I entered this race in the dead of winter thinking I would surely be fit enough to do a 7 hour race by the end of May.....wrong! I signed up for the two lap, 64 mile option but decided to do the one lap, 32 mile bailout option. I could have done the longer version but leg cramps and fatigue take away from enjoying the sweet single-track that Gunnison has to offer. I figure that 3-1/2 hours isn't really a bail-out anyways...
Here's Doug Johnson (#9) in the lead group up "Kill Hill" with over 300 riders chasing. Doug placed 12th overall (!) after some serious mechanicals. Freak.
Here's Matt Daigle (#65) following former Pro Susan Demattei (#357). I think she had the advantage since her husband, Dave Wiens is the promoter and course designer. Oh, she is also an extremely talented bike rider. Matt would have won the 1/2 Growler in his age group. On three weeks of training. Freak.
A little further back....it's Don Hull (#116) and me (to the left of #341's face). I think there are still around 200 riders behind us. Crazy.
Future Pro Scott Nagelkerke (#173) heading for 4th in his class and 37th overall. Not bad for a former roadie who can run a marathon in 2-1/2 hours on 4 weeks of training. I think he trained for this race for about 3 weeks.... freak. I need to find a lower class of friends. These guys are killin' me.
Here I am tucked in behind the 3rd place overall woman, Jari Kirkland. Really, that's my shoulder and foot.
This is the kind of riding that greeted us deep into the first lap (and second lap for the really hardcore). Awesome!
Here is Don, Scott, Mike and Daniel the night before...sure, they are smiling now. Ha.
This was our room at Island Acres in Gunnison. Kind of a throwback to the 50's motels. A really cool place to stay and pet friendly to boot.
The day after the race, Cindy and I headed to Gunnison for breakfast at the Firebrand. It was very popular and we saw many friends there, including 2nd place overall Travis Brown (super nice guy). Then we drove to the Black Canyon National Park to check out the scenery: