Friday, March 1, 2019

2019 in Progress!

If you've been following along on with us on Facebook you'll know 2019's major goal is the Whiskey Off Road in Arizona! 50 miles in the beautiful Arizona desert terrain with close to 7000 feet of climbing? Sounds like a dream to me!

When the decision was made in December, we had to get right to business adding the Santos 12 Hour event to the calendar. The February timing was perfect as would have a few weeks to start preparing. Having ridden the trails but never been to the event, I heard it was half race and half party. We'd be camping out at the venue and only racing the 6 Hour event so we'd definiltey have plenty of time for shenanigans.

The race started off LeMans style with a 300m dash to our bikes. I managed to find a well placed and firm vine to prop my bike up, but it was a bit further down the row. Alex would set up his bike in a perfect spot a the start of the bike drop. Who's strategy would win out?? The run started straight up an incline so I didn't have any reason to go all out, but I did manage to ultimately hop on the bike in front of Alex, but only by two riders! We settled into the madness of a mass start and tried to stay out of trouble.

After a short opening loop, the 9 mile course would break up into a technical section with short punchy climbs that would simply kill the legs, then fast and flowy for a few miles, followed by a milder technical and choppy section into the finish area. A flaming boost jump is traditionally added for fun along the pit row by spectators, adding a final challenge at the finish line. It's completely optional, but race time bravery often gets people out of their comfort zone. The jump is quite simple and small by MTB standards, but it's still known to catch a tired rider out with silly crashes. Gotta pay to play sometimes, right? Luckily I survived each attempt unscathed. My modest jump style drew courtesy applause, but they definitely weren't going to remember me.

Fast forward to 3 hours in. I was cooked. Legs didn't really have the miles for the event and started cramping. I went out to start a 4th lap and nearly stalled going up two power climbs at the beginning of the loop. At this point it wasn't safe and I called it a day. Alex had shown up just for the fun and riding so he wrapped up slightly earlier in the day. Fun was had. Solid training on the day and came out unscathed. Time for camping, cooking and recovery beer!

We enjoyed the event and will definitely come with more focus again next year. Took a few pics and vids, not a ton, but enough to get a vibe for the great event. Up next is the Amelia 60 in March. Training has been progressing so expecting better results out of this one! Come back soon for more updates.

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