"Shred the Red" had a number of meanings today. First, the usual, actually riding the red dirt of Cuyuna. Second, trying to shred skin when seeing if laying down on the bridge was faster than rolling across it (spoiler alert, it isn't). Third, the extremely bright June sun trying its best to negate the SPF50.
As mentioned yesterday in my underwhelming Sasquatch report, today I was racing the Cuyuna Crusher. To prepare, Friday I went for a ride on the Woolly with focus number one being skills work and focus two being a workout. Aside from a number of mechanical issues, I had a break through ride.
I've said it numerous times, I'm a bit of a chicken when it comes to riding my bike. Despite decent fitness I get killed on the mountain bike because I ride the brakes down every hill or around every corner and then have to work twice as hard to accelerate back up to speed or climb the next hill. The evenings focus was on riding without brakes as much as possible. I've still got a long ways to go, but I made some huge strides in that area over the course of the evening.
I also took repeated shots at the rock gardens. If you were in St. Croix Falls Friday evening around 6:00 you may have heard some strange hollering in the woods. Don't be alarmed, it wasn't Sasquatch, it was me successfully clearing the rocks not once, but twice. I followed that up with making the uphill switchback in the West Ridge for I think the second time ever. So despite leaving with a bike in need of some work I was riding some huge confidence in my improving riding skills.
After Saturday's Sasquatch Dash and a little lawn mowing, I ripped my bike apart and put it back together. I had a number of issues that were stacking up. Frank had straightened my rear derailleur hanger Friday, but the shift cable and housing needed replacement, and the derailleur needed to be remounted again and adjusted. I had busted my chain the evening before and after a number of trailside missteps in putting it back together I wasn't comfortable racing on it so I installed a new one. The bottom bracket/crank had some play so I removed that, cleaned a ton of crud out, relubed, and resinstalled that. Lastly my headtube was clanking again after I lowered the bars a spacer so that needed tuning up. After all of that I gave the bike a good washdown and the bike and I were finally ready to race the next day.
I watched my son race his third kids comp of the year first. He finished last again, but said it was terrifying and fun. I think Sidewinder made him a little nervous. He's got a great attitude and I'm glad he seems to like hanging out and racing. I got to see Starr off to start the Citizen race, but missed her finish as I went for a short ride to double check that my bike was put back together right and wasn't going to blow up on the trail.
The stated course was roughly 6 miles per lap, and I would be doing three of them. On course there were two unexpected deviations, but not a big deal. We didn't do Ferrous Wheel, and we kept going on Little Sidewinder instead of a detour onto the road. The road would have been handy for another convenient passing location, but it all worked. Per Garmin, I had roughly 5.33 miles per lap, give or take the accuracy of GPS on a course like this.
The race started with a climb up the road towards the lookout. The idea of course to string people out before hitting the single track. Ouch, roughly 90 feet of climbing in under half a mile. It averaged 4.5% peaking at over 10%. It did its job though. I hit the Miner Mountain/Trammer/Hopper Hill section probably mid-pack, but on the end of a nice group. It was time to put my new skills to the test and try to hang with guys on the downhills and corners.
It started out well. There was a little snaffu when we hit the split on Hopper Hill where you could ride the expert section or the easy section. I took the easy section since it was, well, easy and didn't have a distance penalty. I merged back in, but the guy immediately in front of me flatted right there and I had to hop off and run up the few rocks. This opened a little gap to the next guy, but riding down Easy Street I was able to close it down without going too crazy.
|Cuyuna isn't flat.|
Through Mucker Mountain I was successfully riding with a group of guys and it was fun. I was using them to be attentive to riding efficiently. By mid first lap at DirtWirx I was riding solo and getting blown away by the "more experienced" (older) riders starting in the wave behind me. So I was pretty pleased with how things were going.
