Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fools Gold 50 miler

B-rad and I took off from the inlaws heading for Dahlonega, GA to race the 50 mile event that is part of the national NUE Series. We found ourselves camped next to his illustrious dicky-ness and the venerable "Elk" on a FS road.
I pitched my tarp (never doubt the power of my bushcraft), and went to bed at around 2100.

At around 0530 I struggled out of the sack and fired up my amoeba and blazed a very bright trail about a mile over to Camp Wahsega to drop off one of my sag bags, and then started the ritual of snarfing some vittles and caffenating.
The 100 milers (about 65 of them) started 15 minutes before the lowly 50 mile crowd. I watched the start and detirmined that I wanted to get to the front early to avoid any bottle necking before the 6 mile fire road climb.
With a shout we were off (about 150)and I quickly found myself with another SS (stephen Ridgeway) in that odd no-mans land between the top 4 or 5 and the rest of the pack. The climb really stretched things out and after about 10 minutes I looked back and no one was around. Climbing is something that has always been pretty easy for me to get in a groove and just go. I managed to get about 10 seconds on steve at on point in the climb up to cooper gap, but he quickly reeled my back in as we reached the top. We rolled through some SUPER Sketchy gravel road descending and I found myself back amongst the common folk as the geared riders flexed their big rings on the downhill. I stopped at the 1st aid station to eat a pbj and refill water. At this point I was starting to pass some of the slower 100 mile racers. Then we made the jump into that sweet red GA singletrack.
One thing that I will atest to is that living an riding in KS has made me a better technical rider, and it really paid off back east. I felt like I was flying, and reeling them in one at a time. I rolled into the 2nd aid station to find that there was no food, just water. Muttering things under my breath about 100 dollar entry fees, I grabbed a lara bar out of my sag bag and took off again for the Bull mountain loop.
Up untill now the riding had been pretty tame aside from the brain jarring gravel descent, well that was about to change. We started climbing on some pretty steep and well worn horse trails that undulated for a little while then split into some rooty, chattering descents before we were spit back out on FS roads. I rolled back to the aid station to find that food was there so I started putting down some calories and fished a Starbucks Doubleshot out of my sag bag.
This was about the 30 mile point, but by mile 33 the cramps had set in on my legs, and I quickly had to step back into damage control mode.
I have always had cramping problems wether I was running marathons or cycling. How well I do depends on how long before I cramp. And I dont mean little cramps. Its so bad I cannot stay on my feet. It generally the muscles in my inner thigh, but some times my feet will cramp and my toes will curl up so that I have to take my shoes off.
Anyhow, a few folks slipped by me as I was stretching and I chased them back down, only to have them slip away again as I rolled around in the woods, wimpering and massaging my inner thigh muscles.
I rolled across the finish line in 4 hours and 52 minutes, good enough for a 4th place SS finish and a top 25 overall.
I proceeded to get a drink and wait for brad to roll in. He crossed the line in 5 hours and 14 minutes to finish 34th.
Results are Here

B-rad and I after the race

I did get to see another familiar face, Christine Rucker (in grey) was representing the ladies in the 50 miler and Finished 3rd! We met Christine a few months back at a wedding in OK where she was the photographer. And come to find out we lived in the same county in NC, Its a small world!

The next day we traveled to Bent Creek, that forms the border between pisgah and Asheville for a big group ride/ bachelor party for Tony that was organized by Greg. Above is the group coming down the much argued Greenslick trail.

Brad shredding it down the mountain.
Then as brad and I were leaving he saw this

its a bent creek monster!



Good Job!! It was great to meet you and to get some riding in as well. Hope you have a safe trip home!

John said...

goat me

Joshua Stamper said...

waller, dont get cryptic with me