Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ring of Fire Time Trial - Maupin OR September 12, 2009

The plan was to ride my bike for 12 hours. The hope was for 160 miles. The reality was very different.

Well, it started out with a stomach ache and trouble with nutrition. The first 60 miles of the course is at least 80% climbing and I was much slower than I had hoped. I was OK with that, I had all day to pull through as long as I could get my stomach to straighten out. At about 5 hours I finally got a long enough descent to back off substantially and get some food into me. My stomach started to feel better and I hit the next climb with some oomph, still not fast, but better.

Then I had fun for about 1 hour.

Then came the heat and there was carnage all over the race course. Someone with a temp gauge on their cyclocomputer said the heat got up to 97 deg at about 3 PM. Cyclists were stopped at random spots all over the course just because they were too hot to keep going.

I got seriously overheated. Relying on SAGs and self supporting did not help. By the end of my big loop of 112 miles, I was struggling to go 10 mph on a flat road with a slight tailwind. I should've been cruising easily at 18 mph. I hurt everywhere, had a terrible headache, flashing lights in my field of vision. When I got into the checkpoint and tried to talk to one of the volunteers, I wasn't articulating well and I knew I couldn't go on until I had cooled off substantially and got my electrolytes and hydration squared away.

While I was trying to do this Tom came in off the 24 hour course with a DNF. He ended up very overheated as well.

That's when I decided I was done. The cost seems too high to go back out. People were throwing up everywhere, many racers had DNFed, one went to the hospital and had an IV of 3 litres of fluid. He still wasn't quite squared away.

So I got an official finish and I seem to be recovering in a timely fashion. I'm still a little whacked out but my legs are better. No significant signs of anything serious. I'm very glad I decided to pull the plug when I did.

Not sure I will solo this race again. I certainly would not do it without support if there is any chance of heat. I was definitely not able to carry enough water to keep hydrating well between SAGs in those temps.

Tom and I are thinking that a 2 person team might be the way to go next year. :)

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