Jay’s Fat Ass 2021

Trio of racers making their way north on County Road 100.

Time flies, and the first ultracycling race of 2021 is also the only one I did in 2020. This time, with people mostly vaccinated, I was going to race, rather than ride solo all the way as in 2020.

It was going to be a tough day with a high of 31 °C and a heat index of 105 °F into 30 km/h headwinds. The race started south of Mahomet at 06:00 at the new race headquarters on Cty Rd 125 E, or Spring Lake. I joined a lead group of 6 that had Tom Keller in it, hoping I would last for about 4 of the 43 km loops before peeling off to keep my heart rate under control land being able to feed and digest. This would yield extra miles by being able to draft for part of the strong headwind while it was still a little cooler.We averaged about 37 km/h for the first 4 loops. At headquarters, I had an efficient routine: replace the used 750 ml 670 kJ Maurten bottle by a fresh one, load a second bottle with ice to have cold water available, and supplement the drink with about 300-350 kJ of a fig bar or baby food pouch every loop.

Sure enough, about halfway through loop 5, my heart rate average was registering 140 bpm, about 15 too high in this heat to be able to digest the calories I needed to keep moving. So I peeled off and went down to 125 bpm for the rest of the race, with good results: the drink/food combination worked well until the last few miles, when my ‘internal governor’ finally had enough. Loop 7 was eased by 300 mg caffeine. I lost 2 kg, with one accounted for by the 25 MJ fat loss, the other by mild dehydration, very good considering the high temperature. I put in 8 loops + 16 km, coming in first in the 51-60 age group by a wide margin, third overall with Tom in the lead. Not too bad considering I ran an 80 km ultramarathon in 07:51 the weekend before. Local Kelley Wegeng won the women’s division.

As always, Jay had a bicycle-themed bottle of wine as award for this well-organized race, which his uncle Rick attended as well. And I saw Ryan and Rikki Linne there, as well as John Alumbaugh, Luke Taggart, Julie Turner, Scott Dahman and many others I had not seen in quite a while.