Friday, August 29, 2008

Stage 5: Vail Shake-Up

Today was tough day -

Dennis is cooked - his tank has run dry...and there's (unfortunately) nothing I can do about it. I towed as much as I could without making him pop early on, but there was no juice to work with. So I settled in for a slow cruise to Vail and kept Dennis moving steadily throughout the day. In the end, we covered the 23 miles (37km) from Red Cliff to Vail in 3hrs 50min, over 40min off the leaders, putting us out of contention for the overall...so I thought at the time.

From the finish line, I avoided the post-race chit-chat and B-lined it to the shuttle van for a quick ride back to TR Camp (I know myself well enough to avoid contact when I'm in this state). A quick shower, massage and stretch and I started to forget about the frustrating day...It's nice to be back in Vail, or just civilisation. Our camp is set up in the Ford Park baseball field on the East side of Vail and shuttles are cruising back and forth to the 'downtown' core - giving us a chance to connect with the real world.

As the runners started coming back to camp, word was that the Fluffy Bunnies (who were running 3rd) had gone off route near the finish line and were still MIA - Regardless of how they would finish, an hour penalty would be added to their time putting them out of contention! The other fact that I had almost forgotten was that in our final 9 mile descent into Vail, we passed the Heathens, who had packed it in the for the day- Mark's legs have taken a beating all week and last I saw him, he was hobbling pretty bad.

So, what does that mean in the big picture? After the smoke settled, the top 2 teams will hold their overall spots with Nike/Rogue Valley Runners leading UK's Saab/Salomon Team by 5min or so. Moving into third today will be Alberta's Aerobic Power (Fewster/Masters), which rocked the house today by sneaking in 4th overall (3rd officially - b/c Salomon US doesn't count and Fluffy Bunnies missed a turn)! These boys have been getting better and better everyday and a strong performance today allowed them to gain bigtime!

So even with a poor performance today, I think that we will actually maintain our 4th place in the overall and start tomorrow about 5min off the Aerobic Power duo having lost 20min to them today.

Although there's only one day remaining, it's going to be a very hard 21 miles of up and down to Beaver Creek! I've got Dennis working on his recovery and although I'd love to give AP a run for their money and challenge for the podim, that call will have to wait until we have a few km's under our legs. We'll see what happens...

3 comments:

Ray and Helene said...

Way to go Philippe and Dennis. Especially for the last day, we are behind you and cheering all the way!!!!!!

Eric said...

Phil/Dennis

Keep up the good, hard work. This is a race of attrition and you never know when someone is going to crack. Stay positive and push to the finish. Go for it!
E

Blaine said...

Phil,

Remember that everyone's legs are pretty much cooked! Never think you are totally down and out, because as you saw today, anything can happen...

"The greatest inspitation is often born of deperation" - C. Cotrell