Thursday, February 21, 2008

Santos 12 Hour 2008

Mike B Pylin in for the trip to SANTOS
Santos 12 Hour Report, Better Late than Never! Took Friday Off of work and set out for Ocala, Florida Via Mike B.'s House in Macon, Georgia. We made good time and arrived in the Vortex approx 2:00. We did loose some time waiting for the Popeye's Chicken to open. The Biscuits were worth the wait later that evening. Monte was there and had already picked out a Prime Spot along the two way trail near the Start Finish.
Team Collard Green Base Camp
I set up my camp/pit area. My pit was in a prime location. I could get right on and off the trail with plenty of room. My tent and all my gear was right behind my Pit Table, the perfect set up.ON the Pre-Ride!
After setting up camp we suited up for a Pre-Ride. I did not have time to switch over my new rear tire so I just rode with the 2.5. It was Mike B. on a Rigid Fixie, Monte on a Carbon Cannondale, Mike from Jax on his FS Cannondale. These guys started off in my XC race pace. I new I wasn't about to kill myself on the Pre Ride so I just let them go right of the bat. The course was Rough and Rugged near the Start and end of each lap. Drops, steep tech climbs, Skinney ladders, single track along cliff drop offs. it was exciting. Some of the Trail looked to be freshly cut in and I noticed some vines with huge thorns. I made a mental note to stay on the trail there. I do not need to get off the trail and pick one of those up. The back side of the course was flat flowy trail with berms you could carry a tremendous amount of speed through. This was the tough part for me. I knew I would need to just sit back and spin through this section every lap.
New MAXXIS Larsen TT 2.3
I made my way the rest of the way around the 9 mile course feeling strong. I was sweating a lot I noticed, It was HOT! I made sure to drink plenty of water once I got back. As I was hydrating I noticed my front tire was going slack. Sure enough I had picked up one of those huge thorns. I decided to go ahead and put on my new rear race tire wile I was at it.
I didn't stay up to late as I needed my rest. I covered most of my stuff up as to not get soaked by the heavy Central Florida Dew. I got up with the birds Saturday Mornin. Boiled some water for my coffee and oatmeal.

Heavy Central Florida DewAbout 15 minutes before the start I decided to go ahead and anchor a good spot on the start line. I had a good time chit chatting with the racers. Some whom I only know through Forums or Blogs. I wanted to get out near the front so I could get some good photos. I started out at a good steady pace and did not let anyone make me "chase" them. I was on MY time, and MY time Alone. I had a wonderful Time navigating the technical parts of the course. I would push hard through these sections and Sit back and cruize through the flat twisty parts.
I was drinking Hour Bottles of Hammer Perpetum and eating Power Gel packs and a PowerBar protein bar. I also had 2 liters of water in my camel bak that I was sipping from constantly.
Bottle Neck!At the half way mark (6 hours) I stopped and took a long break. I showered using gallon milk jugs, right next to the course. Fresh set of clothes, Chicken and pasta, stretched and even laid down for a few minutes. I totally felt revitalized! I was ready to go. Out again I went for one more lap before I have to put on lights.  That was plenty of light for me. The cut off time to go out on your last lap was 9:45pm. I started my 7th lap at approx. 9:00. I was feeling tired in my upper body. My shoulders were cramping some. I had not kept up the perpetuem and gels these past couple laps and I could feel it. By the time I was into the fast, flowy, twisty, section I was broken down like alka seltzer. Both Mentally and physically exhausted. Going over personal things in my life in my head, having conversations with grandparents that have long ago made the eternal journey. Just Picture the dude from the Movie Hidalgo when he's deep in the desert chanting for help, except with a bike.
Off the Small Ladder Drop!  All 7 Laps!
To sum it up, I believe this is going to end up being the Trip/Race of the Year! I had such a good time I'm not sure if there is an event planned this year that will top it.