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Posted by Administrator on 02/19 at 09:48 AM • (0) Comments
May 18th weekend races
I raced in the Thunder in the Valley Olympic Distance Triathlon (800K swim/40K bike/5.0 mile run) in Terre Haute, IN. I finished 40th out of 136 overall and 3rd out of 10 in my age group with a time of 2:01.46. I was seventh after the swim (8:17), 20th after the no draft bike leg (24.8 miles @ 21.6 mph) and 40th after the 5.0 mile run (40:42). The 25 year old professional winner completed the race in 1:39.02. I was rocking the Wildcard colors and will forward a picture if any show up on the race website.
Black partridge,Mountain bike
I started off strong as I went into the woods 4th wheel with Jason Rassi and Aaron fader. I went to grab a bottle off my water feeder and I realized it had fallen over. With 90 Degree temperatures and no water I started to cramp up. Finished 7th in Cat 1.
The beginning of the 2013 May Madness Sprint Triathlon at Lake Sara was chaos. 84 participants started the swim in a single wave. I was badly positioned as I heeded the starter’s instruction to stay on the beach. A lot of other athletes waded into the water before the starting siren. I spent the first half of the 400m swim just trying to find open space and avoid kicks to the face. I often like to draft at the start of the race, but I was surrounded mostly by slower swimmers and received little benefit. I probably should have lined up to the outside of the first turn to reduce the commotion, but I was a little rusty on tactics as this was my first race of the season. I was in the clear, but out of breath after about 200m. I exited the water in 7th place, but was passed just as I crossed the transition mat. It was a slow swim compared to past performances, but not a disaster.
As I started the bike, I did not know how many people were ahead of me. I passed a few in the early going, including two that were in my age group. Approaching the turnaround of the 13-mile out-and-back course, I counted 4 riders ahead. I passed the leader 1/2 mile before the turnaround, meaning he was a full mile ahead of me on the course. I caught 2 more riders on the way back into a gentle headwind, so I knew that I was on the podium if I could avoid getting passed on the run.
As I headed onto the 5k run, the last guy I passed on the bike was entering the transition. (It was the same guy that pipped me into the first transition.) I kept my eye on him as I ran around the “circle of death” loop that begins the mostly out-and-back course. As I rounded the corner onto Beach Road, I could see the 2nd place runner ahead. The leader was long gone. After the first mile, the landscape opens up, allowing a view across most of the next mile. I tried closing the gap to 2nd place, but it seemed to grow slowly with each step. At the turnaround, it seemed that the guy in 4th was closing. Would he keep accelerating in the second half? Would he run out of road before he caught me? Would he blow up? Would I blow up? I seemed to hold a steady pace through the finish and peeked over my shoulder as I approached the last 400m. No one was in sight and I cruised to a 3rd place finish. (Full results: http://www.cuttingedgeevents.net/results/MAY%202013/May_Madness_OA.htm) I also managed 2nd in the bike split, trailing only the overall race winner.
John Betenia raced the MATS series at Kankakee, results have not been posted yet.
Great job all.
Posted by Karl on 05/21 at 11:08 AM • (0) Comments
Calvin’s Challenge - 12 hours in Springfield, Ohio
While the criterion racers are busy in Champaign-Urbana, the ultra racers are not holding back. Paul Dunklau, Martin and Jay headed east on Friday night. Temperatures were nice, but Calvin’s Challenge 2013 was a tough loop on the south and east stretches, with 16-20 mph winds blowing all day. About 200 racers reported to the start line at 7:30 AM, including favorite Collin Johnson, who wields a dangerous combination of youthful acceleration and mature stamina. Within minutes, the pattern of accelerate-decelerate whittled the race from 200 to a lead group of 6, including Jay and Martin. Paul wisely chose to find another group to ride a more sustainable pace. After 140 miles of acceleration-cruising, usually pushed by Collin at an average of 23 mph, Martin had enough and dropped to his own pace: even a pull from a friendly recumbent in the lead group was not enough to keep up. After 180 miles, Jay did the same. In the meantime, Paul was working steadily with various groups, but many were too slow for him and he rode alone quite a bit. Jay was riding a strong and steady pace, and would eventually come within 3 miles of Collin, who got a bit tired from his own devices at the end of the race!
