Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Park City Point to Point from the sidelines

The crud that took over my body Friday before the race, and is still hanging on, prevented me from racing but I did manage to shuffle around Park City to the various aid stations and offer a little support to Michelle. It was not the level of cowbell-ringing enthusiasm that I would have normally dished out but at least I was able to hand up a pre-filled Camelbak, a few GUs, and send her on her way.

Picture taken by from Lyna Saffell

Michelle's Race
The PCPP was Michelle's biggest race goal of the season after a flat tire caused her to miss the cuttoff time in last year's PCPP by minutes. She was on a mission to finish this beast and to see her execute her race plan was awesome. She was focused, wasted no time at the aid stations, and always kept moving forward. For this year's race, Michelle rode her Niner Air9 hardtail (Kermit) with 2.25 Racing Ralph tires w/SnakeSkin sidewalls for a little extra protection. The weight penalty of the heavier tires was worth the added insurance on this rocky course. One other key ingredient was Michelle's plan to race with Camelbaks containing Carbo Rocket so that she could keep both hands on the bars and still take in calories. The Park City trails are relentless and using bottles to fuel there is tricky business. I noticed that the 1st and 2nd place Open Men also used Camelbaks.

Michelle diligently followed LW Coaching's "100-Mile Finisher" training plan to prepare for the PCPP. Even though the PCPP is 75 miles and not 100, the overall difficulty is on par with most 100-milers so this plan made the most sense. LW Coaching's $99 12-week plans are perfect for someone who has a specific race goal and wants to be sure that they are doing everything possible to achieve that goal.

Michelle crushed it this year and finished in 11:03:00, placing third in the Women's 35+ Category.

A Great Event
Being sidelined gave me a unique view of the PCPP this year and I was equally impressed with the race. These guys know how to promote and execute a great mountain bike race. It was also obvious that they learned from last year and made a few tweaks to improve an already great race this year.

Random things I noticed and liked
- PCPP branded Smartwool beanies instead of the normal race t-shirt
- A well marked course. The importance of this cannot be overstated
- GPS files of the course provided way in advance
- Starting the huge field in waves to avoid congestion
- Chip Timing
- Carbo Rocket & Gu products at the Aid Stations instead of Hammer stuff
- Great aid station volunteers
- Cool finish line scene in the pavilion at The Canyons
- Live Music post-race
- Food for racers post-race
- Racer raffle + Public raffle to raise money for Mountain Trails (great idea)
- Equal cash payout to Men & Women


Lynda Wallenfels said...

Big congrats again to Michelle on a strong finish! That was a hot day and tough course.

Shells said...

Thanks Lynda! It was a truly memorable experience for me! I couldn't have done it without two very important people: my better half and my coach. :)

Hamilton said...

Great result Michelle! Nothing like having video from the finish line...very well spoken!

Is there a lime green cross machine lurking in the garage?

Shells said...

Thanks a lot Hammy! The lime green cross machine is definitely lurking...