20mi of singletrack to start. got in a line and just worked it, feet down here and there for my and others' mistakes on the slightly greasy stuff but basically just rode. once we hit the gravel i spotted my rival/friend from Cohutta (Simona aka pink Hammer girl) so rode hard to catch her and did that just before Aid Station #2.
pushed the pace again out of AS#2 (mi 34) to get a gap on Simona (and green girl) but started barely cramping (!!) so decided to let them both go while I did some triage - drank a bunch and e-caps. got back on it and legs held so rode hard again. i think i caught back up? and led just barely into AS#3.
I did not have a drop bag at AS#3 (mi 46) and did not remember to take enough race calories. i realized this about 5mi out when i was down to 200cal to make it 17 more miles...suboptimal. so i backed off the pace a little bit and worried. turns out a few miles later there was an unannounced aid station (Mohaven property) and i freaked out with gratitude - stuffed my face and bento w M&Ms, PBJ, and pretzels. could not have been more timely. but by now i was well off my 2 goals - sub-10hr and beat Simona. so even though i had enough food i struggled w mental motivation. worked the rails-to-trails section best i could, actually i was grateful for the boring terrain because it helped me refocus and i caught Simona again rolling into AS#4.
did a huge restock on calories in AS#4 (mi 72) and rolled out w Simona, both battered but we chatted for a while about identical sub-10hr goals and the realization that today probably wasn't the day. eventually she road away from me on a hill and i had no motivation to go w her. so hung back and pedaled and pouted. green girl was around us too, somewhere, riding w her BF as she had all day long. and then a rider comes flying past, it's Shrek Feet!! turns out she had a rough start but was back on it now. we chatted and i told her about the 2 other girls close ahead. go get it! as SF rode away, i got a second wind so clawed back onto her wheel and we both caught up to Simona and green girl.
this is rare for NUE stuff - 4 women together at any point, let alone at mile 80ish of a race. that got me super jazzed so i just threw down and started racing again. got a gap on everyone and led into AS#5 (mi 92). didn't stop, rolled into singletrack with a fire in my belly. tried to ride it dirt-crit style and actually felt pretty good. i could see Simona behind me but it seemed like enough gap to hold her off...30-60sec. led into the final downhill, then into the campground where there was traffic and no marshals. a car obscured a turn arrow and i blew straight past it. i felt almost immediately something was wrong, sat up, and a race spectator yelled at me about the mistake. turned around to see Simona making the correct turn. F!!!!! chased back super hard but only had about 1/2 mile to go from there so didn't make it. oh boo. 7th place.
...but, sub-10hrs!! okay sure, Mohican isn't a full 100 but it was tough so i don't care. more singletrack than previous years (i'm told) and some pretty slow stuff at that. i was super frustrated w the blown turn at first but now it's all good, Simona is a good competitor! and stoked to see SF out there, great ride w all of your preceding complications! Team Noah crew represented well and then we drove back overnight. http://silkychrome.blogspot.com/2014/06/race-repor...