This past weekend was Andrew Mein's Excellent Adventure at Granogue, which is just a long way of saying fun. It's one of two racing weekends (the other being a pair of Cross races in the fall) held on private grounds at the DuPont estate. The weekend has changed formats over the years (and rumor has it will again next year) but this year the party included a 10k trail run and 3 mile time trail on Saturday...then Sunday came the normal gambit of XC races and a four hour endurance race. For the truly sick at heart they created the Iron Monkey, which is there version of a "triathlon" for the lack of a better word. The IM competitors did both the run and TT on Sunday, then had to do the endro on Sunday.
FatMarc, L-Webb, Tom and Buddy put on some of the best events in the area and put in more time doing so then must people will ever know. With that said, then I was offered the opportunity to help out I jumped at it. With this my weekend started Friday helping out with the course marking.....Wifey showed up a few hours later and helped me knock out our area before heading home to repack the car for Saturday.
Saturday morning came early, but lets face it.....if you shove donut holes in my face at 6AM I'll be there. An hour before the 10k start time (9AM) multiple people were saying "where the Hell is everyone." We all have the mindset of mountain bikers, if the race starts at nine you need to be there two hours before (lots earlier for some) between setting up a pit area, getting your race number, warming up, maybe preriding the course, etc....not to mention riders start staging at the start line 15-20 minutes before there race.
About half an hour before start time runners started walking up in small groups, and within 15-20 minutes we had 150 runners ready to go. But something just seemed wrong, the race was starting in 2-3 minutes and 95% of the runners were standing 15 yards back from the starting line in small groups quietly talking......some were even laughing. What was wrong with these people, there was no trying to push and squeeze your way into the gridlocked first five rows of riders...it's like they were civilized or something.
But the race started and we all headed out....yes, I said we...myself included...really, I have proof.
The run went well for someone that's not a runner, just kept a mild pace the whole time (been having calf problems when I have been running) and tried not to hurt anything. Somehow I ended up in the top 25%.
After the race the runners disbursed just as fast as they came, in/out in less then two hours...still weirds me out. But next was the TT, Marc joking (in a way) called it the " DE, MD, PA, NJ Mountain Bike Time Trial State Championships." And what's a championship without a photo:
The TT was fun....fun in the way as I should have stayed home and just kicked myself in the nuts kind of fun. The last thing my legs wanted to do was sprint for 20 minutes only a couple hours after the run, but it was over before I knew it.....and the course record was destroyed by over two minutes in the mean time.
Wifey and I headed out in time to get dinner and home for an early night with the furry kids before what would be again an early ass morning.....have donut holes, will travel.
Driving down Sunday morning Wifey asked how my body felt, "like we're driving home from an endurance race not to one" I told her. So after doing a little helping out and alot of sitting on my ass:
I started to get warmed up for the race. From looking at last years race I knew the leaders did six laps, so that was my goal.....I would have been ok with five given my body was shot, but I still wanted six.
I ended up rolling down to the starting line a little late (10 minutes before kinda late) and was far from upset having to line up mid pack......little did I know Marc was gonna give Jeff, Buddy and myself a call up for the work "we" did....and by we I mean they did, Buddy has put more work into others trails then anyone and should have been given a five minute head start.
The lap starts with a 300-400 meter sprint down a paved road, so needless to say with the way my legs felt and Buddy being on a single speed being front and center was both awesome and horrible. The horn sounded and Buddy and I huddled together as close as we could as we rolled down the road as not to be ran over by the thundering her the filed by us on both sides. About midway down the road we finally got more then what felt like an inch apart and started the single track about mid pack. I followed Buddy thru the first few areas so I could watch his lines, but he had to pull over to fix a small mechanical problem....the next time I saw him was a few hours later with a beer in his hands.
So like any endurance race you just find your grove and roll with it...and even thou it took a hour my body started to come around, one of the few times I've felt better the longer I rode.
By the time I finished my third lap I was working on the math for the fifth and sixth....was gonna be close on time to head out for a sixth.
Lap four ran into five and I made the cut off to go out for a sixth lap by about 3-4 minutes. I did little more then slow down in the pits as Wifey did a bottle hand off to me.....it took me a few minutes of riding to run thru in my head Buddy calling my name and well as seeing Jeff standing there. A quarter of the way thru the lap I heard L-Webb saying that Jeff was not very happy with me, seeing me go out for another lap made him think he also needed to in order to stay first in the IM results (not so, but we did not really know at the time.) I yelled back to tell'em I'm sorry and that this would be the slowest lap in Granogue history.
Wifey met me at the finish line with my recovery drink and everything else under the sun. A few minutes later I was changed, somewhat cleaned up and had beer in hand...I wanted to do it as fast as I could before my body shutdown. Which happened about 20 minutes later as I started falling asleep in a chair in the registration area as Wifey helped with results. Tom walks up and says "go lay down of the couch in the trailer." I said thanks, but I'm ok......he replies with "I'm telling you not asking." I next thing I know is I hear "he's sleeping in the trailer" over off the microphone and Jake D. opens the door..."they're calling you to the podium, they're calling you to the podium."
Out the door I stumble with my eyes hardly even open, 8th of the 60ish Solo men:
and 4th in the IM....it's not that I could not stand up, I just felt like a tool standing in a spot that was not mine.
After I was awake a little it was time to clean up my course marking mess....still half asleep.
Looks kind of like Arnold Schwarzenegger meets the Pillsbury doughboy.
I what to say thanks to Marc, L-Webb, Buddy and Tom for once again a great weekend, hope we made things a little bit easy for you.