The usual little mishaps occurred during the race: Jay forgot to restock his water bottles for one 50 mile loop. Fortunately, Collin had a spare, and ultra-etiquette was to go into a neutral roll while Jay refilled at the aid station. Both Martin and Paul wasted about 10 minutes missing a turn while laboring alone in the wind. Towards the end of the race, while Martin and Jay were zipping around the shorter loop, Martin rode over a discarded swiss army knife blade that cut his tire in half and embedded itself 1” into the rim. Fortunately, extraction of the blade and replacement of a new tire took only 20 minutes because Calvin’s has a neutral support crew that got to work on the wheel.
In the end, Paul and everyone in the lead group (including the recumbent and another strong young racer in 20-25) won first place in their age group: Collin at 258 miles (overall win), Jay at 255 miles, Martin at 234 miles, and Paul at 212 miles. Jay came in 2nd, and Martin 4th among the standard frame riders (the race also had HPVs, recumbents and even high wheelers in it).
Photo: From left to right: The 1st place 40-44, first place 25-29 and overall, 1st place 45-49 and first place 15-19 winners.
Posted by Karl on 05/06 at 06:17 AM • (0) Comments
Sylvan MTB Race
The Sylvan Island race in Moline, IL was yesterday. Unlike last year the trail conditions were nearly perfect. There was lots of tough competition at this race because it was combined with the Iowa series=lots of very fast and very skilled riders! Aaron took 12th, I took 8th. Both raced cat 1. We both had great races. I could not have ridden any faster or better--29er was awesome!! I think Aaron feels the same although was not happy with his tire choice in the relatively dry conditions.
Posted by Karl on 04/15 at 06:41 PM • (0) Comments
We took off from home on Friday afternoon after dropping my daughter off for her class trip to Italy. About 3 hours on the road my wife and I arrived at Hillsboro Illinois. Our hotel (the red rooster inn http://www.redroosterinn.net/) was kind of cool if you like antiques and old houses. An old style hotel with actual keys for your room and real furniture!
As soon as we got settled in I hopped on my bike and went to go pre-ride the course. Everything was going swimmingly until about halfway through the course I had to ride through some rough gravel and wound up getting a flat. I changed the flat, but in my haste must not have checked it very well because as soon as I put the co2 on the stem and released it popped the second tube (most likey because it was pinched between the tire and the rim). So at this point I’m stuck. I call Julie to come and get me, as I’m talking to her I realize that I have the car keys in my jersey pocket and she can’t drive out to rescue me. She goes down into the hotel bar and asks about getting a cab to come and get me. This small town has no cab service available so the owner of the hotel actually offers to come and get me. Luckily it wound up not being needed because a group of cyclists came through and helped me out. The group wound up being the race director and some other volunteers and they called a truck to come and get me and take me back to my hotel. At this point saying I felt discouraged was an understatment. My initial plan for Friday night was to eat something healthy and decent and not drink any beer. After the night that I had, I wound up stuffing my face with pulled pork nachos and a ponyshoe (brisket and gravy surrounded by a “horseshoe” of fries and sauce). Then proceeded to wash it down with about 3 draft Sierra Nevada pale ales and a six pack of Ranger IPA.
I woke up the next morning feeling like crap from my depression binge the previous night. That condition didn’t really help my nerves in the least. I’m sure Julie was sick to death of hearing me talk about the different scenarios. Everything from “I’m going to get dropped off the back because I feel like shit” to “My teammates are going to be pretty disappointed in how I’m going to ride today”. This morning was quite possibly the longest morning of my life as I slowly got everything ready to head to the race. Continuing on my healthy living tour, I thought the only McDonalds in town was as good a place as any for a healthy pre-race breakfast. I’m sure many champions have started their day with a sausage mcmuffin with egg and a hash brown right? After eating my shameful breakfast I was nervous and disgusted with myself as we arrived at the race. Registration was pretty uneventful, I got right through and received my number to pin on my jersey and tracking anklet. As race time approached I set my trainer up in the parking lot to get my legs warm. Ryan was doing the same about 20 feet away.
