Man did it feel good to be in the race zone again, that frame of mind, that focus, that determination and that feeling of pain that lets you know you are pushing your body to it's limits. Hair on the back of my neck is standing up from typing this.
It was a beautiful day for racing. Mostly sunny, not to humid at all and supposidly no rain. The course was in tip top shape and was set up like no other course we had raced at Stony before. Course was flagged on Thursday but why pre-ride , we have 12 hours to figure it out. We had all ridden/raced Stony a bunch of times so nothing would be new, just the sequence of two track and single track would be a little different. It great to see the team and howdy do's and hugs went around all morning during pre race staging. Jeff, Heather, Brian, Mike, Jerry, myself and guest rider Lillian Ruz from Team Treefort made up the squad for the day. Our star studded pit crew consisted of Kathy and Bloomer the Cat. Well Kathy did all the leg work but Bloomer kept busy taking inventory by sticking his head and sometimes entire body into everyone's bags.
7:55 came quick tho and Jerry, Heather and I all had to get to the line for the relay start at 8:00. Jeff was to start the solo a couple minutes after 8. I was at the line thinking to myself how long it had been since I was at the starting line....darn near a year since my last race. Lee from Team Sandbag looks over at me and says with a smile, "You sure you know what your doing? This isn't the freeride park." All I could do was laugh. This is why I like endurance racing, the starting lines are so stress free because we all know the race won't be decided in the first lap or the second, third, fourth....fifth......sixth.....well until later in the race when everyone starts to realize how much endurance they do or don't have.
Going into actual race detail would make this a very, very long blog so I'll just post results. What will say is that they cut the race short by 2 hours because of some huge storm that was coming to the park...however, it never rained so that kind of sucked.
Jeff - 1st place 12 Hour solo men's. He was 4 minutes ahead of his closest competitor. 13 laps in 10:59:45 for an estimated 136.5 miles ---> all by himself!!! And I'd like to point out he raced in the geared class on his single speed and beat them all. He even schooled the single speed class and the sub 30 year old 12 Hour geared racers.
Heather and Lillian took 3rd racing against the boys in the 2 person Advanced 12 hour class. They ticked the counter 11 times in 10:36:35 for close to 115.5 miles. Not bad for a couple of Chica's. : )
Brian and Jerry took 3rd in Men's 2 person 12 Hour Sport knocking down 11 laps in 11:15:54.
Mike and I took the win in Men's 2 person 12 Hour Sport throwing down 12 laps in 10:31:59
Now for some accolades:
KATHY!!! - We couldn't have done this without you. From the coffee run for Jeff, the sacrificing of chicken for the team and the general info you gave on everyone thru the laps, you were a huge help. I know your info on Mike made a huge difference in the outcome of the day for him and I. Without your input Mike and I may have not made it thru the day. After talking to you we were able to adjust our strategy and move forward. Having a level headed person not racing in the staging area is very valuable. And the chicken...sorry Scott, your burgers are great and all but Kathy just got promoted to the team's head chef. You now work for her.
Jeff - You are not human....and I am not the only one who thinks this. I've heard this from others outside our team. Being the team's PR rep I hear a lot and you are always a popular name when people start talking about endurance racing. When yo go big remember who gave you that Snickers bar.
Heather - I expect nothing less out of you than what you gave Saturday. Sounds like tough love and it is. I could sit here and write all kinds of good things about you but you'd just knock me over, kick me and tell me I should be on my bike training instead of writing these silly team updates.
Lillian - Was great to have you out with us for the day. Of course we are all going to razz you and try and get you to race for us but it was all in fun. I loved the idea of collaborating with another team to get us more press. I hope Bloomer enjoyed himself and props to you for holding off Brain's chase on that one loop. He's not an easy guy to shake. Now you can go back and tell your team and friends how much fun you had and that not only can we ride our bikes but we also look good doing it. : )
Sensei Brian - I've said it many times before and I hate repeating myself but, well, you are Brian McCabe. You show up, throw down some solid laps and drink a beer at the end of the day like it was another day in the office. You come in, do your job and hammer out results. You joke around when it's time to have fun but out on the course you are all business. Great job out there.
Mike - I can honestly say that I am proud of how you kept it together out there. You did a great job going the distance and to me this is the best race you have ever ridden. I know your salt intake changes helped a lot but I man you were solid out there. You were actually getting stronger later in the day when I thought you would start to wear out a bit. I fed off your energy big time and it helped motivate me to match your laps and keep our team going. Looking forward to us doing more of these in the future.
J e r r y - I spaced that out on purpose. Bro, I think all the above mentioned would agree that you were the team MVP for the day. As captain you led by example. You never gave up and you pushed yourself past your limits for the team. I was very impressed when I came in after my last lap and found out you went out for another. Over all these years you have done a lot for the team, more than any of us. But that last lap you did, to me, was probably one of the biggest things yet.
I know I am sounding a little sappier than normal and maybe some of you were expecting my normal sarcastic twisted humor. But when Saturday was all done and over I think everyone on the team became a different person. All of us had reached a level of ourselves we had never been to before. When we were all sippin' a brew after I could see it in every one's faces.....we were all one step closer to becoming as bad ass as Dawn "U-Dog" Nicholas.