Sunday, June 7, 2009

First Race - Draper Hill Climb

Saturday morning I was sitting in my car trying to stay warm at 7:45 AM, 15 minutes before the 8:00 AM start of my very first cycling race. I was anxious to start the race and had just finished pinning on my number when I realized that I forgot my shoes. I pannicked as I desparately searched the back of my car, knowing that I certainly had left them in the garage. I couldn't believe it. I'd been training hard for this day and now my shoes were not where I needed them to be. I quickly called Tiff and she agreed to bring them and meet me halfway at the top of Suncrest. I raced in my little gutless car to the top of Suncrest, grabbed my shoes and then raced back down the mountain. It was 8:05 and about a mile from the starting line when I passed the pack of riders. I was hoping they'd have a little delay in the start but that obviously didn't happen. Disappointed that I missed the start, but determined to race anyway, I hurried to the starting line, put on my shoes and started off.

I couldn't help think of "Chariot's of Fire" when the dude fell down at the start and then got up and even though way behind won the race. That wasn't going to happen on this day as I was a full 10 minutes behind. I had to fight off the thoughts of "this is rediculous......I just paid $35 to basically do a painful training ride." There was a decent headwind as I climbed the north side of Suncrest, which kept me thinking how if I were with the pack, I could at least have some sort of wind cover. I tried to block out those thoughts by focusing on my pedal strokes and making sure I kept my heart rate below 160. I passed one rider on the 1st climb that must have had a late start too. That felt good....

I finished the hardest part of the climb in as I reached the Suncrest summitt coming from the North. It was encouraging to see Tiff and my three boys at the top cheering me on. Here's a picture of me reaching the summitt all by my lonesome.

On the descent down the south side of Suncrest, about halfway down I passed the leader. He was quite a way out in front of the 2nd place rider then scattered all the way down to highway 92 were the rest of the riders. I later found out that the guy in front was a 15 year old teenager, which explains why I thought he looked so small and scrawny.

On the ascent up the south side, it didn't feel like I was going very fast but I ended up getting a personal best on the climb by more than 1 1/2 minutes at just over 22 minutes (from the corner of 11800N) and that was after climbing the more difficult north side.

I didn't finished last in the race even though I started 10 minutes late and I felt like my time (per my Garmin) was respectable at 1:10:43. I haven't seen any posted times, but from what I estimate, the winner came in at around 1:05.

Here's a video of me at the finish line. I love how my youngest son says he doesn't want to cheer for me....pretty funny.

And here are my Garmin stats from the race:


John said...

Nice job Brannen. I really want to get into cycling now that you have lost so much weight with it. Keep it up!


bjchild said...

thanks John

Beth said...

Rock solid determination...even though it seemed rediculous at the moment. Glad you finished anyway. -Brent