Monday, September 29, 2008

Vermont 50

At 4:15 on Saturday morning I was laying comfortably on a double layer of fleece and therm-a-rest, wrapped in a zero degree mummy bag. Listening to large rain drops beat like a drum on my rain fly. I take a moment to ask my self why I get myself into these situations.
My cell phone alarm had gone off twice, and twice I had put it to snooze. Hell no I didn't want to get out and race my bike in pouring conditions. Luckily I have good friends that just wouldn't allow me to lay there, all comfortable, warm, dry, dreaming about warm buttery pancakes and maple syrup. It was time to earn my flap jacks.
My friend Matt was racing his first VT50, as was Mr Christopher Igleheart. Those guys put in a solid effort, climbing to their limits and likely beyond. That's what racing is all about.
Fun to hear Matt's stories of moments of trouble and pure elation through the near six hours he turned the screw.
I'm particularly proud of Christopher. He is no spring chicken ya know. He's an inspiration, and he crushed the fifty.
I was fortunate enough to mostly survive, happy to ride a bit with Kurt Schmitt while trying to catch Monty. That didn't happen, (the catching monty part) but Montello was just the carrot I needed to find my personal edge of uncomfortable/uncontrollable quad cramps.
Looking off "pain precipice" I backed it off and went into survival mode. Kurt and Monty slipped away. Fun while it lasted.
Constant thoughts while spinning alone on hard packed back country roads, who was winning this thing? Was Thom Parsons laying waste on his SS? and what exactly was happening up in the lead group. Curiosity was intense. I made eye contact with Mirirm (Thom's GF) at the 30 mile aid station. She smiled but shook her head saying no about something. Was Thom out of the race? Not knowing kept me pegged.
After crossing the line and walking my bike out the chute. Twenty or so guys gathered, dried mud encrusted their smiles, sounds of celebration and back slapping. It was over.
I scanned the crowd trying to guess who had won. Jeff with the biggest smile.
No shit.

Tim and Jeff look as Igle releases a sigh,
first words from Igleheart, "do they have beer"


rick is! said...

nice job man.

Miriam K said...

Nice race Andy. I think I was just nodding or saying no to confirm that you did not need water or gu....but I love that you thought I was trying to share important, if not vague and truncated, messages. This time I am saying yes. Yes, you did a good job.

Thom P. said...

Bastard Andy! I'm reading this at nearly midnight and now all my grumbling stomach can talk to me about is pancakes...pancakes.

Ihop has got to still be open right?