Technically, I should say that this is the 5 hours, 1 minute and 30 seconds of Frog Hollow race report because that is exactly how long I raced.
The Start/Finish area of the 6 Hours of Frog Hollow. Photo by MTBRacenews.com
The Frog Hollow course reminds me of the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde course in that is fast and flowy in places, and chunky and techie in other places. The course keeps you on your toes and rewards you for being smooth. The highlight has to be the JEM Trail descent where you are rarely going in a straight line and have lots of opportunities to catch a little air.
My strategy was very simple: Go as hard as I thought I could go for 5 hours in order to make the cuttoff to go out for a 6th lap...even if that meant that I was totally wrecked for my 6th lap. My strategy almost worked. Although the race runs from 9 AM to 3 PM, the race rules state that you have to start your last lap before 2:00 PM.
I came in after my fourth lap at 1:01 PM so I knew I needed to uncork a fast lap and I felt like I had it in me. I pushed hard on the opening climbs and about one third of the way through the lap I spied the 2nd place solo male. He still looked good on the bike so I stayed on his wheel for a bit but when offered to let me by, I went. And he stuck to me like glue. I didn’t want to look back and make it totally obvious that I was very concerned about shaking him so I played it cool and focused ahead, pretending that I was riding by myself. I was also racing the clock so I attacked on the next climb and tried to keep the pace high before the JEM Trail descent. I never let off of the gas but in the end I needed another minute...I guess I shouldn’t have lubed my chain after Lap #3. Ha! I came through the timing tent after my 5th lap at 2:01 PM and therefore I was done, 2nd place Solo Male. I really wanted to do six laps but it would not have changed the final standings at all.
I kept the fueling simple and drank Kiwi Lime Carbo Rocket in my bottles and took EFS Gel for some extra calories. No electrolyte pills needed despite the warm temps.
This was a fun race and a great tune-up for the 25 Hours of Frog Hollow on Nov 5-6. To get a feel for the course, check out the short 6 Hours of Frog Hollow YouTube Video put together by racer Troy Allison.