Race is over. Myself and one other racer, Matt Maxwell from Iowa, tried the 150 mile ski. After 40 miles we decided to hang it up due to rather poor conditions and save ourselves for the 75 mile bike race the next day.
Things were very difficult due to the random snow conditions. The NE (start/finish) had snow, but was very tore up due to melting, freezing and random vehicles running up and down the trail, which meant a lot of rocks to avoid. The SW (start/turnaround) had no snow. Temps were warm so cold was not a huge issue.
The 40 mile ski took me around 8 hrs with rest stops.
The 75 bike took me 15.5 hrs. That included 17-18 miles of walking the bike as I was not using a wide tire snow bike and sunk too far to move at times. Both events I was carrying about 20lbs of water, food and winter survival gear.
The distances were nothing new really, the conditions were. It was a test of mental toughness, smart pacing and nutrition to complete the race.
150-mile run: Chris Scotch 56:02 (CR!) (5 starters, 1 finisher, 1 still on the course)
150-mile bike: Charly Tri 21:07 (8 starters, 5 finishers)
150-mile ski: (2 starters, 0 finishers)
75-mile bike: Dan Jansen 6:44 (CR!), Leah Gruhn 13:53 (18 starters, 15 finishers*)
75-mile run: Tim Neckar 21:27, Lynn Saari 25:23 (5 starters, 3 finishers)
50-km bike: Marc Steele 3:31 (CR!) (2 starters, 1 finisher) 50-km run: Brandon Purdeu 5:13 (CR!), Alicia Hudelson 6:14 (CR!) (15 starters, 15 finishers)
Thursday evening before the race went scouting the trail. Was able to witness 2 wolves crossing the road next to the trail about 4-5 miles west of Park Falls.
My size 10.
Mile 25.5 looking north.
Mile 25.5 looking south, RR tracks.
Chippewa River crossing.
Slightly different view.
Local Algonquins sending off the racers with a Travel Blessing before the race.
Mile 4 of the bike race...local spectators came up to the trail to say hi.
An idea of the ski conditions, Matt and I both skate/freestyle skied.
Tim Bowers, mile 15 or so.
It was impressive the volunteers that came to support the event from all over the midwest. Some of the participents even took turns at the aid stations on the day their event wasn't going on.
Greg and Michelle at the CCC Bistro were unbelievably supportive.
The local community did a fantastic job as well, supporting the event from volunteering on race day to cooking, baking goods, setting up a nice start/finish area and even making a trophy for place finishers and general finishers.
Took care of grandson, Jason, while his parents went to Milwaukee for a work party. Had to get the bike down (now a snow bike!) for a few quick rides. First thing he did was head to the lawn and the little bit of snow we had to see how it would work riding in it....
Once we got his thumbs to go in the correct place inside his mitts, he had a much better time of it.
Then with Grandma, went looking for a tree. We so love taking care of Jason...he's such a joy to us!
Been roller skiing as much as possible. A few 1-2 hr sessions, one in the dark that was a little hairy, won't to that again unless necessary, although I didn't crash it was sketchy. Was able to get a nice. 3.5 cruise in....about 16-17 miles. Was a great workout.
Got our first snowfall a week ago, but it didn't stick and it was spotty. Mostly central/south WI. All it did around home was keep the trail soaked that we roller ski on so had to switch over to the bike.
Been out as much as possible with the bike...2-3-4 hr, rides. Mileage isn't all that impressive as I'm using my mtn. bike on crushed limestone trials that are a little soft or on the road and many times I ride far right of the pavement to avoid any vehicle issues. After all, I'm out there to train and I can get the same workout on dirt as I can on pavement. Time is the saddle and heart rate is the key, not how many miles I put in.
That being said I put in 48 miles yesterday in 30 degree temps, on a sunny, windy day. Headwinds that when I turned cross to it sung through my spokes.
Besides the training, getting my equipment ready....the bag on the right is the bag I'll be using. Both rated -20 degrees, but right bag much lighter and smaller. A friend snagged it for me on a return at a large sporting goods outlet store....the price was almost too good to believe, as well.
Gotta love headwinds!
yep, ice, ice baby!
At mile 15 or so I stopped at gas station to try to block the wind whistling through my sandals. Only my feet were showing any signs of discomfort. Even with nice wool socks on my feet got cold. Wind combined with mph of the bike, plus 30 degree temps were too much I guess.
I wear sandals as they are wider and flex width wise than my mtn. bike shoes and allow for much more blood flow so my feet stay much more comfortable and warm with them and don't go numb as with the shoes. Have some cold weather booties coming that will go over the sandals, that will help.
Will be pounding out as many hours as possible to get ready for 2 winter races that should prove to be the toughest I've ever done.
The Tuscobia 150 in December and the Arrowhead 135 late January.
Similar but unique, both could be totally uncompromising depending on weather conditions...I have a strategy we'll see how it plays out.
Dry land ski training.....
Been delivering honey with my bike. 20 miles round trip Monday (somewhat sunny in the 60's), 30 plus today. (strong headwinds, overcast and in the low 50's)
Bartered a quart for a farm raised chicken.
Working on a custom label. Chuck was the Dad of my best bud since grade school. He died 11 years ago. Chuck got me started in bee keeping 30 years ago. I only did it for a year or 2, then picked it up again this summer.
Tried out a backpack I will be using for a couple ski races this winter. Worked out well.
We left Driggs after a checkup on my elbow. Headed to the West Entrance to Yellowstone, through the Park and out the steep, steep East Entrance.
Got Cody late afternoon and had dinner at the Irma Hotel, which was built by Buffalo Bill Cody and named after his daughter.
The next morning, we visited the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum. My Grandfather worked for Cody when he was just a teenager. I tried to find if they had any records of his employment (they have a lot of Cody's records and a research library) but nothing popped up.
We then took off for the Beartooth mtns. This was an amazing loop up to Red Lodge and back. Want to go back when we can spend more time up there.
Took off when we got back and got a couple hours down the road....vacation 2011 over. A fun 2 weeks. Different than what we've done in the past and will be doing more of the same in the future.