9th at the Cohutta 100 - long version

(Photo Credit to Sara Kristen Photography)

The Cohutta 100 is the first stop on the NUE endurance series for 2011 and with it brings 100 miles of fun starting out with a fast road climb into some fast non-technical single track followed up with lots of climbing and fire road climbs in between and then some more single track thrown in at the end.

I made it to the start line just in time to snake my way up to the front, say hello and then 2 minutes later, the gun goes off. Pace is hot, but I manage to stay in the main group towards the front before the first turn. Into the woods, I am about the 15'ish or so rider in.

In the single track, I am with the main group, but a rider 3 ahead of me is slowing down just a bit here and there - next thing a big gap is opened up. I manage to get around all 3 riders as they dab their feet, but I don't get past until the damage is done and the first section of single track is over.

I set off in hot pursuit on the double track before the creek crossing, passing a few more riders.

Over the bridge, up the climb and I pedal on - I catch a few more riders, and then set off for the next gravel road section. I am by myself at this point.

Two riders eventually catch up - they immediately try to drop me, I catch them pretty quickly. This goes back and fourth about 3 times before one of them drops off the pace and the other sets off on his own. With 70 miles to go, I was not about to burn all my matches - especially with a major climb coming up in about 10 miles. I proceed to race the last 70 miles riding by myself.

About 1/2 way the climb, I catch the rider I was with previously - and then ride right by.

Up one climb and up another, I down a bunch of endurolytes and hope cramps don't set in. My legs are feeling good, my heart rate is not maxed out too bad and nobody is in sight.

At mile 75 or so, I find out I am sitting in 9th place. That (and a little bit of Coca Cola) gave me the energy to push over the little climbs here and there. Loose gravel at the end nearly had me crashing my brains out, so I took the corners a little easy and pushed it when the trail was pointing up.

Wound up coming a little over 7 hours in 9th place - besting my best place and overall time for this race.

SoloGoat out

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