I'm sitting here typing this with an ice bag on my knee, the result of old age and much saddle time in one sitting (literally). Several of us went up to Drummond Island for the 24 hour race put on by Fun Promotions, held at the Drummond Island Resort. The race takes about 6 hours to drive to for those of us in the Detroit area and includes a drive across the Mackinac Bridge and a ferry ride to the island. The turnout, while not big, was at slightly larger than last year which was only a 12 hour race. Many of the racers arrived Saturday morning, including Shari's sister Kallee who was flown in special by their father. No wonder she has the nickname "Princess".
We arrived Friday afternoon and after checking in had a chance to preride the course which was the same from last year. While just slightly over 6 miles in length it had a few sections filled with rocks and roots to slow you down. Or made you come to a complete stop and fall over, as I found during our Friday lap. We also rode across the driving range which presented its own problems, from flying golf balls to sprinklers at night. It was also very soft and thick turf and made it feel like you were riding on Velcro.
I was determined to keep my heart rate under control to avoid burning out early but I wanted to get through the first section of technical singletrack immediately after the start to avoid getting stuck. Fortunately it was only about 200 feet from the start to the opening in the woods so not much sprinting was required. I entered the singletrack in fourth and cruised behind those up front for a while until I passed two of them on the second lap. My heart rate was down but it seemed the power was as well. The effort seemed more than I felt it should.
As the race went on I found that I had moved into first overall, thanks in a large part to my pit crew of Robin Scurr. He had things ready for me to go whenever I made my bottle and Camelback changes. I use a three hour bottle to minimize pit stops. Later in the evening I would stop to change clothes or once to get a bowl of hot soup. The soup was the only solid food I consumed the entire race, the rest of the time was either Hammer Perpetuem or Sustained Energy. As the night went on I was able to stretch my lead as the others were either running slower laps or taking more time off the bike.
Somewhere around 1:00 in the morning my left knee began to bother me, getting progressively worse to where I could hardly walk or put much pedal pressure on it. It may have been caused by switching shoes fairly early in the race. I think I may have moved the cleats on them a while back but haven't had any really long rides on them since. Plenty of ice, Hammer Tissue Rejuvenator and Compex use have it feeling better this afternoon.
By 8:30 in the morning I was able to quit riding as I had built up my lead to nine laps and the next closest rider would not be able to complete enough laps in the remaining time to catch me. I ended up with 32 laps or about 204 miles in 19.5 hours of actual riding. That is only about a total of one hour off the bike during my time spent racing. The Rush ate up most of the rocks and roots and never had a problem the entire race.
The next race will be the Addison Oaks XC race, the last race in the CPS series. There is another endurance race the week before but I want to do well at Addison and I know it takes me a while to recover so I'll skip the 12 hour.
Again thanks to Robin for running support at all the endurance races this year, it made a big difference. And to Shari for getting out there to the races and hanging in there despite the bumps, bruises and asthma attacks. For the record she finished first in the women solo 24 hour, and should take the series win as well.
Showing off our first place awards of custom hydration packs and fleece blankets. I'm sleeping while standing.
Blue skies leading to the UP and the Mackinac Bridge
I think our ferry was playing chicken with this freighter
The rock and roots in the more technical sections.