We literally BLEW into GrannyGear town on friday because that is when the wind started and never let up. Friday was a fun day of setting up, checking bikes and being part of a community of health minded people up for the challenges that the deserts of Moab would throw at them. Mad Dog race team hosted 6 teams and we had a cozy camp of over 50 people. We had excellent food from Abbie with the help of Mindy and Marcy and other awesome volunteers.
The next morning I received great news! Carson, Scott, Tim and I were going over the race order for our team. I somewhat jokingly noted to Tim that he was one of the few who beat me running at the first race of the year at the 24 hours of Old Pueblo and maybe he should do the 'Le mans' start. And to my surprise he graciously volunteered to go first. I think that was the first time I haven't run at this venue. It really made the start much more relaxing. Little did I know that I would pay for that at the end of the race.
True to form Tim was one of the first ten around the tree and out onto the course (thanks to the goggles he stole from Joey because it was so windy). That got me out nice and early and obviously into a very competitive crowd. I counted 8 riders that passed me that first lap. It really pushed me the whole time. Interestingly, The remainder of the laps, I had only a couple riders pass me. The 'behind-the-rocks' trail in Moab is really one of my least favorite. It has some crazy rock drops that really beat you up and have a serious "pucker" factor. So I did have a little trepidation of racing a hard tail since all my other races here were on a full suspension. And my first lap I have to admit was rough since I tried to ride it like I did every other time on the full suspensions. I realized I was sitting to much. Subsequently, the other laps I rode with a lot more standing and less saddle work which turned out great. I was able to climb better and faster and had a lot less pain on my back. The combination of sitting and standing prevented fatigue in any one area.
Ultimately, I feel this was one of the easiest races on my body. I did not cramp. I had no back pain, I had no serious crashes and the ARANTIX held up excellently. NO mechanicals! Why?
Maybe it was because I felt more relaxed, Maybe the bike? Hard to tell. But I had a really fun time.
We raced in the 4 man expert category and turned in 7th place out of about 35 expert teams. What I think is even more telling is that over all, we came in 16th out of 365 teams. I compared my times from last year and they were surprisingly very close taking into consideration the different race positions and what I believe was a slower sandier course this year.
Laps completed: 5Total
Elevation Gain: 6800 ft
Total Distance Travelled: 74.55 miles
Lap 1 : 1:14:32
Lap 2 : 1:18:03
Lap 3 : 1:28:30
Lap 4 : 1:29:57
Lap 5 : 1:23:29
TOTAL ARANTIX MILES TO DATE 1785!