Friday, August 14, 2009

Metamore 4x50

Metamora 4x50
After some short fast racing it was time to get back to ultra-distance racing. Metamora is 12 miles outside of Peoria and is run by the Big Dogs group out of the Quad Cities. The route is 50 mile loops that are pretty flat, except for one short steep hill at mile four. This was the third time I have done this race but this time Bill Ford was not with me.

I had not done a fast century since the May 31st Balltown so I was not sure what kind of endurance I still had. The forecast was for heat and wind. I don't mind the wind but the heat usually gets me. 88 riders started the race entering either the 100 of 200 mile races. After the hill the group was down to about 30 as we wandered through the cornfield lined roads on our way back to the start area with an 22 mph average.

The goal for most 200 mile races is to stay with the lead group as long as you can. This is not a problem with a flat course. The challenge comes when you complete the first lap and have to stop for food and water or bathroom break. If you don't stop you risk the chance of bonking. If you stop too long you are by yourself for the last 150 miles. I was ready for a quick "splash and dash" and was in and out in less then 30 seconds to ride with the lead group of 8 starting the second lap. We worked well together and actually finished the second lap 2 minutes faster then the first in a time of 2:15. Riders included Paul Carpenter (RAW 2008 winner), Bryce Walsh (600K indoor track record holder), Jay Yost, Dave Haussler, one of Jays teammates, John Schlitter on a recumbent (2008 Solo RAAM finisher and only recumbent solo RAAM finisher) and one other recumbent. By the end of this lap the sun was out and the temperatures were rising. The wind was blowing 15-25 as well.

The end of the second lap pit stop was as quick as the first. During the third lap Paul, plus Jay's teammate stopped at the halfway sag stop for a break. Shortly after that Jay dropped off the pace with mechanical problems as Dave, Bryce, the two recumbents and I pushed on to the 150 mile mark in 6 hours and 58 minutes.

The third pit stop was a little longer, four minutes. I needed to fill my camel back, get some more salt tablets, and get some clean sunglasses. Bryce got a flat as we left the stop and the two recumbents had already left as Dave and I rolled out one last time. We caught John on his recumbent pretty quick but never saw the other recumbent. Dave and John stopped to cool off at the half way sag and I kept going with the goal of finishing in under 10 hours.

I was unable to catch the last recumbent but held on to be the first finisher in the standard frame class in a time of 9:40. Two minutes slower the my fastest time and five minute behind the recumbent. Not too bad considering the wind. Dave was second in 9:52.

My diet, hydration and sodium was right on for the day. During the ride I drank 140 ounces of water, 68 ounces of gatorade, 44 ounces of perpetuim, 29 S-caps with 400 mg of sodium each, 3 bottles of Ensure, 6 Clif shot bloks, 3 bottles of Sobee, 1 bottle of Cytomax and 2 chicken salad sandwiches. With the heat it is hard to eat solids so I had planned to use mainly a liquid diet. This seemed to be the right decision.

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