Mohican 100 k.
Decided to do the shorter race cause I am soft, and I thought that I had a chance of winning. I havent won a race yet this year, and thought that this would be a good one to win. I lucked into finding a ride and a hotel. Everybody in the room has a blog except one who spends his online time on craigslist.
Feeling good in the first 24 miles of singletrack. Closing the gap up to a fast group and staying with them for a long time. Group had Eatough, Harlan, a bunch of other fast guys and somehow me. Just the day before I was talking about how cool it would be to follow the fast guys through the singletrack to see how they were so fast. Here it was. Neat. I was a passenger on their train.
Seat rail snapping 25 miles in. Get dropped from that group while diagnosing problem. Figured that it wouldnt kill me and planned to ride as far as it would get me.
Rolling out of aid station 2, 30 miles or so in with that fast group. Nailing it on the roads. Pace lining on mountain bikes. I was even keeping up on the trails.
Rolling out of aid station 3 in first place for the 100k (both races start together and separate at the 3rd aid station), knowing that it was like 1:30 more of racing, that I had a few minutes on rivals, that I was in the lead, and my strengths would only help me for the rest of the course (hills and roads).
Feeling so much better on the brutal dirt climbs than last year, as it was mile 50 and not mile 85 or whatever.
Rolling in first. Winning? Calling Amy and telling her I had won.
2 hours later, after watching tv for a few minutes in the motel, showering, drinking diet pop and being happy, I returned to the race venue with a clean jersey (for the podium duh), a smile and a good mood when I was told that I had missed an unmarked turn and missed about 15 minutes of trail.
I know exactly where it happened. There was an arrow, a parking lot and a million trails. Further ahead there was another arrow. I went left up a trail, up a hill and rode for about 5 minutes... no pink ribbons (that show you are on the proper route)... So I turned and went back to the lot... There was only an arrow pointing me toward where I had just been, and then an arrow pointing me back toward the finish, in the same direction. With 5 miles to go, 4:25 or so in, I wasnt in the mood to diagnose the problem, so I did what I had been doing for the previous 58 miles and followed the arrows. I figured that somebody had altered the course, and all racers behind me would follow suit, or that the promoter had shortened it. The promoter said that there were supposed to be people there, there weren't.
APPARENTLY, somebody somewhere messed up. Race promoter tells me "it is your responsibility to know the course" .... which is funny, because there were no maps available. Friday at check in, I kept asking where the maps were. I remember 2 years ago, Wes saying "Mohican..... ... I think that is the race where everybody gets lost"...
Travis in 2nd place knew the course just from riding there a bunch I guess. Tim in 3rd didnt know the course. Travis went the right way, Tim went my way (not going to call it the wrong way cause there were arrows pointing me there..) ...
LOW: Calling Amy and Ed and telling them that I had in fact not won.
Watching new race winner collect 300 bucks.
Race promoter not giving my entry fee back, despite saying that he would.
Its hard not to be angry. I guess I am lucky to be an adult healthy enough to ride my bicycle enough to be fit enough to be able to compete in races like this. Things could be a lot worse. But... that 300 bucks could have bought me a 26" hardtail frame on ebay too though. Pretty bogus.