tent right there that brought them in. Thanks also to Marty for helping in the pits. I guess our pit was quite the place to catch the action.
I may be biased but the Hammer products did an incredible job of getting me through the race, both in pre-race prep and nutrition as well as out on the course. I know others who did well with it including Danielle Musto who finished 1st female SS as well as 3rd female overall. She beat me too but I wouldn't have expected otherwise. I see or hear what other racers are doing in terms of nutrition and I can only shake my head.
Now I have to figure what I’m going to do, continue with the national series where I’ve got a good hold on 2nd overall or stay here and do the Michigan races again. If I stay the Pando 8 hour is next week but I don’t know how effective I will be.