Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ring of Fire - 2006 - The Inside Scoop

As part of my prep for the 508, I raced in the second annual "Ring of Fire", 12/24 hr time trial. I choose the 12 hr entry, as the 12 hr race would be long enough to warm up and a few intervals while still keeping the distance and the time in consistent with my weekly training loads and goals. On to the Fire..

The ring of fire like all real TT's started with the count down, 5, 4, 3, muscles strain, 2, 1, go! George released, and the heart rate shot up. The stated goal was to log some race training for the 508, try out some "Tartan Secrets", and have an excuse to drink 8+ cans of ensure, but a race is also just that race and one always wants to do well too..

Like all RAO events, the 2006 Ring of Fire, drew some of the biggest names in ultra. With ultra vetrans, Chris Hopkinson (RAAM Rookie of the Year), Ben Larson (Fireweed & RAO Team Records), John Spurgeon (Mr Fixxed), John Henry Maurice (Fellow 2006 FC competitor), Hugh Gapay (2006 RAO Rookie of the Year), and Urs Koenig (RAAM, Cascade 1200KM record holder), making up just some of the highly impressive field. In the ROF format, the 24 hr riders went first, followed by those of us taking the 12 hr. My start time, 7:11 AM put me dead last and meant that I had until 7:11 PM to log my miles.

Back to the Race.. With George's release I was off, Chris Hopkinson my 1 minute man, decked in a HOT PINK skin suit was already fadeing into the distance. UGH.. I knew Chris was going to be fast, but shezz, with no warm up he was already motoring away. At that point I reminded myself that this was a training race, and NOT a "A", event so it was more important to practice my 508 pace, nutrition, and avoid injury, then to spank Chris on the 12 hr.

By the top of the climb leading out of Maupin, both Chris and I had passed our 1 and 2 minute man, and I'd actually narrowed the gap between Chris and myself ever so slightly. But then the road turned down, and Chris disappeared. I wouldn't see Chris again till the end of the "Big Show".

Once over Maupin the 12 hr course took us over down through Tye Valley and then out on some new roads to Wemmic and from Wemmic it was up the hill that's called Mt. Hood, and back to Maupin over some of the "Classic" RAO course.

Climbing up hood, I briefly got to talk to the 'Legend' John Henry Maurice, John's going to also be racing at the 508, and from what I saw, John's going to be a rider to watch for at this years 508.

Bouncing over the hills leading back into Maupin, I moved into 2nd place, in the 12 hr Race. Then it was around the back side of the Maupin night loop before heading in to the ROF pit for the first check in. Time: On the day loop 110 miles ~6 hours

After grabbing a cliff bar, ensure, and some water it was off to begin looping. I estimated that in 6 hours I could do around 4-5 laps. A wind had begun to pour down over the Maupin climb, and climbing out I realized that it would be more likely somewhere around 3-4 laps.. UGH. Once over the rise, it was down the other side where the wind and then around the 40+K TT course. Motoring around the course a head wind seemed to pour in from all angles and it wasn't until the final 7 or so miles of the 27 mile loop that a tail wind developed.

In the end I made three full laps, and on my fourth and final lap made it 21 miles before my time expired.

Final: Results 2nd 211.8 miles average speed 17.65 mph (~4 miles shy of first)



  • There were some women there too, ya know--we just don't get no respect! :) (OK, so we weren't all famous....)

    By Blogger stokediam, at 8:42 PM  

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