Monday, June 11, 2007

6 hours of addison oaks mtb race

by Dana

my awesome friend kim volunteered to be an honorary bella for the day and be my teammate for the 6 hours of addison endurance mtb race.

the weather was cold and cloudy, with some drizzle coming down intermittently all morning. we signed up for the 2 person open sport class and had 3 other teams to compete against... all men!

kim started out the race, fought the crowds at the start, and got pushed hard during the first lap... she tagged me in the chute and i took off. i was feeling really nervous and not quite 'in the zone'. about 2 miles into the course there was a really really tight section. i came in with a little too much speed and not enough focus on my driving and clipped my handlebar on a tree. i freaked out, squeezed both braked and did a somersault still clipped into my bike. i landed hard on my back and the nose of the saddle somehow whacked me hard on the lower back. i was really shook up but calmed down enough to get back on the bike and finish my lap while obsessing over whether i had seriously hurt my back and/or neck. i rode a bit more cautiously and chatted with some 12 hour solo guys who were very encouraging (thanks carlos and travis) for the rest of the lap. i tagged kim at the chute and warned her that i did not know if i could go back out right away, if at all.

our velo fella rob met me at the chute and helped my back to the tent and assessd the damage. he made sure i drank and had a gel, and cleaned the hunks of dirt out of my shifter pods and brake levers. he gave me a pep talk, and i decided that i would at least do 1 more lap so that our team would not be disqualified (each rider was required to do 2 laps.).

when kim was expected back i went into the lap counting chute to meet her but she never arrived. we expected her to be out for 40 min (7 mile laps) but it had been over an hour and i started to worry. then the announcer informed everyone that a man had a very bad crash on a split log skinny at the end of the course and that an ambulance was coming to take him out on a backboard. then some friends came through the cute and told me that kim had stopped to administer 1st aid to the man who was hurt. she stayed with him out there for over 30 minutes, kept him immobilized, and covered up so he would not go into shock until EMS got there. it ended up that the man broke his back, and if he had been moved he might have been paralyzed!

after the injured rider was put in the ambulance kim rode the 1/2 mile to the chute and i left for my second lap. i warned them that i was going to take it easy after my fall... but once i got out there the sun came out and i started feeling stronger and more confident. i was sore, but working hard out there. i made it back so much faster than kim and rob expected that she was hanging out at the tent when i came down the straightaway to the chute. i yelled out to her and she had to scramble to get on the bike and meet me for the tag!!

during my recovery i decided to check the preliminary results and discovered to my disbelief that we were not in last place, but appeared to be tied for 3rd!! i was so excited that somehow kim and i were in the running for a prize against a team of men, despite our early problems.

i let our velo fella know that if we really worked hard that we could still be competitive. he let kim know when she came back and we were on fire. what had started out as a just for fun race ended up really getting our competitive spirit going.

we realized that we were coming up on the 4pm deadline for starting laps very soon. i got in from my 3rd lap around 2:30 and kim went out. rob and i were trying to figure out how many more laps we could squeeze in before 4. we were still tied for 3rd.

kim came back in from her 4th lap at about 3:15 and just yelled "ride fast- so i can go out again!!" so i went out and rode as hard as i could. despite feeling really fatigued and sore i hammered on the flats and stood on the climbs. i rode in the big ring on a lot of the singletrack where i had always used the middle before. all i could think of was how rotten i would feel if i got back at 4:00:02 and kim couldn't get out for another lap.

my ffg friend chris caught me at the last mile and told me i had to sprint the rest of the way to make it. this was a flatter section so hammered all the way to the tents and the chute. rob was waiting and started yelling when he saw me!! i had made it back with 4 minutes to spare!! kim went out for a hard 5th lap. i drank my endurox and cracked open an oberon. we finished with 9 laps total and 3rd place. the 1st place guys had 10 laps. 2nd also had 9 laps but finished ahead of us. 4th had just 7!!! we didnt't realize it but we manage to get ahead by 2 laps in the last hour!

we were so proud of our come from behind finish in a class full of men!! we won cool messenger bags filled with swag with the 6 hours of addison oaks logo on the front.


Post a Comment

<< Home