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  1. #1
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    Fall Color Festival Race at Kettle Moraine

    Has anyone done this race before? I plan on going for my first time. I'll be racing in the 5 mile. For those who don't know about it, it is a race called the Fall Color Festival which is held at Kettle Moraine south in LaGrange (technically Whitewater), WI.

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  2. #2
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    Looks like my kiddo and I will be racing with you. The 5miler will be our 1st XC race. We did our first Super D ( with 2 minute interval starts vs a pack start) a couple weeks ago down in Brown Cty IN. Figured this is a good intro race as we know the course. However, navigating other riders should be interesting in this more traditional start.

    My guess is the 5 miler mostly newbie riders like us. Which means potential bottle necks at Richards Revenge going down and that long climb on the white loop. Hopefully the first brown loop will sort some of that out.

    Believe me I talk much more confidently than I ride! I'd just put up a blog post about how the Fall Colors Festival was were I first tried to mtb 2 years ago and so is the perfect place for my first XC race. Regardless, it's a great event.

    http://gardenkim.blogspot.com/2012/0...-baby.html?m=1

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    Cool. It is a pack start huh. Darn, I thought (was hoping) it would be more of a timed start like world cup downhill or enduro. I hope I can get through.
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    The 5 miler is for kids, 12 miler a beginner event. Things are a little more interesting in the 22 or 30 miler if you are looking to "race". It is a well run, relaxed and fun event that helps fund the trail maintenance. My kids and I have enjoyed it over the years.

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    Wait, so the 5 mile is going to be filled with kids? I thought that's what the children's race is for. I'm a competitive 16 year old and was thinking it would be an all out sprint for 5 miles. Would I be signing up for the wrong race then? (lucky me I haven't signed up yet)
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    Since you are 16 and competitive, you will enjoy the 12 or 22 miler. Check last year's results for a better idea of ages and times in each distance. My middle boy has done the 12 miler the last few years and he just turned 14. If we were in town he would be racing the 22 miler this year. We will be in Ashville NC riding the trails in Pisgah and will miss this year's event.

    Good luck and have fun.

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    I see a different thing looking at the 2011 results. 1/3 solo riders under 18 another 1/3 parent/child riding together. Final 1/3 old farts (me?!?) doing first race.

    Are you at a point you can ride 12 miles without a rest break? If so do the 12 miler. And ride hard, really push yourself. I know my kiddo (he's almost 13) is not. I have never ridden more than 5ish miles at the Kettles without stopping ( and at a leisurely pace), so I'm torn between 5 & 12.

    Think about your goals for this.... Are you trying to push , be competitive? Then ride 12. Are you tentative about the pack start, just want to check out racing, do the 5 miler. But don't do 5 just to get on podium. Trust me, it'll feel like a hollow victory after.

    Oh and next August, drive south and do the Sub9 SuperD in Brown County, IN. Great trails, great race, great organizers. And 2 minute interval starts.

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    Ok 22 miles is too far. I could go for the 12 mile.

    Off topic: just an out of the blue guess, you don't happen to have a Porsche 993 RS do you?
    Last edited by nhlpat; 09-06-2012 at 05:25 PM.
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    Ok thanks, I'll do the 12 mile then. It will be my first race but I don't want to have that "I won the b team championship" feeling. As for the Indiana one, I live in Chicago and gas is expensive. The reason I'm going to this one is that I missed out on the Palos meltdown.

    Thanks everyone for the responses btw

    Edit: last year, the 14 mile had 114 people and the 5 mile had 34. would that huge difference mean anything to me?
    Last edited by nhlpat; 09-06-2012 at 06:16 PM.
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    I've changed my mind. I went for a ride today and I realized my asthma would make the 5 mile a challenge, let alone the 12 mile. And it is my first race, so I want a good result.
    Last edited by nhlpat; 09-12-2012 at 08:21 PM.
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    Probably a good decision. I'm still torn between 5 and 12.