Little Sidewinder is a flat, but twisty stretch and again I was pretty dialed for me in riding without riding the breaks. Sand Hog Mountain is a nice little climb about 2/3 of the way into the lap. Nothing quite like 3 minutes at 95% max HR to make sure you aren't being too soft. The ride back down was fun. I'm not up to letting it rip without brakes on that level of bermy switchbacky goodness, but I'm getting closer. Post race Strava inspection shows my 3 descents were PRs by 20 seconds.
I was pretty stoked to finish the first lap without getting blown out of the water. I was still riding with guys from my wave and I don't believe I had been passed by any of the guys from the later waves yet. This was a huge improvement over DirtWirx. Grunting out the climb to start the second lap I saw Bill Schildgen just leaving the single track. This meant I was still a minute plus ahead of him which was pretty good news.
|I was working pretty hard.|
Bill finally caught me on the climb up Sand Hog on the second lap. Over halfway into the race, I'll take that over half way into the first lap like a few weeks ago. He went by and I went back to grinding away on the climb. He got a little hung up in a pack on Sidewinder while I was getting a nice ride from someone and I almost caught up to him again when we hit the road at the end of the second lap. Once he got around though he was gone.
Come lap three I was still riding with people. It was definitely getting thinner though. Around Mucker Mountain I made a pass and there wasn't anyone in front of me. This was really the first time all day I didn't have anyone to pull me along or for me to chase down.
|My steed was well dialed and treated me right today.|
My handlebars were a little crooked, and I was a little thrown confidence wise after the crash, but I now had someone to chase down again. I was able to latch on by the base of Sandhog and after checking he wasn't in my age group, I successfully tagged onto him and he pulled me to the finish.
I was very pleased with my ride. Without looking at any results I felt I executed well, felt good, and had made a substantial improvement in just a few weeks.
My son and I took a nice dip in Huntington Mine Lake at the new beach. The revamped trail head is really impressive. Bike wash station, water fountains, changing booths, bathrooms, bike tools, parking, signage, its awesome.
|Cuyuna Tan Lines|
Once the results are up later, I'm going to plunk them into my hand dandy, race comparison spreadsheet and see how they stack up against DirtWirx there. I'm sure they are better, but we shall see how much better. Otherwise I'm thrilled with my progress on a mountain bike. It's easy to make gains when you aren't that good, but then again, making gains is fun so it's all good.
Mullin's What's Next
St. Croix Fat Cat Triathlon is July 11th. Should be a fun event. The run and bike thing I can handle. The whole kayaking thing will be a real wild card.
As far as mountain biking goes, I don't have anything else I'm targeting. I think I'd like to do another race this year, but we shall see what lines up from a scheduling and availability perspective.
Thanks for reading. Say hi on the trails.
On a muggier than expected late June morning (this morning as a matter of fact) the third edition of the 2015 Sasquatch Dash series went down. The course was nearly identical to one last year, with just a little extra climbing thrown in for fun. Up through WI Interestate on the Horizon Rock and Skyline trails, and then a detour on the return trip to hit up the Hospital Esker Segment of the Ice Age Trail.
Turnout was lighter than recent events with only 9 people showing up. I'm not sure if this was a post Grandma's thing, poor advertising (I didn't get the Facebook event made or the course posted much in advance), or just one of those weekends.
The course, while being relatively simple, wasn't without it's possibilities for getting off course as was accomplished by 3 people. Unfortunately that included myself. You'd think the guy who put the course together would be able to follow it. Using race directors discretion I've altered the three times in question by scaling them according to the distance cut. My time ended up being just a few seconds in front of Sean. This seemed particularly unfair, so I bumped my time a few seconds slower yet to give him the win. I'm not sure I could have won a heads up race.
Without further ado, the full results with He and She Squatch interleaved:
And while we are putting up results, here is what I captured from the City of Trails. If you see any mistakes be sure to let me (email@example.com) or Ben J (firstname.lastname@example.org) know and we'll get the results fixed up.
Lastly, here are the standings through three races and the pre-order/shirt bonus.
