Thursday, October 04, 2007

My Birthday Challenge: Double Boundary Race

Every year I try to do the undoable for my birthday, aptly named the Birthday Challenge Each year it gets harder and harder. This year was the Double Boundary. Last year it was a Dust Devil Series at White Tanks. I uped the ante quite a bit on this one.

The stats for this race are enough to inspire any endurance rider: 67.62-miles, with 14,318-ft of climbing. The race began at 6:30 in Taos, New Mexico.

Profile of the Race

Dave C, Meredith, and I drove out the night before and arrived outside of Taos at about 1pm. Here is a nice picture of the line up before we started the race.

I managed to stay in the top 8 for a good part of the race. Eventually, I ended up riding with Travis, a teacher from New Mexico. After we crashed the marsh, we got lost at below Bull Springs Meadow since my GPS track seemed to be incomplete (I was in a bit of a hurry when I loaded it and left Tucson the day before the race). Anyway, a good amount of time before finding US 64 and the rest of the gang at the drop station. I filled up on water, chatted with Dave (who had caught up with Travis and I), and headed off with my new partner, Dave.

Nice shot of Dave and I saddling up at the water drop

We quickly dropped down into Elliot Barker Trail, but Dave was going a little slower, so I biked ahead a bit. My next cycling companion, Chuck Ray, passed me only to get a flat tire. I buzzed by him as he was changing a flat. The next section was one big hike-a-bike.

At the top of a pass, I decided to wait for Dave for a few minutes and rest. I figure came into view a few hundred yards away. At first, I thought it was Dave and his 29er Lenz, but it turned out to be Chuck. We concluded (correctly) that Dave missed a turn. Chuck and I pressed on without a reliable GPS. At one intersection, we waited for about 15 minutes for the pack behind is since we were a little lost. After regaining our route, we buzzed off ahead of the group. Somewhere in the course of the race, we managed to miss the Jaracita Trail. It was about 330pm when we realized that we were off course. We searched for thte next 2 hours before bailing out on the backside to Angel Fire, a total of about 20 miles. It was a great race, but the DNF and the fact that I was not able to see some of the best sections of the trail, like South Boundary shown here courtesy of the New Mexico Endurance website:

Headed to Tour of the White Mountains tomorrow to redeem my family name and finish in the top 15 (that is my goal).

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