Thursday, March 15, 2012

Race Report: Markham 100 2012

Eric G here. Been awhile since my last post but I was back with the team in action at everyone's favorite race to practice self torture in, the Markham 100!! Seriously though it's a great event put on by the Volunteers and Trailbuilders that maintain South Florida's premier MTB trail to raise funds to keep the trail always looking great. Thanks to events like this, Markham is always ready for riding.

The race course was actually pretty tame compared to other events. Many of the advanced sections were bypassed for more intermediate sections that flowed nicely, that while never too easy, made it more feasible for riders to actually complete the 100k (7 lap) event. Alex, Eric N and myself were present for the event. We're waiting on new team kits, but were happy to be showing off our new tent, courtesy of Bike Tech, our new sponsor! (More on that soon)

Racers were motorpaced down a 3/4 mile fire road into the first trail. The 3 of us managed to get a decent spot towards the front, but didn't kill ourselves to get there. I found myself in a pack of Sport riders which was quite a refreshing change. As a regular Base racer, our class sometimes doesn't have the "finesse" of some of the faster riders. So while in this Sport pack, I found myself flowing with them, not worrying about who would crash in front of me and just concentrating on keeping up. Was it fast? YES. I knew I had to back off eventually if I hoped to finish the race and after about 3/4 of the lap I said adios to my pack and continued on my own pace. I'll wrap up my uneventful race here. I'd gotten sick exactly 6 days prior to the race. I started the event fully congested and with coughing fits so I knew my chances were slim to even finish. I lasted about 21 miles before I called it a day and played pit man for the rest of the team.

Meanwhile Alex and Eric N continued and actually had a bit of a duel going. Alex was usually leading, but Eric wasn't far behind. Master Motivator that I am, I played that fact to each of them to keep them pushing as they came to pits "Alex, here comes Eric. Better not let your nephew (he's 28 though) beat you!" or "Eric, he's not too far ahead. Go get him!"

This continued until the end of lap 5 when Eric came around first and Alex was nowhere near. 4 hours in and bodies began fighting them. Eric's back was going and Alex had a bit of a headache going. The two had stopped in the middle of a lap for a breather. When they got rolling again, Eric had the better motor and left Alex in his dust. Could the junior (noob) team member be the days winner among the team ranks? He came into the pits after 5 laps and trying hard to stretch out as he may, his back was gone and it would be his last lap. Alex came around a few minutes later, and with a bit more of my Xen-Like Motivation (Lying) and a bathroom break, Alex would head out for his 6th lap. And wouldn't you know it, after a dry, but windy event, the skies opened up and drench anyone still left on the course. Alex finished his lap a muddy mess, but commented that the rain invigorated him and actually made his lap easier! Unfortunately this would be the end of Alex's race after just missing the last lap cutoff time by a few minutes.

Final results were a little skewed as a lack of a Sport Solo option in registration put many Sport riders with the Base riders. Considering that Alex and Eric N would finish a solid 15th and 18th overall in Base Solo. My mere 2 laps put me in 39th (Ugh...) More importanly, team bragging rights go to Alex until the next endurance event we all participate in!

Next up is a split team weekend. The Eric's will be heading to Gainesville for US Cup #1 while Alex and Julio will stay home for the Oleta 60. Don't have pics for this race but we hope you enjoyed the race report. Check back soon for reports from this weekend's action!

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