First two races of the year are already in the bag with Adventure Enablers Run/Ride events at Early Mountain Vineyards. I did not perform very well last year, so I had a lot of personally imposed pressure to not only hit my goals for the MTB, while “trying” to be mindful that I am just over two weeks into my recovery from surgery.

This is the first of three successive weekends I’ll be racing with Adventure Enablers for their Spring Thaw Trail Series and Spring Thaw Mountain Bike Series. Talking with my coach we decided that I would register for the shorter races but still race at a strong pace, and use the trail runs as a warm-up for the mountain bike segments.

Run

Last year I did the 10k, but as mentioned above this year I decided to run the 5k and use this as a warm-up for my mountain bike ride. The route was exactly the same as last year, so it didn’t take long to find my groove and begin picking off other race participants finding myself in fourth place. The guy running first was WAY ahead of everyone else and I lost sight of him at the 1/2 mile mark. The other two individuals that were in front of me were strong, so I decided to match their pace until we found ourselves at the first 5k/10k split section. The two people in front of me took off to the left to continue their 10k run, while I was now in the lead for the 5k runners!

The rest of the two miles was peaceful. I didn’t have anyone behind me stepping on my heals, and nothing but clear trail in front of me. I was smiling ear-to-ear when I crossed the finish line, that is until I noticed the guy who was in the lead at the very beginning was already sitting down and working on a glass of wine! AH! SNEAKY FAST RUNNER! That’s OK, that still means I came in 2nd overall (and technically 1st for my age group).

Rankings

  • Overall: Placed 2nd out of 36 (top 5%).
  • Gender: Placed 2nd out of 11 (top 18%).
  • Male 40-49: Placed 1st out of 31

Strava Run Activity

Ride

Here is was… my moment of redemption. The LD;DR version of last year was I bonked after two laps and had to call it quits. This year I was determined to NOT repeat that performance. I tried to have the game plan of staying relaxed and cool, and to not over exert myself on the first lap, so when I completed the second lap I wouldn’t second guess on going for number three. I had a very nice break between my 5k with a rest indoors (almost fell asleep), eat a Stinger waffle, and drink some water to get ready for round two of the day.

The race started with a lot of ambitious riders in front. I still don’t believe myself as a strong MTB rider, so I was comfortable being in the middle of the pack. The air-horn (somewhat2) sounded and we were off. The weather had not improved since the run, so everyone was riding in slightly cloudy conditions and the temperature was about 30˚F. I mention this because the weather turned for the worse after lap one. I could start hearing rain drops in the trees, but didn’t see anything landing on the ground nor did I feel my clothes getting wet. That was till 10 minutes later ICE RAIN started hitting my face. It felt like hundreds of little needles were attacking my cheeks, and soon ice buildup started freezing my hands. Weather was trying to stop me! I crossed the lap pad for a second time and continued on for lap number three, happy that I’ve gone farther than last year and I also felt I was passing enough people I may be towards the lead of the 1.5h group. That is until SOMEONE PASSED ME. They gave their supportive “Ride On”, but I knew I was running out of gas and the possibility of me regaining my overall placement was dwindling away. Still had a great time, and I now feel accomplished and ready for next week’s race!

Rankings

  • Overall: Placed 3rd out of 30 (top 10%).
  • Gender: Placed 3rd out of 19 (top 15%).
  • Male 40-44: Placed 3rd out of 41

Strava Ride Activity

Start/Finish line of Adventure Enablers

Updated 2018-03-20 (Race Photos)

Footnotes

  1. Official Run Race Results available at Adventure Enablers Results page 2

  2. Air-Horns do not like cold weather. After the first two pathetic sounds for the 2.5h and 2h riders… Mark just screamed “GO” for the 1.5h riders. LOL!