Monday, March 3, 2008

Vision Quest 2008

After deciding not to go to Alaska due to my flu/bronchitis/ear infection, I realized I might be able to go down to Orange County and race in the Vision Quest. The VQ is a really fun race put on by the Warrior's society and it sells out almost immediately. A week before the race, I asked Scott Tedro, owner of ShoAir if he might be able to still get me an entry. After a few phone calls and emails and bribing I was in! Thanks Scott!!

I drove down to LA and stayed at the Correa B & B (Mario and Monica) on Friday night. We had to leave for the race at 4:15 Saturday morning since the race started at 5:30. After reading the race info where it said a small LED light was highly recommended, I asked Mario if he was going to use one. Where we live it doesn't get light until 6 but I hadn't thought of bringing a light.... "Just follow someone who has a light" said Mario. At the start I realized everyone, except me and Mario, had a light since it was still pitch black. The race started right at 5:30 and it was not that easy to follow someone else in the mass start. The road was rough with a bunch of pot holes, so I had to take it pretty slowly. PERFECT warm-up!! We started with a long climb, about 1.5 hrs for me, followed by a fun single and double track down-hill to the first check point. It was really foggy, so I took it easy on the downhill, because you could only see a few feet in front of you. Lynda Wallenfels and I came in to the check-point at the same time and I left just a bit before her. Monique Sawicki was nowhere to be seen, but someone yelled that she was only 4 minutes ahead of us.

The second climb was another long steep fire-road and Lynda caught me right at the top and went down the single track ahead of me. As I was flying down the trail a tree branch caught my left bar end and twisted my bike to the side. I flew off my bike!! How annoying! No damage, but after that I had no flow at all!! The trail was pretty rough and technical and had a bunch of tight switch backs, and I was feeling very uncoordinated!!

After check point 2 we had another steep long climb with several stream crossings. Halfway up, the trail gets so steep you have to hike the last 40-45 minutes. Maybe someone was riding, but I sure wasn't. I don't mind hiking, but it was really hard as I was trying to catch Lynda. At the top there is a super fun single track downhill with lots of stream crossings, rocks, and you are also running in to riders and hikers going the opposite direction.

I finished in 6:24, 3rd place behind Monique and Lynda. I was totally happy with how the race went. It is only 56 miles (89.6 km) but has 11,000 feet (3333.33 meters) of climbing.

I was 19 minutes faster than 2 years ago, and I contribute all of that to my awesome bike. It definitely was not due to my fitness since I haven't been able to ride that much this winter.
My Progress Magic is so light and climbs so well! In addition to brakes, Magura is now also sponsoring me with forks, and I was running the Durin Race. It worked perfectly!! Also thanks to Ergon grips my hands, arms and shoulders felt great and the Kenda Karmas were awesome on the loose gravel and rocky terrain.