Thursday, May 29, 2008

Draper ICUP Race Report

I had plans to get to the race early, get some food in me, warm up the legs, pick up my number, and not be rushed. But that didn't really happen. About mid day, a client called me from the airport stating he was in town for the day and wanted to meet at 3pm down here in Orem. After the longest 2 hour meeting of my life, I rushed him out the door and drove the 30 mins to the EQ and arrived just after 5:30.
I couldn't believe the turn out for a Wed night race (340 racers) and everyone looked fast and in shape. I felt intimidated just pulling into the parking lot.

I quickly changed into my gear which included the pink jersey and met my wife and kids who had come to support me. Rachelle is the best. It's not easy to keep 3 kids occupied for 1.5 hours and make sure they are close by but not actually on the course. I also saw a lot of my friends (I have a lot of very fast friends. More on that later). It was like a big backyard BBQ.

That feeling quickly left as soon as we lined up to start line. I found a spot in the SS class and did the leg check on everyone in my start group. I wasn't feeling super confident. SS riders are usually pretty hard core and everyone looked faster than me. I was running tubless and didn't pack a spare tube on purpose. Sometime a mechanical or flat isn't a bad thing during a race. In fact, there are times when you pray for a flat so you can end the pain.

Just after the start, I managed to position myself about mid pack. The pace was fast but not too bad. Everyone pretty much hung together until the jeep road. Adam L. and I exchanged positions a few times until he gapped me with about about 1/3 of the climb left on the 1st lap. I kept him and the main group insight as we turned off to start the Clarks downhill but was never able to close the gap. There were probably 5 or 6 SS rider behind me. I figured things would finish in this order since lap 2 was only a half lap. To my surprise, I was able to pass at least 2 other SS riders before it was all over and came in 6th or 7th. There was some confusion with the official results but they announced me in 6th place at the end. There must have been about 15 SS riders total. Mid pack sounds about right for me. I think the top 2 were Pro and a lot of Experts.

I didn't have the snap in my legs that I hoped for but overall I was pretty happy with the results. Racing is hard.

How did my friends do?

Brad K. - 1st place Expert (and on a SS)
Tony P. - 1st place Sport (35-39)
Sam (VH1) -2nd place Sport
Jamie P. - 3rd place SS
Aaron Smith - 1st place Sport (30-34)
Justin J. -4th place Sport (30-34)
Elden- 5th place Sport (40 +)
Dug - 10th place Sport (40+)
Whit 1st place
Tasha - 1st place
After that, I lost track. My friends are fast.


Aaron said...

"In fact, there are times when you pray for a flat so you can end the pain."

That had me laughing. I must admit, last year at Snowbird, I've never been so relieved to get a flat (2 of them, actually).

Good job last night. Dicing it up with the SSers is tough business, especially when you are racing against pros.

Anonymous said...

50+? i'm gonna take back some of the nice things i've said about you. and your little dog too.

get offa my lawn.

Rick Sunderlage said...

Dug- Sorry. It was a typo. fixed it. Oh and you get style points as always for rocking the sweet shorts and socks. Love it.

Grizzly Adam said...

That is such a fun course on the SS. Those trails seem tailor made for a single. I gotta get back up there and see more of them.

Good race. It was fun hammering up the jeep road with you. I expected at any moment that you would come barreling past me. I was sort of panicking about it. I think that must be why I rode through a turn. :)

Anonymous said...

In the First race I ever did, I found myself out front of everyone. I had a mini panick attack. I didn't know what to do; I didn't know where the trail went; I didn't know how long the race was; I didn't know whether I could make it to the end going all out.

I had flat about 1/2 through the race and was incredibly relieved.