Mtn Bike race 10:19:00  162.0 km (3:49 / km) +2900m 3:30 / km
High Cascades 100, Bend OR - I hadn't explored much of Oregon before so what better way than a 100 mile MTB race? A buddy from my Salomon HQ days was doing it so I had a ride to and from Portland and a place to crash, too. Sweet. The landscape here is volcanic and very dry. Forests are quite different than I'm used to seeing as the line trees' needles are incredibly acidic, pretty much taking away much chance for low lying greenery to grow. As such, the trails are dusty, dry, and because a lot of work has been put into them, really flowy for MTB.
I was fairly conservative off of the start and just got into my own groove, figuring out the trails along the way. I feel like I was actually doing quite decently up to the 80k point and managed my nutrition and hydration in the increasingly hot day. I even wore a buff over my nose and mouth for a lot of it to keep the dust clouds out.
Then came the real heat. I simply didn't manage the water carry well enough after Aid Station B and had downed all 2L of my water with in the first hour. Not good as this was the hardest section of the race with decent sized climbs to negotiate. My mouth was so parched and my energy sapped. I even begged some passers-by for a gulp of water and thankfully, they had enough to spare. I'm sure I had dropped a few places as I entered Aid Station C, the final one before the finish. Whatever, I was in survival mode and was so close to just drinking from streams without treating the water. In any case, I hammered back so much Coke and ate like a champ.
Off again but even quicker this time, I was out of water again...with 25 hard kms still to the finish. I ate as much as I could but had no saliva to swallow it all with. It was not a good situation. I begged again for some water from some rec bikers and they were happy to oblige. I must have earned some good karma of late. I suffered quite a bit this time and got passed again and again. Ugh. Never the less, I kept plugging away and tried to enjoy the fun single-track session. Out onto the pavement for the final 5k to the finish, I gave it what I had and was so happy to receive a Coke immediately when I crossed the line...and then another almost straight away. Despite the hydration issues, it was a good day out, discovering a new area and my bike worked well (save for a slow leak in my rear tire...but it held enough to get to the finish).
As it turns out, I missed winning the phat boy category (aka Clydesdale 200+) by 7 minutes and settled for 3rd. EDawg will like his new medal.