    The question for me, do the race I can ride non-stop ( and mostly clean) or the one I may have to stop and catch my breath. And that I'll be pushing in a couple of spots. I still get caught on roots in a couple places of Hells Kitchen and then there's the climb just before you re- join the brown loop. What I call no f-Ing way hill. And I've still never done the Squirrel Loop of the Blue.

    We rode Muir today. Brown-green-white-brown loops. The dry summer has really exposed more rocks in many spots. But last nights rain had everything in great shape.

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    I'll be there, did the 14 mile last two years. It was 12.2 miles according to my phone GPS. Planning on doing the 30 mile this year because "why not"; I won't be competitive in any distance so I might as well get the most bang for my buck!

    Here's the strava from last years race I recorded Mountain Bike Ride Profile | Fall colors festival 14mile near Whitewater | Times and Records | Strava

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeakJones View Post
    Planning on doing the 30 mile this year because "why not"; I won't be competitive in any distance so I might as well get the most bang for my buck!
    Wow, going from the 14 (or12?) to the 30....that's incredible. Good for you! You pushed me over the should I do the 5 I know I can or the 12 where I'll struggle decision. Either way I'll not be competitive( can you say dead last), so probably should do the one that will challenge me. Just registered or the 12, so I guess I'm locked in.

    And I suspect, you'll be passing me somewhere on the course.

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    I've done enough full montys (~27 miles) that I figure I'll at least finish the race haha. Not going to push my pace though and really just want to get it done in less than 3h 15m. Did most of the blue loop last night, blew up my front tubeless tire and the valve was broken so I had to do quite a bit of walking too haha

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    So did everyone who was planning on going go? I did, went for the 30 mile event as I had planned, and finished. Got first in my age bracket....sure there was only one other guy, but I beat him dammit! He must have had a mechanical issue to be slower than me. Here's my GPS tracks from the event.... just waiting for the pictures to go up on the website now. Mountain Bike Ride Profile | 30miles near Whitewater | Times and Records | Strava

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    Quote Originally Posted by BeakJones View Post
    So did everyone who was planning on going go? I did, went for the 30 mile event as I had planned, and finished. Got first in my age bracket....sure there was only one other guy, but I beat him dammit! He must have had a mechanical issue to be slower than me. Here's my GPS tracks from the event.... just waiting for the pictures to go up on the website now. Mountain Bike Ride Profile | 30miles near Whitewater | Times and Records | Strava
    You beat me to asking the same question.

    Congrats on winning your age group...did you also beat your goal of under 3:15? Need to look at your link.

    Yep, we were there. Again a great festival, so impressed with the work the organizers and the South Kettle Moraine IMBA group do not only in putting the festival/race together but the skills park and the trails in general. Lots of evidence of tons of work in the time from last Sunday to race day. Re-worked exit from the skills area, new signage and entrance to a beginner loop, and some dirt fill in and re-work on the area as you exit the brown and go into that final stretch of double track, which was getting a bit rutted out and loose. I have no idea how they got so much done in so little time, but am hugely grateful. (Mental note to leave donation on next trip down).

    I'm guessing NHLPat is the Patrick that won the 5miler. Great sprint against the second place finisher - both as they came past from brown to white but also at the finish. Looks like they pushed each other hard in the white loop! My kiddo took fourth in that race, getting the medal in his age group. He was thrilled for his first XC race (he did an intro SuperD in Brown County IN last month).

    I did do the 12miler, tried repeatedly to talk myself out of it. Was pretty scared of the squirrel loop piece of the Blue I'd never ridden. My goal was to finish. My aspirational goal was to finish under 2 hours. Made that too, so happy. No medals, but not last for either overall or women, so happy. Know now that I can handle anything Muir throws at me, which is a nice feeling. Guess I need to venture to Emma Carlin now, too.

    Next year plan on sticking with the 12miler, hoping to knock 20-30 minutes off the time. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner) should get a blog post up about the day.

