Saturday, July 5, 2008

Firecracker 50 Race Report

What a humbling experience. 50 miles at high altitude (9,600 to nearly 11,500 feet) can quickly bring a Florida boy to his knees.

Course was much harder than I thought. Yes the altitude caused me a lot of problems, but some of the downhills were downright fearful. I seriously underestimated how tough this even would be. Basically the Firecracker 50 kicked my butt and I am happy to have finished.

The event started at a late time of 11:00 a.m. I kind of wished it had started earlier because contrary to what I had thought, it is darn hot in Breckenridge. The start of the race was also part of the local Fourth of July Parade. We got to ride down Main Street with hundreds of spectators cheering for us. It was really fun given the little kids high-five's has we passed by. Actually almost ate it when one of the kids grabbed my hand. Once we were out of town the suffering began as we climbed Boreas Pass Road for the first of our two 25- mile loops that will have us climb a total of 10,800 feet on a combination of back country single track and narrow-gauge railroad grade road.

I stayed with the lead group until the steep switch backs. At that time my heart rate was only around 170 bpm, but I could not breath. There was nothing I could do but ease off the pace and slowly watch everyone climb away from me. Within a few minutes, the Pro Women were passing me. I also got to see them climb away from, but the view was much more enjoyable....

Results are in. Congrats to Cam KirkPatrick who got on the podium in our division (Male 40-49). He has been traveling around to big races and his fitness showed today. Another Midwest rider that finished was Larry Kintner. I raced against him several times up in the Nebraska during cyclo-cross season.

Eric ended up not finishing the event. After 1 lap of riding a single speed ridged he decided to call it a day. I honestly don't know how any of the guys out their on single speed ridged bikes even made it through some of that rocky terrain. Ben did not have a good day either and posted a DNF. A broken fork brought an end to his day.

Ben, Eric and I are heading out to ride the Colorado Trail today for a "recovery ride". Great, more high altitude riding :-)

Here are some pictures of the weekend:

Colorado Trip

1 comment:

Matt said...

I've done the Breck 100 3 years now and while not the 50, the course is much the same. It seems everyone is overwhelmed their first year there and then 2nd time around there is huge improvement. Probably nothing more than not redlining or racing it like a typical x-c race in that first hour. Cook yourself early and it's harder than hell to come back. Pencil it in next year and I'll bet you gain a good 30-45-mins on your time.

Good job for giving it you all, Chris!