2009 was the last time I was at this race, 2010 it was rained out so I was really looking forward to getting there this year.
As I approached Columbia it looked like it may be a rain out again as a big glob of red on the radar was approaching. But it broke up just in time with only a few showers that did not impact the trails at all, actually the trails could not have been better.
The rain cooled things off a bit as we started. I lined up with 14 other marathon racers and away we went.
Team mate Mark took the lead with me in 2nd as we entered the first section of trail. Mark and I slowly separated our selves from the rest and he slowly separated himself from me.
Lap 1 I was feeling great and the power numbers showed it, good intensity with NP right about where I though it would be. Trail skills were spot on feeling confident with the downhills, railing corners and have a fun time doing it.
Work: 474 kJ
TSS: 44.1 (intensity factor 0.811)
Norm Power: 222
Still in 2nd place as I started lap two I continued feeling good with no problems.
Work: 432 kJ
TSS: 35.9 (intensity factor 0.722)
Norm Power: 198
The coolness that was felt in lap 1 was gone, the sun came out, the humidity and temps began to reach their peak near 95+ degrees. Near the end of lap 3 I began to feel drained but still had 2 place.
Work: 412 kJ
TSS: 31.3 (intensity factor 0.656)
Norm Power: 180
Lap 4 is where the wheels fell off from the heat, 3rd place rider caught me shortly after the start of lap 4 pushing me back to 3rd. I began to really slow down on this lap coupled with a lack of power. You can tell from the power numbers I struggled taking a long time to finish this lap.
Work: 367 kJ
TSS: 24.5 (intensity factor 0.55)
Norm Power: 151
I finished lap 4 at 2 hours 50 min. To keep 3rd place I would need to complete a 5th lap as I was under the 3 hour mark, that was not going to happen. I held off crossing the line until the 3 hour mark expired. Three more riders came in under 3 hours then went out for another lap, one of them I think I lapped while the other two were heading out for a 5th.
So I ended up 6th on the day with Mark taking home first.
Disappointing finish to the day but felt good about trail skills and the early part of the race. And I got to hang with the Red Wheels folks for a bit which is always and entertaining time.
33 days till cross starts!