I set my pit up at my car which was parked along the start of the course. That way all I had to do was pull 2 feet off the trail to pit. I put my cooler with my bottles in it and loaded up my gear. Earlier in the week I spoke to my coach Curt about tactics and nutrition. We decided on 1 bottle of sports drink per hour and supplement with gel. So I I took 2 bottles of Powerbar Ironman Perform and a flask of gel. I also took a can of Big Air and air chuck, and a bag with a tube and tire lever in case I got a puncture. I should have take a tool with me too but I didn't. I paid a little for it later.
The race began at 8am with the 12 hour teams going out first. The solo's went 1 minute later. At the beginning of the race I just wanted to sit back and get a feel for everyone's pace. Now they're pace was going to be obviously slower than mine as they were doing the 12 and I was doing the 6 so I figured I could catch up with some of the guys in team race as they would probably be keeping a higher pace that the 12 hour solo's. I sat in about 3rd going into the Rollercoaster section. Within 10 minutes or so, the group I was with had caught up to the 12 hour team riders at the back of the pack. This slowed us for a bit but I figured it's such a long race I'm not going to push or be agressive here. Just wait for the doubletrack and make a move. That was pretty much what I followed. Once we exited the singletrack I just pushed past as many as I could on the doubletrack before we got to the Pines section of the course. I probably pushed a little too hard and paid for it a bit around the 2.5hr mark. I basically maxed my HR out until I got to the pines. Once I got about 3/4 of the way into the Pines I caught up to one of the guys on a 12 hour team. We rode together through some of the doubletrack and then I went on by myself.
I was pretty much alone from this point on with the exception of when I catch up to someone else here and there. I got through 3 laps of the course and then decided to pit. It had been about 2:15 or so and I was all out of fluid and gel. I stopped at my car and changed bottles and gel flasks. It took me about a minute to complete. I felt good about this but, it was not the only pit I was going to take. About 25 minutes into the 4th lap I needed to go to the bathroom. I pulled off the course and that cost me a little time. Then on the next lap, I started to feel like I needed more calories and fast or I was going to bonk hard. This is when I realized that I pushed a bit too hard in the beginning. I stopped for a second to take in some cola and half of a Powerbar Triple Threat. Within a few minutes I was feeling good again. This was good news but the bad news my right shifter was coming loose. I needed to pit yet again. I stopped at my car and grabbed a wrench and tightened my shifter and back out on the course. Did a couple more laps that were only a couple minutes slower than my first few so I was very happy to be keeping a consistent pace.
I finished my portion of riding with 7 laps in 5:28 minutes. My Garmin showed 65 miles but I later found out that the course is actually a mile or so more than my Garmin showed. I actually rode more like 73 miles in 5:28. The problem is my Edge 500 does what's called GPS aliasing so when I am doing switchbacks, the device doesn't think I'm going anywhere. Someone on the MMBA website pointed this out to me.
Overall I am very pleased with how the race turned out. I think I accomplished what I needed to going into the Hanson Hills 100 and the Lumberjack 100. Endurance mountain biking is hard though. Much more than I would have anticipated. I really beats you up. I had that 15 miles into the Ironman run feel going about 5 hours into the ride. I was happy to fnish. Unfortunatly leaving early like I did cost me a win. Had I raced the 6 hour race, I woud have been sent out for another lap at 5:28 which would have been 8 total in probably 6:15-20 and would have given me the win. The person that won the 6 hour event 7 laps in 6:16. Like I said though, this was a good learning experience for me and adds a lot of confidence going into the next endurance event which is the Hanson Hills 100. I am also doing the Addison Oaks stage race this coming weekend. Here is a video of the race from this weekend. I'm the guy slowly climbing up the hill.