Mullin's Race Report
I haven't been running much. I spent most of the last week at scout camp with my son. I ran once and felt miserable. I biked several times and really enjoyed the Wisconsin smorgasbord of pavement, gravel, and ATV trails. I'm feeling great on a bike, but not so much on two feet recently. I'm also signed up to race Cuyuna tomorrow, so I've got a big weekend on tap.
I started with Alex and Greg. I was even in the lead down the ladder tank. Up the road under Hwy 8, Alex passed me and just walked away. Greg hung just over my shoulder up Horizon Rock. When we hit Skyline he passed me and I gave momentary chase, but he pulled away. Unfortunately Greg and I took the ski trail instead of the Horizon trail.
When Greg was the first one coming the other way at the turn around I knew we had gotten ahead of Alex. He wasn't too far behind though and he caught me before I made it back to the top of the hill. I figured he would catch Greg too, but in the end Greg held out. My time adjustments made up for that though. Great racing between those two though. Alex better watch over his shoulder.
My race sort of imploded at that point. My legs were tired, I wanted to do well Sunday too, and my head just wasn't in it. I'm usually pretty good about not losing a race mentally, but I definitely did today. By the time I hit the Hospital Esker I was out of it. I opted to hike the big hill instead of running it.
I'm a little disappointed in myself for not giving my full effort today. However, I hope to redeem myself tomorrow at Cuyuna.
I think I already mentioned, Cuyuna tomorrow. I'm going to do the St. Croix Fat Cat triathlon in a few weeks. The next Sasquatch Dash comes up July 25th. Mark it down now.
|This photo is from the 5k|
And: Volunteers needed! You will be rewarded- message me for details. I need people to help distribute and collect waivers before the run, to work the water station, and to manage a few road crossings or sweep the course on a bicycle. email@example.com (subject line: Volunteer) if you'd like to help behind the scenes and still be a part of the fun!
This is my personal race report. I'll be back soon with updates on the Sasquatch Dash standings.
The two days prior to the race I actually ran. This was a taper of sorts. With the bike racing over the weekend, a hard Woolly ride on Tuesday, and the CyclovaXC sprint ride on Wednesay I had 4 hard bike rides in 5 days. Friday I ran at Elm Creek for the first time. I was really impressed with the diversity in the area I ran. Beautifully manicured paved trails, double track ski trails, and dirt roads where I was and I only scratched a fraction of the park. And the best part? I didn't have to go in little tiny circles like I did all winter long.
This was my first time making it to the City of Trails 10k and it was a fun time at packet pickup and walking around pre-race. After a couple of years hanging out in the valley I'm starting to know more and more of the really cool people that make up the outdoor community. I'm still working on putting names to some of the faces (I'm genetically predisposed to forget names, just ask my kids and I live with them!).
Lining up I said I wasn't feeling great, but that I would probably feel better once on course. Give me a few paragraphs and we'll see how that turns out.
This was a pretty typical "local" 5k type start. A bunch of kids sprinting off the line only to slow down 400 meters later. If it really bothered me, I guess I'd take off like Tammi and the other front runners did. Holy cow they were flying towards the Interlink trail!
|I haven't even gotten off the line and I'm way behind.|
I slapped Steve Edling on the back on his way to the 5k course and dove into the single track on the Ice Age Trail. I love technical running. I think I'm reasonably good at it. It brings me back to childhood memories of "free running", leaping, bounding, scrambling, sprinting, and sometimes falling. Luckily I didn't fall, though one poor teenager in front of me did a nice tuck and roll just as we entered the trail.
By my rough estimate I was roughly around 12th place entering the trails. With no particular analytical reason, I had figured before hand that top 10 would be a pretty good place. Scrambling through the rocks in Regal Park before the first new section of trail I could tell I was opening a gap behind me, but I wasn't closing anything down in front of me.
Not much to report though the first new section before crossing Fairgrounds Road other than to say I really love this section of trail.
