Monday, September 05, 2005


What goes down must come up.

On the drive back from Pa. I had plenty of time to think about the weekend. The course was awesome, just incredible, 13-14 miles of just about everything you could want. The start/finish staging area was at the top of the mountain so whenever you went down, you had to come up. Unfortunately that also applied to everything I ate that day. Once on the bike I never felt right. During my third lap my stomach distress finally led to many "pull off the trail and stack your cookies" episodes. Actually it was Gu and Gatorade and some breakfast, but none of it stacked well. I had my camera with me but had neither the insight or "guts" to photograph it like JeffK did! Well behind the fuel/power curve and feeling weak and feverish I withdrew. Although the decision doesn't sit well I'm sure it was the right thing to do. 2 solos in 2 weeks was probably just too much. At least I got close to 40 miles of some primo riding in, without falling once! I even cleaned the front side rock garden twice thanks to some pointers from JM.

But there are many much better stories out there than mine, and this time I got to witness 'em of from a different and better perspective. A quick recap of the men's solo race as I saw it. If I get names or details wrong, my apologies.

The winner Brandon Draugelis riding for Team Cannondale had it wire to wire. He started by turned three laps in the sub 1:20 range that set up a lead that would not be challenged. Positions 2-4 however were a fight to the end.

Each of 3 riders were in 2nd at one time or another through the night. Matt Miller, Jason Mahokey, and Mike Schultz. As the sun came up I waited near the tent to see. Brandon had more than a lap on the other 3. 2nd-4th were on the same lap. Matt had left first but had been out almost 3 hours. Jason and Mike were within 10 minutes of each other. A radio search confirmed Matt had made it through the check point at the bottom of the last climb.

As he checked in Matt (416) asked where everyone else was and what his position was. Before they could answer Mike (412) rolls in and asks where #416 was. "He's right there",was the reply. Without hardly missing a pedal stroke Mike was off. This of course meant Matt had to chase.

Jason (404) checked in 14 minutes later.

At the 4.5 mile mark we waited to see who would show first. Matt crested the hill about 30 seconds ahead of Mike. Jason was maintaining the gap. Absolutely incredible to see these guys racing after riding over 22 hours and 130 miles.

Matt checked in first with Mike no where to be seen. Matt said he rode hard and the lap hurt bad.

It was shortly after 11AM and Brandon the winner checked in then promptly collapsed on the ground to rest. He sure deserved it. Matt was left wondering whether he'd have to go out again or not. Mike was waiting at his pits near the last turn of the uphill. Jason was still not to be seen. It looked like Matt had 2nd wrapped up BUT a battle for third would mean Matt would have to go out again. After seeing the situation Matt reluctantly went out for another lap saying he'd rather ride one more lap than race one.

Shortly after Matt left Mike came up and went out after him. Although I didn't stick around for the finish results show Matt got 2nd place by 13 SECONDS. Unbelievable. These guys both had to to be running way below empty, fantastic and inspirational riding by all. From what I remember about the time their last laps had to be in the sub 1:30 range.


You can view many more photos here.

Congrats to all that rode or raced this weekend :

Jeff Kerkove raged (through the vomitus) to another win.

Jason held on to a swollen black and blue fourth. Gutsy performance.

Chris Eatough held off the charging sologoat for a repeat at the worlds.

Someone said - "Ride hard, rest harder" I'm going to be working on the later.

Till next time


very nice blog. Losing your stomach during one of these things is brutal. I've never done solo, but have barfed on the trail plenty of times. Great pictures. 3 solo's in 6 weeks? you a glutton for punishment! Congratulations...

Great write up as usual. Back in the office today. Working with one butt-cheek raised due to sores. Eeesh.
Thanks for the picts. Talk soon.
I guess I've always been a bit of a glutton and punishment seems to be the diet of choice lately! But its so much fun......
I thought that was you Marc, rockin' the pink lid. And I'm here to say you were flat FULL of smooth AND power on that last lap.
Very well done.
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