Monday, September 7, 2009
Park City Point 2 Point Race Report
Team Fitzy ready to rock
The Park City Point 2 Point is my new favorite race. Period. Despite being humbled in Park City more often than not during races, it is my favorite place to ride and race. The combination of trails, race organization, racer support, and a great post-race scene made the PCP2P great from beginning to end and I will definitely be back in 2010. And don’t discount the distance because it is “only” 75 miles and not a full hund-o. 103 finishers, out of 168 starters, sums it up pretty well and relentless is the word that comes to mind when I think of this course.
I had a good race at the Park City Point to Point...but not a great race and it is gnawing at me because I really wanted to go as fast as I possibly could in my last long race of the season.
Why can’t I consciously eliminate the low moments that frequently haunt me early in endurance races? My low period came way too early (1:10:00 into the race) and definitely messed up my mojo for a while. During my funk I was getting passed frequently which only added to my funk. It was the kind of funk that had me coasting through sections instead of dropping cogs in the rear and accelerating where the course would allow. It was the kind of funk that allows negative thoughts to creep into your brain and rattle around in there like little poison gumballs.
"Suck it up you big pu$$y!" I said this out loud to myslef a couple of times just before Aid #1. The long climb following Aid #1 snapped me out of it and as I saw numerous riders strung out ahead of me I realized that despite my funk I was in the thick of it. The climb up Sunset + Alpine Slalom was tough, requiring the occasional dismount to clear large roots, but it didn’t last long and soon we were on top of Deer Valley getting ready to rip some of the best trail in the race. I was getting my mojo back as I descended Flagstaff Loop and Deer Camp and by the time I rolled into Aid #1 for the second time I was mentally back in the groove.
The climb up to 9,000’and Shadow Lake was long but I settled into it well and caught a few riders while really enjoying the forested trail around the lake prior to the brake pad-burning descent on Crecent Mine Grade into Park City. I was back to standing while climbing in the middle ring on the short climbs and dropping cogs anywhere I could on descents and it felt good.
The Park City aid station was welcome sight since I am familiar with a lot of the course from there to the Canyons. The 1,400’ climb up Spiro was in the back of my mind the whole race but I also knew that my reward was the familiar buffed goodness of the Mid Mountain Trail so I stayed on the gas the whole time and had a very solid climb. In my mind, I could “empty the tank” on the Mid Mountain Trail because the Canyons was at the end of it...but the organizers threw us a devilishly cruel twist. Instead of simply descending from Mid Mountain to the base area of the Canyons, they routed us around Rob's and then Rosebud, teased us with views of the Canyons, live music and crowd noise, and then sent us climbing again up and away from it all. Ugh. I knew it was coming but I wasn’t quite ready for how it would feel at the 9 hour mark and I was fading. We climbed Ambush and Short Swing, another 500’, to finally reach Holly’s downhill trail and our descent to glory. My time of 9:20:00 was good for 7th in the 40+ field which was the largest field of the race. I know I left at least 20 minutes out there but I am sure many racers can say the same thing.
It was bittersweet to see my Michelle at the finish when I got there because I knew it meant she had pulled out of the race early. I am so proud of her for lining up for this one and disappointed for her that she didn’t get to finish. A flat to her rear tire (her first flat ever and therefore her first time having to deal with one on her own) robbed her of valuable time and she missed the cutoff at Park City by five minutes. I think she’ll be back for revenge though.