Heading through the new Fairgrounds section I managed to tag onto the tail end of Stephen Clark and one of the teenagers. If my memory is correct, I passed one of the teenagers in this section. As we crossed Oregon Street into the field Steve and I latched on to another kid. I was definitely feeling it by this point. I had the slightest bit of a side ache. Steve pulled around the kid and made a gap. I didn't feel like had the extra energy to make the pass and stick with Steve so I followed the kid.
Through this section Greg Atkinson closed down the gap behind and we were a triplet heading through the second new section into Zillmer. I prefer to lead in the technical stuff as it makes finding your footing easier. I managed to not trip and face plant through the rocks.
Coming out of Zillmer the kid swung wide to grab some water and I kept on going, now leading. Greg was securely latched on behind me and I tried to give it a little something extra on the first downhill into the Mindy Creek section. I almost went off the trail. I tried a little something extra coming up from the creek as well. Greg was still there. I told him over my shoulder that he should grunt if he wanted to go by. He said he was having some trouble breathing due to allergies and was just fine where he was. This gave me a chance, because I think on a normal day, I'd be the one chasing Greg.
Anyway, on down Mindy Creek, through Wert, over into Lions park and then north from there. It was fun to cheer on the runners coming back. I forgot to count so I wasn't quite sure where I was. I thought ninth, but I could have been wrong. All through here Greg was still right on my tail.
Heading back through Lions Park and up onto Hamilton, all the trail running was done. All we had left was roughly a mile drag race to the finish. I decided I was going to try racing a little tactically at this point since I doubted I could catch anyone ahead of us. I took it steady up the short incline to Hamilton and around the slight corner to the long straight away and then I surged a little bit. Probably for only 10 or 15 seconds and maybe only 10-15 seconds/mile faster than I had been running.
It didn't work. Greg was still there. I recovered for a minute or so and then did it again. I held it a little longer this time. It sounded like I had made a small gap this time. Then with about half a mile to go I gave it one more extra effort and held on. This one finally did it. I held on and even had enough for a nice little kick at the end, though it wasn't necessary.
Greg came in about 20 seconds later and we shook hands and chatted for a while about a great race. I look forward to racing with Greg again. I think him and Keith Velaski and I could have some pretty epic battles in the coming Sasquatch Dashes.
In the end I was ninth overall and second in the M30-39 age group. It was a fun race, great course, and an awesome community. I'm pretty pleased with my effort on the day. I said I was not feeling it before the start, but might when the race was on. I definitely felt pretty good once I was running.
Mullin's What's Next
No racing this weekend. Scout camp with my boy instead. Saturday 6/27 though is the next edition of the Sasquatch. Then that Sunday we are signed up to race the Cuyuna MTB race. Should be a blast.
2355 Clark Rd, Dresser, Wisconsin 54024
Who's dumb idea was this anyway? I thought that more than once Sunday while riding around Hillside Park in Elk River. The answer of course was it was my idea.
With a rare weekend off of work on tap for Starr we started looking for things to do a few weeks ago. As was previously covered, I was already in for riding the bike leg of the Stower Seven Lakes Triathlon. A little more investigation and we saw that the MN MTB Series was racing at Hillside in Elk River this weekend. My son had fun at the Woolly Kids Comp, Starr has been training with the Herr Batti girls, and I haven't raced my mountain bike in a few years so we thought that sounded like the ticket.
Having never ridden at Hillside we made it our Saturday morning adventure a few weeks ago. We rode sections 1-3, then 1 and 2 again. I know I have mentioned it before, but I am not a strong technical rider. In my limited opinion, Hillside was very technical. After our exploratory ride, we both decided racing there probably wan't for us.
Fast forward a week and we still hadn't identified an alternate plan and the wheels kept turning. In the end we decided to play it by ear and if the weather was good we would throw caution to the wind and sign up. I had been debating Citizen or Sport. Three years ago I raced the Woolly Sport race. It wasn't a complete disaster. Then I decided to race the Comp race the next year. I was second to last or close to it. So based on past results I thought I should just race Citizen since the course did not play to my strengths if I have any on a bike. But ego got the better of me and I signed up for Sport.
