Sunday, July 09, 2006
Boyne MTB Marathon
Yesterday was the Boyne MTB Marathon but compared to the last few races I've done it was more of a sprint race. I think I was one of the few racers who was disappointd when we found out that the course had been shortened from 14 to eleven miles due to construction on the trails. I know Alex, Robert and Jim were disappointed as well.
I was concerned going into the race that my legs weren't 100% and that the shorter distance would mean higher speeds and higher efforts. Boyne has the most climbing per lap of any of the lower Michigan courses and this races had about 1,100 feet per 10.6 mile loop. I think that mile for mile the Boyne course is tougher than Lumberjack.
When my class started one of the guys took off a lot faster than I wanted to and I wasn't sure if I could go that speed anyway. We started with another class as well so for a while a fairly good size group stayed together at a moderate pace. Once we got to the hills the gaps started opening up and while my legs were protesting every uphill I managed to move up until only the lead rider was somewhere in front of me. I caught site of him every now and then but didn't get close until the second lap where I got his wheel and later moved past and he stuck to mine.
I made a mistake and he passed me back and I couldn't close back up until the start of the third lap where I saw him again and could see I was gaining. I eventually passed him shortly thereafter and tried to open a gap to discourage him coming after me. It seemed to work as I managed to hold him off and take the win but I was definitely looking over my shoulder on every uphill. The Rush was able to handle the bumps and downhills so well that I was gaining a lot of time in those areas. I even managed to bottom out the 4.5 inches of travel a few times on some of the downhills and compression dips.
Our team, Cannondale Midwest Racing, did well as most everyone finished and several had placings in the top five. For me one of the things that helps when going to Boyne is staying at the Scurr's cottage at Higgins's Lake the night before the race. It cuts down on the travel the next morning as well as being a totally relaxing place to hang out before or after a race. The picture at the top was taken at their place. A big thank you to Chris Werth and his wife Jackie for opening up their hotel room to me after the race so I could take a shower. Jackie hung in there during the race to finish 5th despite having a few mechanical problems including wearing through her braking surface on the rear wheel.
No more races on the schedule for a few weeks, I think I need to take it easy for a while and get the legs recharged. I'm taking some vacation time so I will have other things to do around the house.