The race is held on the Jem trail near Hurricane Utah. We rolled up Friday afternoon around 4 in time to set up Dewey at the race venue. Since we were both in the solo category, we could park right along the race venue.
The pre ride felt good and we were treated to stunning evening light on Zion National Park and surroundings.
The only thing missing from our post ride chill session was beer. None for the racers on race eve.
Race day morning we were just rolling off the top bunk when Brad and Lolly, John, and Wilsons rolled up in their cars. Talk about sleeping in!
Start time was a respectable 9:00 am. My kind of race.
My goal for this race was to ride hard but have fun. I didn't care about how many 13.5 mile laps I would do. That all changed after lap 1 when I did the math in my head and realized that if I raced really hard, I could just barely make the cut off time to do a 5th lap. Lap 1 wasn't so bad, how much more could 4 more laps hurt? To add difficulty to my marginally-attainable goal, I wore myself out playing cat and mouse with another solo female racer on lap 2.
A few times throughout the race when the course would double back on itself, I caught glimpses of Drew. He seemed to be riding well.
My lap times were around 1 hour 12 minutes. By the end of lap 4, I had about 7 minutes to spare to make the cut off. It would have been so easy to quit at 4, but I had given myself a goal and I had one ounce of energy left, so I did a 5th lap. In the end, that last lap didn't put me any higher in the standings - I landed in 6th place out of 17 female solo riders - but I had the personal satisfaction of completing 5 laps and trailing my lap 2 rival by only 10 minutes. I rode 66.6 miles in 6 hours and 22 minutes with an estimated 10 minutes of pit stops.
Drew had a pretty similar race. He did 5 laps as well in 6 hours 14 minutes while stopping to help a ditzy damsel in distress change a flat. He was also the last rider in his category to complete 5 laps.
After post race beverages at the camp spot, the group went out to dinner and then we parked Dewey at the Green Valley race course under cover of darkness. We were out of there by 8 for breakfast and then I dropped Drew at a shuttle to take him to Vegas to work while I drove home.
When I got home after the 4.5 hour drive, I could hardly straighten my legs. The rest of my Sunday was spent resting, while poor Drew had to fly to Atlanta in the back of a plane.
Hey, it keeps us young.