Thursday, December 28, 2006

Mohican 100 - 2004

The Mohican 100, June 20, 2004“Pain is in your head, unfortunately, so is your brain.” By 11:30 pm Saturday evening I was in my van and headed towards Mohican State Park in Loudonville, Ohio for the second annual Mohican 100. What lay ahead was a 100 mile point to point MTB race reportedly consisting of over 40 miles of single track with the remainder of the course consisting of double track dirt roads and less than 10% paved. I arrived at the starting point, deep in the Mohican State Forest, and went to sleep at around 1:30 am Sunday morning.I elected to run UST tubeless Kenda Klimax Lites (450 gram, semi slick) on my Specialized Epic due to their low weight and reasonably good performance on single track (this was a very good choice, they were fast on the road and acceptable in the single track). I also mounted the remote lock out on my SID front fork in anticipation of the fire road climbs (another good decision). I awoke at 5:30 am to chilly 50-degree temps. Arm warmers and tights were in order. I checked my gear bag in with the race officials. The gear bag was being transported (hopefully) to one of the 4 aid stations. The bag contained extra tires, tubes, front and rear derailleur, pedals, cables, housing, extra clothes, a rigid fork, other miscellaneous spare parts and three bottles of Accelerade. I ended up not needing anything except for the Accelerade and some chain lube as I had no mechanical problems. My bike performed great for the entire race. I lubed the chain twice. Breakfast consisted of a turkey and cheese sandwich, a hard-boiled egg and some cold coffee. The race started at around 6:30 am (scheduled time was 6:00 am) and the pack of nearly 50 riders rocketed uphill towards the trailhead as if this was a 20-mile XC race. I resisted the urge to start at that pace and set a nice tempo. My goal was to keep my HR under 160-165 (if possible) and to prolong blowing up for as long as possible. The first 25 miles were mostly newer single track though Mohican State Forest and Mohican State Park. Good stuff. I was feeling pretty good as I pulled into the first aid station at 25 miles. I filled my water bottles with some revenge energy drink and took off my tights and continued on. The next 15 miles were a lot of abandoned roads and jeep trails with a long double track climb to the second aid station at 40 miles. At the top of the climb, I accelerated and my hamstring cramped right at the top. A this point I had a revelation – “40 miles into a 100 mile race and experiencing cramps in largest muscle in body…immediately back down the engine or face massive muscle failure.” I filled up my hydration pack and ate a banana and some gel and forged onward. I rode the next 12 miles with Bob Goetz over some dirt roads and rail to trail stuff. Fun! At the 50-mile mark Bob turned off as he was doing the 100K version. I began to think he had the right idea as I turned the other direction for the 100-mile option. For the next 30 miles, there were countless rollers over dirt roads, asphalt and double track trails. During this time my cumulative average speed crept close to 12 mph. Occasionally I would push too hard on the road sections and the quads or hamstrings would begin to tighten. At around 80 miles I caught 3 other riders and we rode together into the third aid station at 85 miles. This is were I made Mistake #1….thinking we only had 15 miles to go I quickly grabbed two bottles of Accelerade, did not eat and continued on ahead of the other three. At around 90 miles we crossed the Mohican River on a cool suspension bridge over to Mohican Wilderness. I knew I was in trouble at this point as I was loosing energy, my knees were starting to hurt and we had to do the 8-mile Mohican Wilderness loop. I started the loop having dropped two of the three riders and did not stop at the Aid station….Mistake #2. I did the first long climb with one of the Y-Not guys who informed me that AFTER the MW loop the course really got tough. So I went really REALLY slow on the MW loop (1:20 at least). After the MW loop, I stopped at the aid station I had previously skipped, and ate everything in site, drank a mountain dew and filled up two bottles and may hydration pack. My computer was showing 97 miles. I headed down Wally Road towards SR 3 and then to my surprise the course markers pointed to the left….straight up out of the Mohican River Valley…up the longest steepest dirt road climb this Ohio boy has ever seen. Ouch! I rode some…walked the rest. I did learn that I can stay upright on a bicycle at 2 mph…now that’s something! At the top I was already at 100 miles and knew I had at least 10-15 miles to the finish…and it would be mostly hilly single track. I forged on and ended up finishing in 11 hours and 30 minutes (or so) and my computer showed 114 miles and a 10.3 mph average. All in all, an epic and fun race. Some people got lost several times, however, I was luck and only made one wrong turn that cost me only 5 –10 minutes or so. Also was lucky that I had no major crashes. I think I only fell once (could this be right?). The promoter, Ryan, did a great job with the course, a good job on the aid stations/course markings and a below average job on registration/awards. The only went 4 deep on the 100 Mile class that had at least 20-30 entrants (how about something for the effort….some gel…a stinking t-shirt…an awards presentation). I would do this race again, however, the 100K option certainly is an attractive alternative. 100 miles may be too much of a good thing for this guy. For anyone that cares about such things, here is a list of what I consumed during the race. Three PB&J2 bananas1 can of mountain dew4 gels4 bottles of AcceleradeTwo bottles of RevengeTwo bottles of water210 oz of water from hydration pack

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