By Bill Bailey- This race was put on by JCB Equipment company near Savannah, at their 1100 acre property. The course was 5 mikes and not surprisingly I decided to race the 3 lap advanced class. My local SEGA-SORBA chapter helped organize and run the race, which ran as part of an existing mud run obstacle course type race raising money for a local charity.
Heat and greasy mud conspired to punish me. I had pre-ridden the course and decided the CX bike was my weapon of choice for the fast non-technical course. I had mixed success in practice climbing the sharp steep hills. They resembled CX run-ups where the course is cut straight up the steepest bank they can find. The descents were the same, steep and bumpy with sharp turns at the base. I decided I could shoulder a CX bike better than I could "almost" ride the hills or push a MTB. By the second practice day I was turning fairly competitive lap times, even though I was slowing to wait up for my ride buddy. I had no illusions of winning, but I felt I would do ok.
Friday it rained. The big muddy spots weren't a problem, it was the new little ones, tucked around a turn, waiting for me to flick the bike hard over, trusting that the skinny minimally treaded tire on the back would dig like it had Thursday. The run-ups were slick, and the 50ft tall one we shared with the mud run before the bike race was a mess. Most of the trail was freshly cut, the organizer JCB had done it with various different machines, scraped, rolled, even vibrated in places. I was told most of the work was done in four days. Each section responded to the rain differently, some getting softer, some becoming covered in small dimpled depressions, but all of it making it tougher, especially on a CX bike, even with a 1.75 29er tire on the front.
The heat was something else. I would guess it was in the upper 90s with shade in short supply. With details on registration kind of sketchy, I decided to make sure I was there early. I spent about 4 hours mostly in the sun, waiting on the ongoing mud run to end. Our race started at 11:30.
I was holding my own early on, until I wiped out in a turn, but I could already tell it wouldn't be my best effort. Early on I started feeling overheated, and my asthma even flared up a bit. At the start of the second lap I stopped to let a little air off the front tire. I was babying the skinny back tire, especially where the course crossed the curbs on the road. I held a pretty steady pace on the first two laps, but by the third lap I was taking a real beating.
I believe I finished 9th out of 15 with maybe 2 DNFs.
If I had gotten to pre-ride the day of the race, I might have switched back to the mountain bike, but I don't think that would have made much difference. I was not having a good day. It's possible the gains in sure-footedness would have been offset by the time and effort lost on the run-ups.
Still it was a lot of fun to get to race a different trail, with some of my local friends. Our local SEGA-SORBA group is working with JCB Equipment to try to bring in some IMBA people for a property assessment, for future trail development. JCB sees an equipment rental market in trail building, and is considering using their trail as a showcase. Hopefully in the future this trail will be open to the public on a regular basis.
Rope Mill Half-Marathon June 14th 2014
Race Report by Jonathan Hiott
My goal this year was to get on the podium (top 3) in the Long Course race series for Mountain Goat Adventures. The long course is 9 miles or over with the longest race being a half-marathon (13.1 mile) race at Rope Mill in Woodstock to wrap up the series. Last year I missed the podium because I sprained my ankle in the first race of the series in Cartersville, GA and it was difficult to overcome the deficit. One has to have 4 consistently good race performances in the series to have a chance. While I didn't podium in any one individual race and came in 4th on today's race, I am still enormously pleased with my result today coming in 2nd on the Long Course for my age group.
I put in a 12-mile effort last week in Raleigh,NC where I was on temp assignment working on a technical manual. There aren't as many hills over there but I knew that I needed to get at least one long run in while I was there. This helped my confidence some leading up to the race and I rested Thursday and Friday the week before the race. I biked several times while in Raleigh to keep up the legs and cardio fitness.
Last year after the half I was having shortness of breath and rapid pulse. Well that turned out to be too many stimulants. Unfortunately, I wound up in the hospital as a result. Nothing like that this year. Experience is a great teacher!
Didn't sleep so great last night and not sleeping well while away from home. Breakfast was coffee with coconut oil and a Larabar. Not too much food, just enough. Race nutrition was 2 flasks filled with Skratch (electrolytes) and 2 gels. Nutrition was primo today.
