• Race Report: Gunnison Growler

    Climbing the 'Notch' at the 2011 Gunnison Growler
    The Growler continues to elude me....for whatever reason. Third time was not a charm...either was this time around, number 4. The course on paper, is a simple 2 lap format which totals 64 miles. For some reason every time I race here I can't put 2 good laps together. It's either the 1 lap that is good and 2nd bad...or vice versa.

    Well this time around, the 1st lap was fantastic...best lap I have ever had at Hartman Rocks under a racing situation.  I was sandwiched in between last years 3rd place rider, Pete Weber and all-around bad ass, Doug Johnson.  I was well within the top 15.....right where I wanted to be for Lap 1.  Knowing how hard and difficult Lap 2 would be, I rode conservative....not digging too deep.  The plan was to negative split the laps...pick up the pace on Lap 2.

    Lap 2 began with a steep climb up the 'Notch', which is seen in the photo above.  The first 1 hour of the 2nd lap was great.....the 1.5 hours after that, no so much.  I had the motivation and the desire to push, but had no power...which is a sure sign of training through the week and not tapering for this race.  So, over the process of not putting out some good power, I began to go backwards.  It wasn't until about 1 hour from the finish that the legs came back around.

    With the mojo flowing like on the 1st lap, I picked up the pace and began to chase down those who passed me.  In the process, about 5 miles from the finish, I hit one of the many sharp rocks and shredded the rear tire.  With riders breathing down my neck, I opted not to change it and ride the rim and flat tire to the finish.  So, for the next 5 miles or so, I would ride the flats and downhills, and run all the uphills.  I managed only to loose 1 place riding the flat....which should would have been worse should I stopped to fix it.

    In the end, I finished in 6 hours and 23rd place overall out of 200+ riders.  Next up is CTR training and the Bailey 100.