At about 10:30 am the women’s cat 4 group took off, which meant the Men’s cat 5 were next. This was it, no turning back now as Aaron, Kyle, Ryan, and myself made our way up to the start line.
As we’re sitting in line the race director explains all the rules of the race. Don’t ditch your water bottles in the ditch. Race clean and be respectful. Don’t cross the center line, don’t pass the pace car etc etc. It was now time to race. There would be a neutral start until we get to the first bridge on the way out of town.
As we’re rolling in our neutral start there are a ton of guys already jockeying for position towards the front of the peloton, which I thought was weird so I just stayed towards the back of the pack. As we crossed the bridge I was expecting all hell to break loose since we were only racing for 1 30 mile loop. Nope.... In fact I couldn’t even tell the difference from how we were doing the neutral start out of town. My original plan was to stay with the front group and don’t pull unless I had to. Do that for 3/4’s of the race and then get a good leadout about 25 miles in. I was following the plan pretty good until the 1st hill. I was at the back of a group of about 30 riders going into the first climb. It was on this hill that I wound up passing about 3/4’s of the field with very little effort. As we’re sitting up near the front of the pack Kyle and I started chatting about how this feels like a Saturday group ride and we’re wondering when the “race” is going to start. This situation lasts until about 6 miles into the race. 6 miles in I figure that I’m going to try to pull a little bit and increase the pace of the race.
I get up to the front with one of the other riders in a 2-wide pace line for a bit. I’m not happy with the pace so I start going a little harder out front, and before long I realized I was about 10 meters ahead of the peloton. I start thinking “great, now i’m out here doing extra work”, but instead of slowing down and sinking back into the pack I just keep going at the rate I’m going figuring once I get a little uncomfortable I will get swallowed back up by the peloton. Wrong.... The next time I look back my lead on the peloton had increased by about 20 meters or so. We go into a couple of climbs and I start thinking to my self “I’m going to try to blast as fast as I can up this climb and see what happens”. So that’s what I did. I did the first climb, then there was a second smaller climb. After the second climb I was probably a good half mile ahead of the peloton by this point. A short time later I looked back and noticed a couple of guys trying to bridge to me. One of them got pretty close but wound up blowing up before he could get to me and sank back into the group. I’d find out later that those two guys were actually fighting each other instead of working together to bridge the gap.
My breakaway happened around the 6 mile mark in the race, which I was thinking the entire time was really really stupid in what is an almost a 30 mile race. Luckily Aaron and Kyle are aware i’m an impatient dummy and they seemed to have had quite the fun time getting up to the front and slowing down the rest of the peloton. Every time they’d get up front they would slow the pack down to about 17mph! After the race it was hilarious to hear some of the other teams talk about their tactics. Without those two I’m pretty sure that leadout would have failed.
Around mile 27 or so I really started feeling it. I had been fighting about a 12mph head wind in the open countryside for awhile with out any protection. As you arrive into town there are two climbs. I give the first climb everything that I have, I’m really hating life by the top and I can feel my heart beating in my neck. I look down at my heart rate and it’s in my maximum range of 180-185. Tunnel vision starts coming on a little bit and I feel like I’m going to bonk. I round a corner and see the second climb. At this point I start getting a little wobbly on the bike. Knowing it’s less than 2 miles to the finish after this climb I put my head down and keep going… pretty slowly. At the top of this climb is a pretty decent descent into the main part of town and on to some brick roads. I rest all the way down the descent and turn around to see if anyone was coming up behind me (there wasn’t yet). I ride the final mile of the race on flat brick roads and come around to the 200 meter mark where the brick turns back into asphalt. I turn around and there are people sprinting behind me. But it was too late. I wound up at the finish 12 seconds in front of the 2nd place finisher.
Had Aaron and Kyle not had such a blast slowing the peloton down for me, my foolhardy leadout might not have worked. Big kudos to them on having my backside covered (literally).
Ryan reported that he would up getting stuck in a slower moving group that got strung out from the main group at some point, but still finished a very respectable 28th.
1st Jeff Turner
5th Kyle French
6th Aaron Lael
28th Ryan Harden
Posted by Karl on 03/26 at 03:46 PM • (0) Comments