• Race Report: Vapor Trail 125

    Yowzers! This year was special in more ways than one. First of all, the weather was a huge factor. Rain and snow at the higher elevations had the traditional 10 PM start time pushed back to Midnight to allow the rain/snow to move through. And that was a good call. At 11 PM the rain stopped and we had rain free ride for the most part. Also, due to the weather, the course of just about 130 miles was shortened to 100 miles. Two sections that potentially can add 4-6 hrs of time to your race time were cut out for safety reasons.

    My race I thought would go well....as it has the past 2 years, but the fatigue monster that became huge at last weekends PCP2P caught up with me.

    At midnight, we all rolled out of town. It was a neutral lead out that had us taking about 60 minutes to get out to the gravel and the true start of this race. When we hit the gravel, I went to work at my pace. I was at the front and leading the group. Shortly I was joined by Josh Tostado. We rode together for about 2 minutes before his pace was much harder than I wanted to go. He and another rider (who would drop out some 8 miles later) pulled ahead of the group and out of sight. The group let him go...never to be seen until the finish.

    For me, I kept my pace not getting into the little race battles forming. For the most part I was riding with about 6-7 other people. As this dirt road drives to the Colorado Trail, it gets steeper. My legs were very sluggish on the slightly steeper pitches. This bothered me....but I figure my legs needed to 'come around'. By the time we hit the Colorado Trail, the group of rider I had been with on the road had gotten about 200-300 yrd gaps on each other. Finally riding singletrack in the CO Trail, my legs were ticking along just fine...and at a pace I needed to finish the VT125. Riders in my group included Matt Turgeon, Cully Todd, 'Huck' from CB, and Jason Stubbe. We would soon been join by the womens leader, Ezster Horanyi. Going through the CO Trail my legs got progressively more sluggish. Steep grunt climbs made the legs burn. Granny gear was used when it shouldn't have been. Hike-a-bikes hurt worse than actually riding. Matt Turgeon eventually fell off the pace.......then did I. Both of us were now riding solo with the other riders glowing lights within sight.

    About 4 miles from Aid Station 1, I was joined by Andrew Carney. He passed and stated "I found my legs." I gave a "I feel like hell" reply. I kept pushing on...but it was slow. I finally rolled into Aid Station 1....3.5 hrs after the race started. Josh Tostado had been there 30 minutes earlier. At the aid station was my chase group and Cully Todd. The chase group of Eszter and her man-friend left.....and about 40 seconds Cully Todd and I left. We rode together chatting about the race and what was to come. The pace was comfy. Finally, we empty out on to the paved....then dirt....the jeep road that takes us up to Hancock, CO and the Alpine Tunnel. I fell off Cully's wheel....legs were 5 ton weights. Having been here before, I rode steady hoping to ride through this bad moment....really the first all race. Eventually, I was riding solo until I was caught by Matt Turgeon on his SS. We exchanged words.....and he kept going. Knowing what was ahead I was at the point of no return. Either go back downhill to the Aid Station 1 and bag the ride (a 10 minute ride).....or make it to Monarch Pass.....some 5-7 more hrs of riding.

    VT125 race 09

    I decided to bag the ride. Legs were shelled and sore to the touch. All the racing over the past month....and especially the trench-digging race in Park City are which led me to my fate. I would soon learn that Sonya bailed about 3 miles into the race with light issues and a over stuff pack that blew at the seems. The DNF and DNS rate was high. Most pulled at mile 15 and mile 30. Many didn't even leave town after the start time change. The weather played with peoples mojo....as did the moist course. As for me, my legs are in need of recovery.....from the past month of racing. I need a recharge.

    Time to focus on 2010!