My first visit to mtcx.com in three weeks revealed I haven't updated my own blog in three weeks! I do apologize if this has ruined anyone's attempt to make the 9-5 go by any faster. But as usual I have a semi valid excuse- I work 8-5! Plus training...AND doing 24-s with my amigos from the dealer services/athlete relations/race team cave at Hammer Nutrition. So let's just say I've had a very busy few weeks and I'm finally coming up for air...
For starters I really love my new gig at Hammer. It is a heck of a lot easier to get out of bed every morning doing something with passion. My chair is backordered (or so I'm told) so I was presented with a new desk, computer, phone and a yoga ball to sit on. I also rode to work with a spider plant and a picture of Reily to up the feng shui factor. To my right is Brad Lamson, an all around great guy and ultra runner (upper management wants him to ride more however). Across our section is Jason Keister and Matt Butterfield. El Bandito sits on the other side of a wall that we don't really like. So that's our crew, we do our thing in the office and then ride trail after work.
Now that you know too much about my new office life, I should share a bit about the race this weekend. On Thursday I packed about 85% of what we were supposed to bring to the 24 Hours Round n Round in Spokane (I'm new...) Oh well I brought the essentials anyway: Shoes-check, helmet-check, bike-check, clothes-check.Oh and we bought meat, coffee and beer later on.
Rolling out to Spokane was Jason, Matty, Bandito, Myself and Steve Born (best crew chief ever). Brian, Miles, Ivy and the new Hammer Big Rig came the other way from Seattle and met us at Riverside Park. I don't know I thought this race would be easy, just finishing a 24 hour race is tough let alone the competition. Of course the usual pre race googling gave us some dire news...It would be a very long 24 hours.There were several strong teams in our division, including the local boys from Great Northern Cycles and the classy Missoulians of MOZ4X. The course was a challenging mix of fun singhee, leg burning dirt roads, lung busting climbs and tire eating rock gardens. Needless to say the top five was constantly changing based on who had to run 3 miles to get home.
The first 8 hours treated us well with Matty turning in a very fast lap and the rest of us riding well. We were up about 20 minutes, which by the way doesn't mean a damn thing at nightfall of a 24 hour race! Sure enough, the race starts at night and ours started off headed for disaster. My first flat happened in little Vietnam, a crazy e-wok style section down by the river. I had some trouble with my pump and had to find assistance from a spectator. After this ten minute debacle, Bandito double flatted on his lap, running for quite some time back to the pits...Luckily Matty and Jason were riding super smooth otherwise we may have been caught. On my next lap I flatted again, crashed and then my bar lights went out leaving me with just the spotlight which was kinda weird. Upon coming home to a decent lap time, I decided to keep this a secret from the team as our morale was not so hot. At this point in the night I'd had enough. Enough of screwing up at the one thing I know how to do, enough moping around and definitely enough of these coyotes yappin' at my heels... I was becoming furious. I headed out on my second night lap full of rage. I was so PO'd I could only focus on the trail. I was briefly distracted by a deer, for a second I thought it was a redneck aussie out spotlighting kangaroos and I should chase it. Night time at 24's are so cryptic. Wait....still work to be done. Everything just started clicking. I finished the night lap only five minutes slower than my first hot lap the day before. Boom. Five minutes tacked on our lead. Dawn came, five more minutes on lap 5. Lap six, samesies. I wouldn't be stopped. Trouble was, neither would our chasers. All morning our lead bounced from 5-10 minutes, they could smell us it was so close (or we just smelled that bad...idk). After my lap 6 at like 10:00 we had to have a pow wow. Two of the fellas had given their all and trust me they surely did. So I didn't even take off the rags, I just sat in the sun for 45 minutes sipping Recoverite. I had no idea what type of lead I would go out with but I knew for certain if I was caught I would have no response. I was so happy at the start line to see el Bandito I forgot how cashed my legs were! Then the other teams crew chief yelled Russell's gonna catch you. I yelled back good luck. Sorry for the plug but the wide array of Hammer products helped out on lap 7, I was still going full gas after being on it for 24 hours. There is also something about being in front that lets you feel no pain. The last lap was super fun even tho it hurt like hell. Relay's are great because they are such a team effort and we really worked well. Oh and to Russell's credit he turned in a smokin' last lap, four minutes faster than mine. Not enough though to keep Hammer from a well deserved W! That's all for now, pics to follow!