Insane Terrain Challenge
A friend of a friend of my wife had an entry for ITC that wasn't going to be used and it found its way to me. And so I found myself at the starting line at 6:30 Saturday Morning, not quite ready to take on 75 miles of hilly hell.
ITC is put on by the same people that put on HHH. ITC however, is not the same event as HHH. For one, the field was much smaller. When the ride started there were maybe 50 people at the start line. When I arrived and later left the first rest stop there were maybe 30 bikes there. At the second, maybe 20 at the most. Normally I wouldn't complain about a small field, but when you don't know the route, are riding alone, and don't have anyone on the course to follow, it kind of sucks.
Course markings were largely adequate, but were missing from at least a couple of turns. Rest stop food was adequate, but the post race spread was disappointing to say the least. I could have also used a mechanic at either of the rest stops, saw none. Also disappointing.
Anyway, ride was good. I don't think it was as difficult as HHH. There were definitely some challenging climbs, but not the leg burning hell that I remember of HHH. I did get off course for the last 15 or so miles after missing a turn. Then, being annoyed that I had been lost and riding by myself, decided to cut out the last loop and then walk up the final hill into the park, ending my ride at just over 70 miles. I quite likely missed some tough climbs coming back in.
As if my experience with the event wasn't enough, I found out this morning that a rider was killed during the same ride when a 16-year old turned left in front of him on a long downhill. Obviously not the fault of the organizers, but it leaves a sour note for the event none the less. Sigh.
Spirit of Racine
On a happier note, the Spirit of Racine triathlon is this weekend. Many of the people I've trained with regularly over the last months are also partaking so it should be a good time. The Lake Michigan swim is a little nerve racking, but I'm not concerned about anything else.
Once again, my only real goal is to run the half marathon in less that 2:11 (10 minute miles). If I can manage this I'll have had a good race. I'd like to break six hours, but everything will have to come together perfectly to do so, and if don't run sub 2:11, it'll never happen. So 2:11 is the goal, won't hit 5:xx without hitting 2:11. I hope to go out with the same relaxed, have fun attitude that I took into Kansas. My bike bell will make its presence known Sunday.
Have fun, and be careful out there.