Hard to believe its already late August but another NH100 has come and gone. It was a perfect day for racing Sunday and the course was in amazing shape (probably the best I’ve ever seen it). We had a great showing from the team with myself, Shawn, Dustin and Dana trying our luck at the 100K distance.
This year they added a CX and STXC race the evening before which I thought was great. Fun spectator event and a great way to pass the time while camping and hanging out at the venue.
My day went about as well as I could have hoped. I had set a goal of 6h30m based on my prior 100K times this season of 6h37m at the Wildcat 100 and Carrabassett. My PR at the 100 was 6h58m set last year but I only had one cleat for 17mi last year so I figured there was some room to improve. Dustin and I were both racing in SS so we were able to work together a bit through the early flat sections, trading pulls through ‘the beach’. Now all I have to do is talk Shaun, Bully and Mark into coming out and sacrificing their own results in order to pull me to a sub 6hr finish. How does that sound guys? Anybody else have a SS who is willing to shelter me from the wind?
I was feeling great for most of the race and was still on a sub 6hr pace up until about mile 51 or so. But if you’ve ever ridden this course you know your pace up until that point doesn’t mean all that much. I went to a pretty dark place for 4-5mi as I worked my way through the last few really horrible punchy climbs waiting to ruin your day on that part of the course. I was worried I had pushed a bit too hard but coming into the final aid and the last few miles of singletrack I checked back in and was able to finish strong.
And its a good thing too because I could tell my target time was still in play but only just barely and if I was going to make it I was going to have to hurt. Luckily those last few miles are some great trails (thanks Greenfield Trails Assoc.!) so it makes it easier to hide the pain behind the really enjoyable riding. As I popped out in the state park across the street from the venue I snuck a peek at the Garmin and realized not only was it going to be close it was going to be REALLY close…get on your horse RIGHT NOW kind of close.
Spun the legs up to just about as fast as I can get them and held on for dear life. Must have looked pretty silly turning myself inside out, sprinting against exactly no one to the line. But the kindly robot read my time at 6h29m31s so it was all worth it.
Feels good to get my fastest time on my 5th straight, Hampshire Hardcore qualifying, attempt. I wrote up a little ‘Journey to Hardcore Status‘ at my blog with mini recaps from all five of my go-rounds at the NH100. Its been a wild ride.