Thursday, June 26, 2014

Race Report : 12 Hours at Night

Race Report 
12 Hours at Night in Prescott, Arizona

Saturday, June 7, morning my family and I headed two hours north to Prescott where the race would take place.  I spent the week before gathering what I knew I needed and what I thought I would need.  From extra tubes to water to food I would eat throughout the night.  The race started at 8PM and would end the next morning at 8AM with the winner completing the most laps of the 9 mile course. Both my son and my daughter raced in the kids event earlier that evening on a much shorter course but still had some climbing.  They both had a great time and came back later to see my off on my journey.  The Two-Wheel Jones Bicycle Shop in Gilbert owned by my friend Larry DeMik was also racing and set up a tent.  Numerous others from the shop were also entered in the race.  
The race started off with a 400 yard running dash down a hill to our bikes and then off onto the course we went.  Not really knowing the course I hung back until I completed one lap of the 9 mile course.  I had a plan in my head to start off with two consecutive laps and then stop and refuel for both food and water.  The first lap took me a little over an hour to complete. Knowing the cold would set in, I started off and wore the whole time my Cat-Ears ear covers to help keep my ears warm as well as block the wind noise allowing me to hear things I would not be able to see in the dark.  The course consists of fire roads and single track with a few good climbs.  There were a few areas where the sand was pretty deep and difficult to navigate with the headlights.  The whole time I was using both a handle bar mounted as well as a helmet mounted lights, dimming them to save their batteries when I could.  It was halfway through the third lap the cooler weather started to settle in. It was also after this lap my body was feeling pretty good but my mind was wandering leading me to lay the bike down a few times.  I was use to everything terrain wise this course was throwing at me, but it was hitting me mentally.  Finished my third lap and hung it up for awhile, sleeping and trying to get my mind back into it and keeping warm.  I knew I had to get back out on the course, even though I was a little sore and still cold.  The sun was rising by now at 6AM and I knew it wouldn't take long for the desert to heat up.  I grabbed a few hydration bottles and off I went.  The course looked a lot different in the sunlight then it did being lit by headlamps. I took my time but knew in my head for my lap to count I would have to finish it by 8AM. I was just a little over halfway through the lap and my tire slipped around a corner sending me to the ground hard, driving my elbow up into my ribs and me looking up into the air.  I jumped up and got back on the bike knowing the cut off time.  It hurt to breathe and I could see my side bruise pretty fast.  I was glad to see the finish line beating the cut off by 30 minutes to spare. 
The Orange Mud Hydra Quiver worked great for holding my hydration bottle along with my tube and fuel.  I ended up putting two other water bottle cages on my bike a few days before.  
I wore my Suunto Ambit 2S GPS watch with HR monitor to capture a lot of data.  I used one of the over 1000 apps, this one being for Mountain Biking.  I am still learning the watch and the very cool things it is capable of doing and capturing. (More on this device in a blog)  
I took fourth place in the single male division completing my four laps. 
So what did I learn from the race?  I need to train a little more riding at night with the headlamp and increase my training before attempting this again next year.  It did not help that my training two weeks out from the race was very difficult after getting an upper respiratory infection. 

This race would have not happened with out the support of
  Two Wheel Jones Gilbert location, Suunto, Uddery Smooth, Orange Mud, CarbBOOM!, ProGold Lubrication, Cat-Ears, Dude Wipes and HoneyMaxx. 

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