Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Capitol Forest 50/100

An endurance race in Capitol Forest, or in Washington for that matter, was a long time coming. Every year there was grumbling, but no one was willing or able tostep up and put it on. Then, like genies from the endurance-race bottle, Roger Michel and 4th Dimension Racing appeared to grant the wishes of so many sadistic mountain bikers. Those wishes were granted and then some. The course was well marked, aid stations were appropriately place and stocked with Clif gels, blocks and bars, FRS energy, Nuun and many other goodies to keep the bonks at bay. The swag and raffle prizes were plentiful, and the course itself was sweeeeet. Not only did Roger promote and organize the event, but he came out to several FOCF work parties to get the trails in shape, andbrushed nearly 40 miles of trail by himself in the week leading up the the event.

Matt, Henry and the other 100 mile racers started off from Mima Falls campground at 6:30am, while Erin, Derek, Jim, FOCF regular Darin and the 50 mile racers started at 8:30. After the Lemans start, the course followed Mima Porter 8, which started off with some fast rolling terrain that progressed to a steady climb up through an old clearcut and into the forest above. The climb ended with a quick fast descent into Lost Valley. This section of trail, known by the locals as "the valley of death," is notoriously muddy, rooty, a real energy sponge. Thankfully, we were descending through the worst of it! Aid station #1 was
at Fall Creek, about 13 miles into the race. After refueling with FRS drink and come Clif shots, the course climbed up out of Fall Creek and continued to gain elevation all the way to aid station #2 at Wedekind, about 21 miles into the race. From here, the course followed a short section of doubletrack, then picked up MP8 once again for one of the most flowy descents into the forest. The silky smooth rail is scantly wider than my front tire and flies through the trees and lush green undergrowth; the only time the brakes were needed was to get around a couple switchbacks. Near the bottom the course began rolling and dumped out on C-1000 road, which racers were supposed to climb all the way back to the Wedekind aid station. The climb was steep but thankfully not a classic CF gravel road puker like the C-7000 or C-8200. Back at aid #2, I thought that the course would hop on the Crestline trail with it's techni
cal climbs and rock gardens, but no, we were supposed to keep climbing the road all the way the base of the peak, where the course would hop on the Green Line Six, FOCF's pride and joy and our namesake. But riding the road all the way there? Ugh. That road ride saved some energy, but it was tedious and never-ending. Finally racers reached GL6, which was in prime shape. The corners that were dusty and dangerous during the CF Classic were tacky and perfect; I literally forgot that I has been riding for 45 miles when riding down 6! After reaching the Fall Creek aid station once more, the course stayed on GL6, climbing for 2
miles and then descending nearly all the way back to the start/finish/lap transition at Mima Falls, mile 50. The 100 mile racers would turn around and to the entire loop again. I stoked to have finished the race and felt pretty good, but there's no way I would have been able to turn around and do it again.

This was my first endurance race, so my only goal was to earn that finisher pint glass. On top of accomplishing this goal, I also walked away with 2nd place in the Women's division! Matt rocked the course and got 2nd in the 100 mile Men's Single
speed. This was an awesome event and I really hope Roger and 4th Dimension will put it on again next year. I didn't realize how much I had been looking forward to this event until it wasn't there to look forward to anymore.

Open Men 50 miler
Jim Graham, 17th, 21st overall (5:16)
Derik Archibald, 51st overall (6:16)

Open Women 50 miler
Erin Roe, 2nd, 71st overall (6:53)

Open Singlespeed, 100 miler
Matt Jagger, 2nd, 10th overall (10:49)
Masters Men 45+
Henry Gertje, 16th overall(11:56)

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