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    Yep that's me. Shawn and I passed each other many times. If I do race next year, it will be the 12 mile, that is for sure. I forgot to put the GoPro on my head, so I only have these pictures (they are actually just me fooling around with a fancy camera):
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fall Color Festival Race at Kettle Moraine-img_6416.jpg  

    Fall Color Festival Race at Kettle Moraine-img_6423.jpg  

    Fall Color Festival Race at Kettle Moraine-img_6426_edited-1.jpg  

    Fall Color Festival Race at Kettle Moraine-img_6456_7_8_tonemapped.jpg  

    Fall Color Festival Race at Kettle Moraine-img_6408.jpg  

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    Damn I missed this! I live 45 mins away from Kettle Moraine, I absolutely love the trails.

    Then again 1. I have never raced before, 2. I need more cardio and a tad more technical training, and 3. My bike is extremely heavy and not fit to race

    :/ maybe next year
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    Quote Originally Posted by mk.ultra View Post
    Damn I missed this! I live 45 mins away from Kettle Moraine, I absolutely love the trails.

    Then again 1. I have never raced before, 2. I need more cardio and a tad more technical training, and 3. My bike is extremely heavy and not fit to race

    :/ maybe next year
    Your post sounds like describing me. Well, all but the heavy bike piece. And that is why I think this will be a great first race for you. You know the trails, so that bit of the unknown in mtb racing is covered. And I suspect the racing / competitive nature will get you to push a bit of those technical skills or at least ride through some areas you may have walked in the past. But remember there's no shame in having to walk sections of a race. Forward progress is the goal - however, you do that.

    What I found is once we (hubby, son and I were all XC racing first timers) committed to being in a race, we all started riding harder. Pushing ourselves more. Trying to go longer without a break. Trying to actively recover from a climb while still pedaling versus standing on the side of the trail sucking air. Unfortunately we only had 2-3 weeks of this mindset. Of training, for what it was worth.

    But it also was a breakthrough for all of us. We all want to do it again. We all want to ride harder and longer. Deciding to do the Fall Colors Festival race, at the trails we often ride, brought us to a new level of passion and interest in the sport. Its a good thing. Even if I finished in my race 7 out of 9 women, and 107th overall. I look at it as competing with myself, proving something to myself.

    The boys on the other hand did hit the podium for their age groups in their race.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kimikaw View Post
    Your post sounds like describing me. Well, all but the heavy bike piece. And that is why I think this will be a great first race for you. You know the trails, so that bit of the unknown in mtb racing is covered. And I suspect the racing / competitive nature will get you to push a bit of those technical skills or at least ride through some areas you may have walked in the past. But remember there's no shame in having to walk sections of a race. Forward progress is the goal - however, you do that.

    What I found is once we (hubby, son and I were all XC racing first timers) committed to being in a race, we all started riding harder. Pushing ourselves more. Trying to go longer without a break. Trying to actively recover from a climb while still pedaling versus standing on the side of the trail sucking air. Unfortunately we only had 2-3 weeks of this mindset. Of training, for what it was worth.

    But it also was a breakthrough for all of us. We all want to do it again. We all want to ride harder and longer. Deciding to do the Fall Colors Festival race, at the trails we often ride, brought us to a new level of passion and interest in the sport. Its a good thing. Even if I finished in my race 7 out of 9 women, and 107th overall. I look at it as competing with myself, proving something to myself.

    The boys on the other hand did hit the podium for their age groups in their race.
    Thanks for the inspiration, gonna run my ass off through winter and come back hard in spring
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    mk.ultra- Not sure which direction you live 45 minutes from the Kettles, but if it's north, don't forget about Ray's over the winter (http://www.raysmtb.com/mke/index.php ). Great place to work on those technical skills - logs, rocks, climbing over rocks/roots. Plus the cross country trail will keep you pedalling a few miles. And fun to boot.

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