Tuesday, June 17, 2008

winter park hill climb

A race report from my brother (Colorado Springs, CO). Nice work!

The hill climb [was a] 5.3 mile, 2000' climb. The start group was huge, according to the results, 92 people in the start group (63 in the 40-44 age group, 29 in the 44-49 group.)

I started right at the front and gave it a good kick because I wanted to be sure I knew who the leaders were so I knew who I had to chase. Unfortunately, I was quickly passed by 20 or more guys sprinting out. I got a good picture in my mind of the leaders, then just buckled down to a fast pace -- maybe too fast as I was soon fighting a side ache -- which I dealt with all the way up. Within the first mile one leader got away far enough that I could not see him any more. I passed most of the sprinters, and there was a group of 3 that I had to reel in over the next mile or so. Finally at about mile 2.5 I caught and passed the guy I thought was 2nd. He quickly passed me back. I caught him again and as I passed he asked my category. Same one! So he sprinted ahead. I realized he was serious, and I was going to have to pass him decisively and drop him or I'd never shake him. I stuck right on his wheel huffing a puffing loudly so he knew I was there -- and to push him -- hopefully beyond his level. He struggled on the steepest climbs, so I just waited for him to make a mistake. Finally, at about 1.5 miles to go, he picked a loose line about half way up a steep section, slipped slightly, and I attacked. I pushed really hard up the steep and sprinted across a flatter section, then settled back to a
steady, hard cadence for the next up. My side was hurting and I desperately wanted to slow down. Breathe, Breathe, I kept telling myself because I knew to meet my 42 minute goal I had to push. At about 1/4 mi
to go I risked a look back as I rounded the final corner, but didn't see him. Whew. I had nothing left, but forced a push anyway -- not realizing he was sprinting to the finish trying to catch me. There was not enough time. I beat him, but only by a few bike lengths.

I was totally whipped. I almost fell on the ground when I stopped. I still don't know what a side ache (side stitch) is, but it sure hurts. I hurt the rest of the day. I thought I had 2nd, but later, looking at the results, realized there were actually 2 faster guys that dropped us, but both were in the younger age group.


After the finish, I spoke to the guy I played cat and mouse with. He expressed regret for not pushing harder. He thought he had more time, and he regretted not giving it more on course. He probably is the faster rider. What a sad story, I thought. What a sad thing to go home with.

Sorry, here comes the coach in me ... Yes it hurt, but I have no regrets. The deciding factor was mind, not body. That's the way to finish a race -- leave it all on the course.

1 comment:

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