As mentioned in my previous race report, the day before this race I did a 16 mile road time trial as the bike leg of the Stower Seven Lakes Triathlon. I followed that up with 26 miles on the Gandy hunting down Starr on her Wren ride. By the time I hopped on my bike to spin the parking lot on Sunday morning my legs already felt tired. Probably not the best way to start what I assumed would be an hour and a half of hard riding. I just hoped that they would wake up a little bit as I worked into the race.
My pre-race consisted of spectating a few of my favorite people in their races. Dalton went of first in the kids comp. This was his second mountain bike race and he was still a little nervous. He left looking serious and came back all sweaty, muddy, and bloody again but smiling.
|Pre-race Game Face|
|Sweaty, Muddy, and Bloody|
After the kids comp, Starr was up for her first bike race of her life in citizen class. Two years ago she raced her first half marathon, last year she graduated to her first marathon, and first ski race. This year she did her first gravel century at Almanzo (first century period actually) and now a mountain bike race. I blame the (bad) influences in her life for these choices.
|Smiling at the start.|
|And still smiling at the finish.|
I lined up at the back of the M18-39 wave. I took it out reasonably hot, but not so hot that I got in front of a bunch of guys that would then just have to pass me on the single track. The sport category had a prologue of the road, B1 and B2 then two laps of B3, S4, S1, S2. Diving into B1 I was probably mid/back packish. Probably about where I belonged.
I followed a wheel all the way through the end of the prologue. I was focused on trying to be efficient and stick close to the wheel. My theory being that I could follow someone and pick their line and amount of braking rather than relying on my poor skills. What probably happened is a combination of both. I rode faster, but I was also punching it more to compensate for more braking.
Some separation formed somewhere in B3. I also can't quite remember, but by S4 the masses from behind started passing me. This is the downside to being in the young age group followed by the "fast old dude" age group. Those 40-49 dudes are fast. And I'm slow, but even so, those dudes are fast.
|Somewhere in S4 I think. Photo Credit: Mitchel Bruns|
I remember thinking somewhere in S2, why am I doing this? I have another whole lap to go. I can see where my effort level dropped as I lost a little focus in S2.
|Lap - Photo Credit Starr|
After slugging some cold water at the bottom of the slalom course before entering S4 I started getting my second wind. With a little more focus I think my riding actually got a little better. A bunch of mud being ridden of the course already helped too. It was somewhere near the end of S4 that I made the only two passes I made all day.
|About to enter S4 on lap two. I've felt better. Photo Credit: Mitchel Bruns|
|No idea where. Somewhere after the first crash. Leg dirty, tongue out, but it looks like I'm fast. Photo Credit: Mitchel Bruns|
OK, S1 was uneventful the last time with the exception of nearly going down on the same roots I went down on the first lap. I pushed S2 as best I could and finished with a reasonable amount of speed.
We hung around for the comp/expert race and watched the fast boys and girls on the jump line. That was fun.
I'm fine with my results. Not enthused, not disappointed. Given my weekend and the way the course didn't suit me I didn't expect more. I finished 8th of 10 in my age group (9 and 10 DNFd) and 45 of 74 overall. My time was 1:39:45.
Mullin's What's Next
Well, first of all, it is the City of Trails 10k this weekend. This is a fun local race, we are making it the second installment of the Sasquatch Dash, and the course is incredible. I'm pretty excited. You should be too.
Then two weeks later is Sasquatch Dash #3. That weekend is also the next MN MTB Series race at Cuyuna. The course as I understand it is much more my style and could be a lot of fun. I'm very tempted at this point to sign-up.
About a month ago I got a message from Adam saying he was putting together an all-star team for the Stower Seven Lakes triathlon. He wanted me for the bike leg. I tried to break it to him that I'm probably not all-star caliber on the bike, but he insisted. At the time I didn't have anything else on the calendar so I let him talk me into it.
Adam was lining up Tammi for the run leg. Now we were talking all-star.
