Friday, August 10, 2012

2012 Pierre’s Hole 100 Race Report

Before I jump into my race, I want to give a huge thanks to Andy Williams of Grand Targhee for putting on another great event.  Pierre’s Hole gets better every year and this year was my favorite edition yet.  In addition to putting on non-stop events (bike races & concerts) all summer long at Targhee, Andy has built a ton of sweet new singletrack this year…and he’s not done yet.  Grand Targhee is a special place to visit and they are very lucky to have Andy.

Coffee tastes a little better from this mug
Wow, that was a very hard race. How much harder was it than the 2011 version?
  • 2011 Open Men Winner – Jeff Schalk – 7:48:07
  • 2012 Open Men Winner – Evan Plews – 8:44:56 
  • 2011 Open Women Winner – Amanda Carey – 9:12:22
  • 2012 Open Women Winner – Amanda Carey – 10:26:57 
  • 2011 Open SS Winner – Gerry Pflug – 9:01:31
  • 2012 Open SS Winner – Gerry Pflug – 9:58:24
I knew the 2012 Pierre’s Hole 100 was going to be harder than last year…and it was…by a lot.  Personally, I hope it stays exactly the way it is; Brutally Awesome.  This is the perfect time to give a shout out to my stone-cold homie, Gabe “Fiddee Cent” Klamer…Indiana’s fastest gangsta’.  While the fastest riders were about an hour slower in 2012, Gabe threw down a HUGE performance and was only 15’ slower than 2011.  When Gabe and I rode together back in June we were talking about Pierre's and he said, “I want that damn belt buckle this year”.  Nice work Fiddee!
  • Gabe’s 2011 Time:  9:57:58 (no belt buckle)
  • Gabe’s 2012 Time:  10:12:11 (earned the belt buckle with THREE minutes to spare)
A big-ass GOLD belt buckle for Fiddee Cent
My Pierre’s Hole 100 Race Report

I think they should consider renaming this race “The Cramp 100”.  I have cramped every year I have done this race and every 100-mile finisher I talked to this year had issues with cramping or was on the verge of cramping.  Pierre’s Hole must be the perfect storm of altitude, dry air, and steep climbs to promote cramping.

Opening lap, Photo by Sarah Hamilton Campisi
When you are only an hour into a hard endurance race, the end seems so far away. In fact, I have to consciously not think about how much longer I have to ride or my brain will start pumping out negative thoughts. As I sit here several days later, my 11 1/2 hour race at Pierre’s Hole is just a blur. I typically have my best races when I focus on the process and not the end result and that was certainly the case in this race. I focused on my plan and executed a solid race with no mistakes. There are a handful of memorable moments from my race that are still very fresh in my mind:

Lap #1 – The Crash
As I was maching down the Bustle Creek descent on Lap #1, I drifted too far outside on a sweeping corner and slid off into the “death rut” that runs parallel to the crowned center track.  I tried to ride it out and stay in the rut until it ran out but I couldn’t avoid a big log lying in the rut.  Whack!  As I was flying over my handlebars and through the air, I had time to think, “Fuck, is my race really going to end this early?”  My bike cart wheeled and came to rest upside down beside me on the trail.  There was no blood, no scrapes, no broken derailleur, and no broken brake levers…unbelievable...I dented my helmet and the impact rang my bell a little.  Sweet!  I have a race to get back to.

Lap #2 – Travis & Marco
What is best part about racing on a home course?  Racing with and/or against your friends and friendly rivals!  I have tons of respect for Travis Ward and Mark Llinares and both of them have handed me more ass whuppins on the bike than I can count.  Those two have pummeled me in every type of event from the Tues Night World Championships in Jackson to the WYDAHO XC races to the Cream Puff 100.  It looked like this race would be more of the same as both of them pedaled by me with ease on Lap #2 after I had slipped ahead of them by making a quick pit stop.  I rode quite a bit of Lap #3 with Marco as Travis rode ahead of us by 2’.  It took a perfect race by me to come out on top this time and knowing that they were both right behind me pushed me the entire fourth lap.  Thanks guys!     

Lap #3 – The Climber 
One of the racers in the Men’s 50+ category and I seemed to be destined to battle each other all day.  During the race, I had no idea what category he was in so I had to assume I was competing with him.  He was a machine the climbs but on the descents…not so much.  Each of the last three laps went something like this:
  • I would pass him near the top of the Mill Creek descent
  • He would catch and pass me on the pavement climb
  • I would gain ground through the Rick’s Basin singletrack
  • I would pass him near the end of the singletrack
  • And then he would pass me on the climb to begin the next lap
I swear we repeated this scenario three times until I changed it up at the very end.  Just as we were beginning the singletrack in Rick’s Basin, he was right there again so the next time the Earth pointed down I absolutely sent it.  I took risks that I hadn’t taken all day and then I pushed as hard as my cramping legs would allow.  I got him by two minutes and he made the podium in the 50+.  Nice!  I love the little races within' the race.

Lap #4 – Boo Boo Bear
About halfway down Mill Creek, in a dark forested section, a good sized black bear darted across the trail 20 yards in front of me.  How cool is that?!  I got a nice little shot of adrenaline and rode the rest of the descent with a big smile.  You don’t see that in every mtn bike race.  Amanda had her own bear encounter in Mill Creek and we think it was probably the same bear.  Thanks for teaching that bear to get off the trail Amanda!

Cycling Dirt was on the scene doing interviews and documenting the race.  Check out the great highlight video:
Thanks to JayP, Sarah, and Michelle for the support during the race!  It is SO awesome to get encouragement and see a friendly face when you are suffering.

Finish Time:  11:33:00
Result:  2nd Place, Men's 40+

Pierre's Hole 100, stuff that worked for me:
  • Carbo Rocket Kiwi Lime - 110 calories per bottle and easy on the stomach
  • EFS Liquid Shot
  • Honey Stinger Waffles 
  • De-fizzed Pepsi (last lap only)
  • Giant AnthemX 29er - full suspension was the right call for me
  • Fox F29 100 CTD w/Remote - I used the crap out of the lockout lever in this race
  • SRAM XX Gripshift - my hands were numb from the cold the first hour and I could still shift!
  • Panaracer Driver Pro29 Tires 
Next up for me is the Park City Point to Point on September 1st.