Sunday, October 19, 2008
9 hours 30 minutes
The profile view of the Rock y Road 50/50 speaks volumes. After descending one of the most technical trails in all of Arizona, you then have to get on your road bike and ride a little under 6,000 feet up Mt Lemmon. Click on the profile above to see how relentless this climb is. Honestly, this race does not seem like it could be the hardest race I have ever done, but mentally and physically this tops any race. The heat yesterday is partly to blame. 97 degrees was the high.
I started the climb a little before noon after talking to Gatis, who decided he had already had enough on the road portion. In his words, "I am whooped." As I was riding toward Lemmon, I came across Dave, who aslo was unable to start up Lemmon. I had 90 ounces of water when I left McDonald park and started to climb up Lemmon. I slowly began to hydrate and slowly make my way up the mountain . The signs were a nice reminder of how I was and how far I had to go. 18 miles to Palisades and 4000 feet, then 5000 feet. I had to stop at Molino Basin to sit in the shade and use the restroom.
When I started on the road, a roadied asked how far I was going. I did not even see/hear him until he asked me. He was headed to 7 Cataracts, so I drafted him for about 1 mile before stopping at the Bugs Springs TH for another break. I have never not been able to pedal. Today, I was in my granny gear and I was unable to move. My next goal was to get to Bear Canyon, where there might be some water flowing in the creek.
I passed the creek trickling only to find nothing at the crossing. A huge mental let down. I had to lay down for a few seconds. I had really only gone about 10 of the 18 miles up the mountain at that point. The major climb to windy point was next. It was brutal. 4 mph was my speed most of the time from Bear to Palisades.
Additionally, the wind picked up a bit. As I was nearing break down, a mountain biker sped by me and yelled, Go Chad, Go Chad Brown. Priceless. Simply priceless. That is exactly what I needed. It turned out that Patrick Hair (who did Antelope Peak and Kentucky Camp Epic) ventured down from Phoenix to ride up Lemmon. The cheering was just what I needed to get to Windy Point.. I could see the top of Bigelow from Windy Point, the lost few miles after Green seemed to flash by since I got a little break going down from the top of 7 Cataracts.
On the way back down the mountain, I drafted behind a Toyota Tacoma with 3 college students. 41 mph felt great after riding so slow up the mountain. Between windy point and the last turn into Bear Canyon, I drafted the Tacoma. The classic part was the guys in the bike started taking pictures of each other with me in the background flashing peace. Good times.
I got back to the parking lot and had a few beers with Patrick (for recovery of course) and drove home.
9 hours and 30 minutes was my final time