Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stony Creek 5.5 hour...uhhh Race? report

This past weekend was my first try at endurance mountain biking.  It was the Stony Creek 6/12 race held at Stony Creek by Fun Promotions.  I originally wanted to race the 6 hour but I had a concert to go to that night and the 6 hour started at 2pm so that wasn't going to work.  I still wanted the racing experience however so I signed up for the 12 hour.  With the 2 hundreds coming up, I wanted to make sure I had all of my questions answered before I did them.  At the beginning of the race during the riders meeting, the promoter said that the race was actually being cut to 5.5/11.5 because they need to be out of the park by 9pm so instead of finishing both races at 8 they were going to finish at 7:30.  Obviously that didn't matter to me.  I was going to finish when I had to. 

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. 


  1. Nice work on the 1st MTB Endurance race.... you are gonna kill the HH 100 and LumberJack 100!

  2. sweet. glad to see you getting after it.

  3. Thanks Brendan. It was fun for sure.