Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blue Mounds Race

Well, The 12 Hours of Blue Mounds is in the books. OK, we got 3rd out of 3 teams in the 6 hr. 2 person duo, but hey! at least we were out there trying! We're on the left.
This year is was decided to skip the expert loop, which consists of mile or so of brutal rock gardens in favor of a couple miles of brutal hill climbing.....
These were some sick hills and just because we didn't do the expert loop doesn't mean that rocks were totally avoided. There were still plenty to go around.
Blue Mound is well known in these parts for some rock sections that are very, very technical and mistakes can easily be translated into a split sidewall (which there were many), pinch flats (why I went tubeless) and falling on these rocks either by becoming air borne due to a sudden stop when your front tire can't get up and over a rock or just flopping over sideways, can be harmful to both rider and bike. Many a derailleur has been bent or even broke off when coming in contact with the Rocks of the Mound, not to mention body parts, as well. Many a bike in this area has scratches and dents from getting intimate with the Rocks of Blue Mound.

After a few days of pretty steady rain, race day dawned clear and sun drenched. The 12 hr group had to deal with a few wet spots as they started at 8AM and the 3-4 steeper hill climbs were pretty much hike a bike, from what I heard, due to being too slick and steep with the loose rocks and exposed wet roots.

By 1PM, when the 6 hr race started, it was much better. Wade
my 6 hr duo partner, took off first and handed me the reins a little after 2PM. Being my first race since last Feb. at the Birkie, where I had some issues due to low iron and fatigue, I wasn't sure what to expect. But, I was satisfied with my lap time of 1:16 (fastest lap of the day was around 55 minutes, I believe) and I didn't seem to exhibit the same tiring symptoms as when I raced the Birkie.
I have to give props to the Race Directors, Nate and Kevin, as the course was laid out great and especially to Blue Mound Trail Boss Walt for the super condition of the trail. Of course, there never could be any races without the myriad of volunteers, a big "thank you" to all of them, as well.
My second lap was slower. I just wasn't in good enough shape to pound up the hills and I couldn't avoid the leg cramps that started on the first hill and that continued to nag me the rest of the lap. The first lap and between laps there was no sign of cramps so I didn't bother with electrolytes. It was a mistake not to down a few when I had the chance.

Had a great after race BBQ after I secured some charcoal and the race directors/club Prez scored some good Furthermore Fatty Boombalatty.

Took the GoPro helmet cam out with me the on the 2nd lap and also did a pre-race vid of the initial downhill. You can't tell much from the vid, but it can be tough stretch, especially later on in the race when everyone gets a little tired.

3-4 years ago a guy went OTB (over the bars) and cut his face up pretty good. 2 years ago, I went OTB and my hand hit a rock as I tried to break my fall. Not a break, but a somewhat severely dislocated finger.
Last year a guy went OTB in the same section and he was taken to a hospitable for a gash on his forearm.
This year a gal went OTB and crashed on her wrist. It was in some kind of splint at the end of the race, not sure of the extend of the injury.

Some vids of the race.

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