Matt Donahue

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

100 Mile Update

It has been a while since I've posted, and the laziness seems to continue. However it is less laziness than lack of time due to home improvement projects, work and biking.

In any event, there are several half-finished race reports in draft format that will appear at some point. In the meantime the biggest update is that I rode my 4th Shenandoah Mountain 100 this past weekend. Cycling news has a nice write up about the faster people in the race and the general conditions:

Considering that two weeks ago I was expecting not to race at all having just dislocated my shoulder, I'm not disappointed with my results. I went out this year to 'ride' the race, rather than race the race. I hoped to equal my time from last year's race, but I was in no way determined to make that happen. I finished this year in 11 hours and 1 minute. Last year was 10 hours and 22 minutes. So around 5% slower? I think that is a fair time gap for having only done three rides over 5 hours this year vs. around 10 last year, and for having taken nearly a week off of riding two weeks ago due to my shoulder injury.

Before I get into anything else, I'll say that once again, the race volunteers were awesome this year. Having someone approach you after the climb up to aid station 5 and say "can I take your bike? she's going to fill that water bottle, you want Heed in there? do you want the chain lubed?" is awesome. They did this all day for stinking, demented riders (well, that's what I was...). That's probably the best thing about this race. Thank you volunteers!

The course was great this year, despite having had tropical storm Ernesto move through the area two days before the race. The trails were in good shape, i.e. drained and dampness played only a minor factor in my slower speed (if any factor at all).

My main enemy this year was cramps that exploded in both legs around 3 hours and 40 minutes and a lack of endurance which became overly apparent on the final climb which I was able to charge up last year, while this year I slowly ground my way up in the granny gear, unable to push anything bigger.

I had a great time riding with Camps again this year. It seems we are destined to ride this race at the same pace, with him passing me on the final climb, just as he did last year. It was great meeting Mark W. on the trail and yoyoing with him up to Little Bald Knob, he may be impressed with my downhilling, but his uphilling made the day. It was also good to chat with new folks like Frank from Jersey, on the road from Aid Station #4-#5. Good times were had with Mike S. and Bee-buddy Eric from the CB team, Joe P, and neighbor Steve who put on an awesome performance, officially finishing his first SM100 with now mechanicals in 9:55- that's fast.

I love this event- it's a season highlight to be sure.