Carrying on this year's trend of rain affecting my races, the area that the Lumberjack race was held at received over 11 inches of rain on Thrusday night. The city of Manistee was also hit by high winds, bringing down many big limbs and trees, some onto buildings. The city was also without power.
The motel we stayed at was about 15 miles east and not affected. The trail was also surprisingly dry, thanks in a large part to its sandy soil base. There were a few trees down on the portion we rode but nothing like the damage we saw in town.
Race morning was clear and cool. After a two mile start on the road I was in a pretty good place entering the trail and continued to work my way forward. Coming into the back part of the course, a little more than half way through the 25 mile loop, we encountered the water filled trenches we had heard about. There was no place to go but through them. The water in some spots was about two feet deep of balck water. You had no idea what was underneath. Other spots along this stretch were dry, teasing you into thinking that your were done with the water and then you hit another stretch.
I felt good until starting the second lap when my back started acting up. I had done something to it last week while working on the school race trails. I also was losing power. I had noticed that since the Mohican 100 race two weeks ago my heart rate didn't seem to be responding to hard efforts. I have not determined the cause yet.
I finally decided to abandon the race at the end of the second lap. Since I will probably not be able to do the minimum to qualify for the NUE series we decided not to do the Wilderness 101 in Pennsylvanial next month. Especially with the price of gas. This trip was only four hours each way and cost $140 in gas alone. The upside of stopping early is that we were able to get home last night instead of this afternoon.
I now need to figure out what to do to salvage the rest of the season. And think about racing in general and how I want to proceed.