Thursday, August 14, 2014

Breck Epic Stage 5 Race Report: major hump day.

Breck Epic Stage 5 was to be where we would reach our highest elevation of the race.   We climbed up Wheeler Passm just shy of 12,500 feet AMSL today.  The weather forecast called for isolated rain showers throughout the day so we dressed for the bad weather.  After a good night's sleep and the leg feeling better I was looking forward to this stage.

Smiles at the start line.

The real kicker of this leg was the fact that we climbed 3,000' in the first 7 miles.  We came out above the tree line around mile 4 with only 1,000 feet of climbing behind us.  I could not figure out how we were going to climb 2,000 feet in 3 miles.  Once I was above the trees though it became very obvious.  In front of me was a steady stream of multi-colored jerseys working their way up the pass.  The gradient was so steep that everyone was hiking their bikes and they were just concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other as they ascended the mountain.

Picture 2:  Reaching the top of the pass the Breck' support crew was once again handing out racing supplements.  I heard a report at the end of the day that they handed out 12 lbs of bacon, 4 lbs of Skittles, and went through 2 bottles of whiskey.  I took a hand up of bacon and Skittles but the thought of doing a shot of whiskey at 12,500 feet with a 3,000-foot descent ahead of me kept me from reaching for the glass.

We reached the floor of the valley and hopped on a 6 mile paved bike path that took us out to the town of Frisco.  For the return to Breckenridge we climbed up Miners Pass.  Crazy steep and rocky ascent for 1,500 feet.  From there we joined up on the Peaks Trail.  This is a locals' favorite with technical roots, wooden bridges, and quick descents and climbs through the forest.  I was having a great stage and joined up on the wheels of a duo couple for the last 5 miles.  They had a lot of positive energy and we had fun zorching through the forest to the finish line.

A bit later I was able to catch this shot of my buddy Jim crossing the finish line. 

Today's stats:

28.2 miles
4 hr 19 min
Elevation Gain 4,639 feet
Garmin track here

No comments:

Post a Comment