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  1. #1
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    Smile Sea Otter Race Report: 2 laps from hell!!

    2 years ago I did my first Sea Otter race, and this year was my first time racing Expert class. I knew going in that was going to be a humbling experience, but I think I got more then I bargained for. I Ďll start with the Short Track race. Last year I got on the podium in sport class so I figured I had a chance at doing well. Yeah Right! For some reason I decided to just hang at the back and play catch up like I did last year. The race started and everyone was GONE. Wait for me you guys! I caught a few riders, finished mid pack. Note to self: Need to start FAST next time.
    XC RACE: 2 laps- I was prepared for a mellow start since we ware doing to laps. They had my group 40-44 as well as 45-49 & 50+ , all start together. Ready set go! Wait for me you guys! Damn! Iím trying to stay with the main pack going up the pavement and hurting big time. I decide to take it down a notch when I notice there are A LOT of people in front of me that I will never catch and itís going to be a long day! (Foreshadowing here) The stutter bumps were much worse then I remembered or they have gotten worse, I was getting pounded big time on my hard tail with my tires at 45 psi! After about 20 minutes I was getting lower back pain like Iíve never felt. I switched to riding like I do on my single speed. Standing. Thanks again Roger_ for taking me on all those SS epics, it saved by ass! Speaking of single speeds, half way into the first lap the Expert Single speeders start to come flying by. A bunch of them had some MTBR clothing. I ended up doing a lot of the ride with guy named Bill from InvernessÖ. Besides the stutter bumps the course was real sandy in a lot of sections I almost went down a bunch of times. Also they changed the course and took out the hike a bike section. I thought this would make it faster, (more foreshadowing) I was very wrong! Finally at the end of lap 1 doing the long climb and Jed (Zonicman) is there in the crowd yelling at me ď move your sorry ass old manĒÖthanks for the love Jed! I get on the pavement and the Single speeders are waiting for a geared guy to draft. I give them a hard time ď Your just waiting for my gears arenít you?Ē I give them a draft and we start lap 2. At this point Iím thinking ď Lets just finish this.Ē Climb up Hurl Hill for the second lap and my legs are starting to hurt big time and I have a long way to go. I have a nasty history of cramping so bad that I have to get off the bike for 5-10 minutes. Iím determined to keep on eating and drinking as much as I can. Half way into lap 2 the carnage is starting to become evident. People cramping and walking the bike, water bottles, and gel wraps everywhere. We are all-miserable and just want to finish this foking race!!!!! I know that climb out has to be coming up soon. Iím really starting to feel the BONC coming on so first the first time ever in a race I eat a cliff bar. Iím usually to out of breathe, but my legs are to tired to get my breathing up that high. Finally, the long climb home. I draft a rider from another class for a while then drop him and proceed up the hill. By now it cold and light rain. Iím almost at the top of the hill and who is there but Jed. The crowd is all gone, and I mean all gone! He yells at me again, I see a couple riders way ahead that I try to catch but my legs are gone. I get on the pavement, itís really cold now, and spin the cranks and come through the start/finish and I hear the announcer call my name, I did it! Take the duct tape off the HR/Speedometer to see my time 3:30!!!!!!!! NO WAY. I figured based on last yearís times it would take me 2:45- 3:00. Then I look at total miles, 43! I thought it was 36? Someone mentioned it was longer with the changes. Everyone was standing around looking shell-shocked. Much longer and harder course then the previous years. Definitely the hardest race Iíve ever done. Iím freezing and need to get to my car, but I stop by the results board. The guy who won my class had a time of 3:00, 35 minutes slower then slower then last and 30 minutes faster then me! I think I finished 20th.
    Sorry for the long report, but it was a long race Here is a shortrack pic.
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  2. #2
    JFR
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    [QUOTE=merlin].
    Sorry for the long report, but it was a long race [QUOTE]

    You'll owe us an apology when you give a SHORT report... your long reports are a pleasure, thanks for sharing. I especially enjoyed this report because I could totally relate to your suffering... that's how I always feel when I race (only I place much worse than you).

  3. #3
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    Thanks!

    Did you do the 2 laps also?

  4. #4
    fc
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    3:30?? That's a long time to be going all out on a bike! There's a really a big jump when racing sport to expert at Sea Otter because of this 2 lap thing.

    If it's any consolation, when Weir first did expert course on sea otter 2 years ago, he just died on the second lap.

    43 miles in the sand, and wind and you guys got the cold rain too. Well you left it all on the trail and that's what counts!

    1.8 panaracers may not have been the best choice on that course on a new hardtail. Hey, there's a reason some fast guys still use 2.4 mutanos out there. I hear the tire of choice were the 2.1 epic wolfs. Big, light and fast.

    Good job and bounce back like a champ!

    francois

  5. #5
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    I raced yesterday as well, I only did one lap. That was enough in of itself. Do you really think that the laps were 21.5 miles? Maybe you odometer needs calibration. I know they added some single track after climbing hurl hill and the section that was different near the hike a bike. It was hard for me to tell how much more they added since some of the time I did not know where the hell I was on the course or where I would end up. I did see that the Pros times were about 20-30 minutes longer than last year, and that is with better conditions this year than in 2003. That is a long race my man, congratulations for completing it.

  6. #6
    JFR
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin
    Did you do the 2 laps also?
    Heck no! 2 laps would take me 2 days :-)

    I've never raced Sea Otter. I was just refering to my experiences doing "local" XC races.

    Hope to meet/see you at Steve's this weekend for the mini-gathering.

  7. #7
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    Odometer

    Quote Originally Posted by Goose127
    I raced yesterday as well, I only did one lap. That was enough in of itself. Do you really think that the laps were 21.5 miles? Maybe you odometer needs calibration. I know they added some single track after climbing hurl hill and the section that was different near the hike a bike. It was hard for me to tell how much more they added since some of the time I did not know where the hell I was on the course or where I would end up. I did see that the Pros times were about 20-30 minutes longer than last year, and that is with better conditions this year than in 2003. That is a long race my man, congratulations for completing it.
    Not sure if my Odemeter is 100% perfect, but I'm sure it's not way off. I heard a few other people say they had 22 miles on theirs as well.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois
    I hear the tire of choice were the 2.1 epic wolfs. Big, light and fast.
    I used 2.1 epic wolfs on my ss and can attest to the fact that they were perfect.

  9. #9
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    congrats!!

    just finishing sounds like an accomplishment in and of itself.

    3.5 hrs is a long time to be racing.

    rt
    "where are you not going so fast?" (question asked to cyclist on a trainer)

    *rt*'s fabulous blog
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