And come race day, Adam was coming off a relay win at the Minneapolis Marathon so we definitely had a winning pedigree on the team.
So the team was lined up: Me - 16 mile road bike, Adam - ~1 mile kayak, Tammi - 5k run
Team Orange Crush was ready to roll.
My Bike Leg
I prerode the course the weekend before. It is all paved, not in terrible shape, rural, and somewhat rolly. I put the aerobars back on my road bike and took that for a spin. I haven't ridden my road bike since I bought the Warbird this spring. It's a fine bike, but, I like my Warbird, a lot. Sadly I do not have a road wheelset for it and Frank indicated that I would probably suffer a penalty of several mph. So I reluctantly decided to stick with the road bike.
|No, I don't know what they heck I'm doing with my face in this picture.|
Right off the line we took the first right. I almost missed it because, well because I didn't quite have that part of the course down. I shortly found myself in second place behind one of the guys on a tri-bike. He led through about mile 2 when I decided to close the gap and pass him. I proceeded to lead then through about mile 5 when he rolled up beside me. We exchanged greetings (his name was Jake) and pleasantries and he rolled on ahead.
The race was somewhat lacking in any stated rules, but most triathlons I know are no drafting so I let him get a respectable distance ahead, but then held the gap. Somewhere around the north end, say mile 9, I passed Jake back. I was pretty certain he was a solo racer. Being a relay member, I had to leave it all on the course.
We had a nice tail wind all the way out. Guess which way the wind was coming from on the way back. So I got "comfortable" in the aerobars and just pushed. As we hit the end of the loop with about 2 miles to go retracing our steps, it was time to bury myself. Jake was still just a little ways back. I pushed as hard as I could up the hill and then dropped back to the aerobars to cruise the smooth pavement around the lake to the beach.
I quickly decelerated at the beach pavilion and made a quick handff of the timing chip to Adam.
Adam - Kayak
Adam took off to the beach with enthusiasm and dragged his kayak into the water. He promptly capsized it a couple of times trying to make a hasty departure. He did get underway eventually still with a respectable lead.
|Adam coming in from the Kayak with Tammi waiting for the hand-off.|
The kayak course initial goes around a point out of site from the beach. As people started to come back in view on the far end of the lake, Adam had drifted back to third place and looked to be losing ground. Collin was very strong in the water turning in the fastest split and had passed both Jake and Adam.
As they started up the far side of the lake, Adam pulled things together and was able to reel Jake back in. Things got a little dicey on the home stretch and there may have been some incidental contact between Adam and Jake. OK, I really have no idea what happened, but somehow Adam ran into Jake. Thankfully there were no course marshals to DQ us...
Tammi - Run
Adam and I meandered over to the finish line. I forgot to look at the time when the transition was made so it was a bit of a waiting game at the finish that seemed to drag on longer than I thought it should.
As expected though, the first runner we saw approaching the finish line was Tammi. She ran a blistering 5k finishing with an 18:36 5k split. She secured the 3-person relay title and the overall title for Orange Crush.
|Bringing home the win.|
I had expected Jake to be the next finisher, but surprisingly it was some youngster coming in. Turns out it was Max Hoogland who had run down Jake and Collin (I'm guessing his dad). Impressive finish.
Orange Crush - 1:25:09
Max Hoogland - 1:28:39
Jake Gould - 1:29:17
Team "O" - 1:30:14
Collin Hoogland - 1:30:30
and more that didn't feature in my report
Full Results Here
We ended with the fastest overall bike split (thanks to not needing to save anything for anything else), fastest overall run split (thanks to having a ringer), and... well Adam did just fine on the kayak, pretty sure I wouldn't have done any better.
We were the first overall finisher, the first relay, and first 3 person relay (last 3 person relay too).
It got me thinking about doing the Scandia St. Croix Fat Cat Triathlon solo. It has a slightly different format with a 3.8 mile river kayak, 5.2 mile (UPHILL) trail run, and an 11 mile road bike.
