After missing the last race and only 'training' about as minimally as a person can, i was a little concerned for ths race. Especially when my supporters and freinds who have been there and ridden the course eluded to the trails tougher design, bigger climbs, and complex and fast decents. With this, I began to prepare mentally for my first 'real' race.
Friday's long drive to Eagle's Nest and Negel Fire was beautiful and relaxing. After arriving i joined up with Team Dean for a slow preride of the course. The uphill turned out to be much larger than was ready for, while the downhill felt comfortable and fun.
Saturday started early as Team Dean shoved off for their early start. I stayed at the house and tuned the bike and tried to calm my nerves.
My race was to start at 11:00 and would comprise a single 8 mile large loop. The starting elevation was near 8700 feet but felt more like 14000 to me at the time. The race itself went quicker than i imagined. I managed to start and keep myself somewhere (i think) near the middle of the pack. Early on i took it easy and allowed myself to be passed by several people, betting that i could maybe catch them later on the climb or perhaps on the downhill. That plan worked to some degree, but to what i'm not sure yet (i have't seen the results yet). I'm crossing my fingers for a descent finish. I felt pretty strong on the climb and had a great downhill like i had hoped. Once again, i finished, had a great time, and didn't take on any serious falls or injuries. Overall it was a blast of a weekend... i am really enjoying myself.
Big thanks once again for Team Dean's hospitality!