Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stage 1: Buena Vista to Railroad Bridge

First stage done...5 more to go.

Stage 1 hurt me, and for a while this afternoon I thought I was in trouble already, but after lots of stretching, a massage and lots of rolling on my new best friend Mr Wilson tennis ball - I'm feeling better.

Aaron, me, Gavin and Cynthia (of Gore-Tex) at the start

It's 9pm and I'm already ready for bed - so I'll jump right to the action and the start of today's race. With the regular pre-race jitters on tap, Gavin and I lined up to the start and counted down the last seconds...

A toy reproduction of BV - located in the BV museum

Despite so many elite 'rookies' on the roster, the start was actually civilized so we tucked in behind a couple teams as we ran down Buena Vista's Main St. A few kms into the race and 5 teams pulled ahead, heading into BV's mountains. A few more kms later and Team Flagstaff and Nike/Rogue Valley Runners and another team (?) broke away from the field, leaving the Canuck crew of Adam Campbell/Aaron Heidt and Gavin and I fighting for 4th and 5th place. The trail was wicked, a fun mix of singletrack and quad trail gradually climbing its way across the BV desert-like landscape for the first 15km. The weather was scorching and we both made sure to drink as much as possible (I think I went through 6 bottles for 32k) - After summitting at 2,800m, we quickly filled our bottles, yelped in happiness and heading down...

Gavin led the way down the hill with good speed - I tucked in behind, putting a gap on our Canadian friends. The downhill was super fun - that is, until my quads started feeling the pain. One thing about working TR Bike 2 weeks prior is that I don't get much of a chance to run downhills - and unfortunately, this is the kind of race in which you absolutely need to have legs that can sustain the pounding effect of long downhills. Gavin, like a good soldier, had taken my advice to heart and put in a few hard workouts in the weeks leading to the race - he was loving it. I...not so much.

Long story short, as the race progressed, my legs deteriorated to the point where cramping started to set in. As we rounded CP3, only 6kms of flat gravel road running remained - By this point, we had built up a good cushion over 4th and knowing this, I stopped to stretch out my lower limbs - painful. I tucked in behind Gavin's shoulder and robotically the yellow the big that the finish? Uh...It's about f#%&in' time.

Despite the pain, I pumped my fist in the air, happy to finish in third - It's been a long time since I've been on the podium at this race (actually, it was the first year, on the first stage with Dom Repta).

I get the feeling we'll have a few more podiums before the week is done-

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Thanks for tuning in.


Mike said...

Awesome job Phil! Looks like you two should be kicking ass all week. Keep stretching.

Patrick said...

great start boys! keep rockin it, keep eating...

Derrick said...

Nice start Phil! All the best in for the rest of the week. Look forward to following along.