Tuesday, January 11, 2011

2011 Togwotee Winter Classic, Race #1 Report

Quick Stats:
5:28:00 Elapsed Time
34.5 miles
3,536’ of climbing
174 Max HR
153 Avg HR
21.8 MPH max speed
6.3 MPH average speed

Topofusion track file with speed shading. Blue is slow, yellow is 15+ mph

Given the talent who lined up for the 2011 TWC Race #1, I should have been more prepared for the pace at the start. A warm up of any sort would have been nice since the course climbs 1,000’ in the first hour of the race but I was also wearing the “organizer” hat on this day. At the sound of “Go”, the usual suspects were off like we were racing the 4th of July XC race at Targhee and I tried to match the pace, but I know better, and within 20 minutes I settled into my groove and watched the leaders go up the big climb and into the distance. I will continue to look for some fast-twitch muscles and a better VO2 Max on Ebay.

Fast forward two hours to the K Trail. The K Trail was uncharted waters for this race and added 10-miles to the traditional distance. As we all learned, the K Trail is an evil bitch. From a distance, she is beautiful. But she will lure you deep into her bedroom before revealing her true identity and then it is too late to turn back. Nobody wants to push their bike back up the initial descent of the K Trail and therefore, once you drop in, you are committed. Speaking of the initial K Trail descent, I Fred-Flinstoned my way down that thing with one leg sticking out as a rudder. As I pushed my bike through a sugary-soft section of the K Trail and realized it was snowing sideways I had a low moment. Did I bring enough stuff for an epic slog of this magnitude? How long will it take me to push my bike all the way back to Togwotee if it keeps snowing like this? Are my friends ever going to speak to me again after this? My “moment” was short-lived and I have been there before so I simply ate some chocolate, drank some Carbo Rocket, and slogged onward. Fortunately the squall only lasted a short time and the trail got markedly better as we descended into the river valley.

This was true snow bike racing. We had sections of firm & fast middle-ring riding, sections of soft, barely-rideable trails, and short sections of pushing our bikes. We also had temps in the 20s, clouds, snow, some wind, and a little sunshine during the course of the race.

I knew that my low “moment” had cost me some time but I had hoped that by staying on the gas up the final climb on the CD trail that I might catch my nemesis, “The” Dave Saurman. It was not to be. Dave finished 10 minutes in front of me after laying down a very solid race. And so the 2011 season begins…

I was trying to smile through my suffer-face near the finish

A few notes on gear:
My layers were perfect and by simply changing headwear throughout the race I remained comfortable

- Sugoi bib shorts
- Toko softshell pants
- Craft Pro Zero Extreme base layer
- RBH Designs NTS Vapor Barrier vest
- Cloudveil lightweight softshell
- Smartwool ski liner socks
- RBH Designs Vapor Barrier socks
- Bridgedale Summit Knee sock
- New Balance hiking shoe - 2 sizes bigger than my normal size
- Neos Navigator 5 Overboot XXL
- Various headwear throughout the race depending on the temps

2 comments:

Shells said...

All I can say is 'I need a rematch'! I'm praying for firm and fast in March.

Dave Byers said...

M - you will make that K Trail your Biatch on March 12th!