Had a fast start on pavement , first mile was an 8-minute pace. Purposely slowed down once we got to singletrack and was putting in 9:30 minute-miles which is my comfortable long distance pace. Slowed to 10 minutes once on the hilly portion. Doing fine and not too concerned with pegging it. People passing me here and there but still just running my race. Trail is super muddy and sketchy in spots. Babying it some. Not taking too many huge risks, just want to finish strong. Checking in periodically with my cadence and it was still high. Still busting up the hills with no issue. Having a great run and feeling good. This year I really didn't go through the mental anguish I did last year. I felt light and breezy throughout this race. Good mental talk for most of the race and not too much negative chatter. On a side note, I can't believe that people stop at aid stations ,which wastes time, for water when they could easily bring water and food along. So glad I wore my Innov8 shoes since they have really nice tread and this was a super-slick course today. At halfway point still feeling good though legs were tightening up some. Feet doing OK. Finished up the Avalanche trail pretty strong and clocking in 10:30 miles. Headed back to Explorer (the 1st section of the race) for the 2nd time. This is where I turned on the gas and things got interesting. There is a uphill section leading to Explorer trail and I sprinted up that but I quickly heard footsteps behind me. It was a guy I passed while he stopped at an aid station! I don't know if he was in my category or not but I then knew that this would be a furious 3-mile finish. Started attacking the hills on Explorer and bombing the downhills. Heartrate must've been 180 throughout. Couldn't drop the guy behind me. Passed a few other peeps that were fading. Finally, with a mile or so left, the guy behind me finally fell back. This made me run even faster. Insane! I maintained a sprint pace to the end finishing strong.
It's satisfying to have a game plan going in and being able to follow that plan. Today, it was to go easy starting out then finish fast. Also, extremely proud to have finished 2nd in the series. Next season I hope to get even closer to the podium on individual races but I have some work to do in that regard. Nothing to do but just keep running!
Race Report by Jonathan Hiott
Angry Monkeys Racing had a strong showing at the Trek 100 . We had about 13 members out on the course riding at different levels. Bit of background on the Trek 100. Proceeds from this great ride for a great cause support critical pediatric cancer and related blood disorder research. The Trek 100 is the mainstay of the MACC Fund's athletic fundraisers. It is one of the largest fundraising efforts for childhood cancer and related blood disorder research in the United States.
Since 1990, the Trek 100 has contributed over $11.5 million to support pediatric cancer and related blood disorder research! The Trek 100 provides large scale support for research, thanks to riders, donors, sponsors and volunteers. This year is the 25th Annual ride through Southeastern Wisconsin at the home of Trek Bicycle Corporation in Waterloo, Wisconsin.
The riders involved this year were Travis, Julie, Chris, Kathleen, Anne-Marie, Muse, Chelsea, Carl, Laura M., & a few on B-cycles: Tyler, Laura A., Brandon, Mio. We had riders participating in every level of riding. Overall it was a fantastic day and the weather was perfect. Muse, Travis, Jule & Chris were our 100 miler group. It was great to see all the Angry Monkeys kits out on the course and hear people yelling our team name on the road. I was having a proud moment when I looked around the finish area and could pick out members of our team. The photos of our fun times do not do it justice. The real excitement is knowing that as a team we raised over $2200 for the MACC Fund. I am so proud of the team and its commitment not only to cycling but our communities children.
Still asking for donations please click the icon below.
Video below by one of our riders.
Hopefully more photos to come later!
RACE REPORT BY Joey King.
June 7th, 2014 This race is up north past Green Bay. I signed up for the 60 mile race which would give me an earlier start time and a chance for some extra miles. Finishing early would allow me to drive back in daylight.
I ended up with 40 miles, placing 18th out of 21 in the 60-mile solo men category. Such as it is with WEMS, people do their own thing, mileage, and pace. I was hoping for 50 but honestly didn't have the right approach. I got behind with my fueling and really started to come apart at 35 miles which left a half-lap crawl to the finish.
There were two comical moments. The first was the le Mans start where a photo on the stumpfarm facebook page shows I'm first or nearly so to the bikes. What it doesn't show is how I missed my pedal on my CX mount so badly I ended up near the back.
The second moment of humiliation came at the end lap two. I was following wheels coming through the timing tent when the person in front of me just stopped dead. I rolled right up onto her back wheel. We were both distracted by the start of the 30 mile race which occurred at exactly this moment. All was well fortunately and we would joke about it later while enjoying the flowing buff single track.
There are a lot of stumps at the stump farm but there's more buff and flow than I've ever experienced in my life. Super nice day and a great event again. I'm really digging this WEMS series.