Written by Rick Harbison Sunday, 04 August 2019 00:00
Not having experience with the 100k distance, I did my best to pace myself early. I went out relatively fast at the start but then settled into (what I thought was) a comfortable rhythm. Being familiar with the first half of the course helped mentally with knowing what to expect and not going too deep prior to the big climbs.
From talking with a friend who had done the 100k multiple times, my strategy was to keep the pace moderate and steady until crossing over Route 27 around the 25-mile mark. Then, after a big climb, the elevation profile flattens out for 10-15 miles with more dirt road riding mixed in. I figured I’d save myself for that part of the race and try and put the hammer down then.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. I crossed Route 27, hit a fairly substantial uphill and immediately began to feel the familiar twinges of cramping in the legs. I thought I’d paced myself appropriately up to that point, but perhaps not. Or perhaps the heat affected me. Or maybe I just haven’t trained the long distances enough. At any rate, beginning at about the 3-hour mark I shifted from race mode to survival mode. I downed my mini bottle of pickle juice to shock the cramps out of the system (to no avail) and tried to go just hard enough to make good forward progress without seizing up.
I ended up finishing in 6:14 minutes, which put me at 6th for my age group (30-39) and 45th overall. Despite battling cramps I’m happy I did the 100k. The back loop was gorgeous with beautiful, wide-open views of the Bigelows, and I got to explore a bunch of new dirt roads and trails, some of which were truly exceptional. Being the first year doing the 100k, it was probably good to set the bar low anyways so next time I can hopefully stand a chance of doing better and improving my time.
Thanks to everyone at Carrabassett Valley who helped put on the race, and to Bikeman.com for the support!
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