Mullin's What's Next
At the finish of the race, I had planned to do a little ride in the direction of the Wren from SCF on the Gandy to catch my girl on her way back. Unfortunately that ended up being a ride almost ALL the way to the Wren. So I ended up with about 45 miles on the day. Normally that would be just fine, but I had some bonehead idea to race the DirtWirx MTB race on Sunday, so I probably didn't need the extra miles.
At the time of this writing that race is already finished... so stay tuned for that report in the near future.
|Great folks, amazing roads, and beautiful summer evenings on bikes = BLISS!|
We took care of business getting shirts to those who ordered them or wanted to pick one up, signed waivers, announced the course, and headed over to the Overlook to start the race.
|We take a before group picture to make sure we know how many people to account for at the finish.|
The weather was nearly perfect at about 50 degrees with sunny skies and a slight wind out of the north. I'm happy to report that the trail dried up considerably over night. There were still slick spots and a few puddles, but no snorkels or swim fins were needed.
The race went well, no one got lost that I know of, everyone stayed to cheer everyone to the finish, and there was lots of fun discussion afterwards. I'll call that another success.
|Ben made sure to emphasize the race to the clipboard in the pre-race briefing. Too bad he forgot and got outsprinted to the clipboard himself.|
Without further ado, here are the results.
In the HeSquatch race, two time defending champion Alex took the win HeSquatch and overall win.
|Note: I have not reconciled the shirt pre-orders and post-orders to get the bonus points included yet.|
On the SheSquatch side of the score sheet, defending champion Tammi Braund ran away from the field and gave Alex a run for the overall win.
|Continuing the precedent set last year, if you show up but DNF you still get points. I'd rather have people come and be social and give it a try than not show up.|
Mullin's Race Report
Jeff Wolf told me he was waiting for my report. I wouldn't want to disappoint Jeff by leaving out my own personal report.
I've been doing lots of stuff this spring, just nothing very specific. My running has been hit or miss. Some weeks around 30 miles, some not cracking 10. I'm feeling reasonably fit, just not killing it in any particular sport fit. So toeing the line next to Alex and Tammi I was not expecting to hang with them.
|Encouraging Ingrid for "More Cowbell"|
Beginning the slog up Wert, Alex and Tammi pulled steadily away from me. I was hoping I was doing the same to Keith. By the time we hit the turn around at the north gate Alex and Tammi had maybe 15-20 seconds on me. I had maybe 5 on Keith.
I tried to open it up a little on the run back to the pond and then a little surge up the hill towards the east. By the turn around on the east end Alex and Tammi had put another 5 to 10 seconds on me. I hadn't heard Keith in a little bit so I thought maybe I had dropped him. Nope, he was probably within 10 seconds.
I tried again to open it up on the descent. I managed to find a very soggy spot and sunk up to my ankle at one point. At the south gate I was probably another 5 to 10 seconds down to Alex and Tammi. I thought again I might have lost Keith. I did open the gap a little bit here, but it was still in the 15 second range.
On the descent back to the Wert entrance I had to reign it back in a little bit. I wanted to let it loose, but the ground was a little too soft. I had one foot strike that slipped and I nearly landed flat on my back. That wasn't going to help at all.
|"Opening it up"|
At the finish Alex had put a minute and a half into me and Tammi just over a minute. My persistence finally paid off and I was able to get Keith by just under 30 seconds.
You can watch the race unfold for any of us who had Strava here: Strava FlyBys
Mullin's What's Next
I'm the bike leg for Team Orange Crush (me - bike, Tammi - run, Adam L - kayak) at the Stower Seven Lakes Triathlon next weekend. Right now we are the hands on favorite in the 3 person relay. We are the ONLY 3 person relay right now. Find two friends and sign up!
Then I've got the crazy hair to race the MN MTB series race at Hillside Park in Elk River on Sunday. Don't ask me why. It is pretty technical (by my standards) there and I am a crap bike handler.
Then City of Trails 10k in two weeks as the second installment of the Sasquatch.