To start this story off right I have to flashback to where I was last year at the end of the 2012 Mohican 100k. I'm at the finish line both my legs locked up from cramps, wearing a baggy green Nike dry fit shirt and ripped baggy shorts. I look up and I'm handed a pretty sweet Mohican 100k pint glass! Hell yea that's pretty cool I think to myself, then it happens, a hundred miler pulls in and he is handed a growler that says 100 mile finisher. My pint glass just lost all of it's shine
Now a year later now i'm a full blown spandex wearing wanna be mtb xc racer guy, standing at the start with the infamous black numbers on my plate (which means I'm really not as smart as everyone else and doing the longer of the two races) Now I've put in my dues lost some weight, almost put in as many miles the first five months of 2013 than I did in all 2012 but by no means did I think I was going out to kick this things ass, I still knew I was in for a long day and survival was the most important.
Andy and I get lined up about fifteen or so rows back with about twenty minutes to go, we really don't have much strategy except stick together and make sure we get up the first hill fast enough we don't get caught up in the bottle neck entering the woods. Get to state park as fast as we can then find a group that is at a comfortable speed then stick with them. We were successful no bottle neck and we entered the single track I make a few jokes (I did steal Feeman's camelbak full of Margarita line I think I had a few guys wanting to stick with me) I did intentionally stay in front of Andy for the descent to the covered bridge...usually I get out of his way and let him have fun, but that sometimes means that bike parts get broke not today Andy! We get to aid station 1 and roll right through it with a couple minutes under the anticipated split time. Onward to the next stop let's keep this up!
I think we let a little too much adrenaline get to us after running through aid 1 about two miles later I hit a bad line and go down to the side of the trail on my back, then two miles later I'm leading again and hear the familiar "rider down" chant. It was Andy this time he wasn't hurt but his front wheel was bent so bad it wouldn't spin through the fork. I think to myself "I guess we'll have to try this again next year"..I sure as hell wasn't going to do the 100 mile solo. We take his wheel off to inspect it, next thing I know Andy is smashing it on a tree!! Spins it and says good enough! We hit the hike and bike up to the horse trail and I start to hear my stomach grumbling....I just realized that I made the mistake I've been warning everyone about..don't get caught up in the excitement make sure to eat when you can. Well my stomach is grumbling and I'm maybe a quarter of the way into the race...yup probably just ruined my day. We hit the horse trail which is about as consistent as peanut butter, all I could thing about was eating as much as I can and getting to the road, I remember from last year that it is five miles to the next aid station.
Hit the road finally then it hits me ...five miles up hill I forgot that part. I'm starting to slip behind Andy on the climbs but I know he'll be there waiting for me and the next stop. I just need to play it smart slow down a little and try to get my composer back. We get to aid two I get my drop bag and refill take a few minutes and eat some extra food and get going.
Between Aid two and three it is mostly road with some of the wilderness singletrack as the icing on top. I keep concentrating on water and eating I have a long way to go and it's not looking good. Getting close to three I start to feel on the edge of cramping I slow down once again and let Andy go I see him at the aid station. I was looking forward to getting to aid three until I see all the spectators...now granted they were all very supportive but when you feel like garbage it's like being hazed, and I'm not even to the half way point!!
Oddly enough when the sign for the course split came up I still didn't think twice about it I came here to get that infamous growler. But I did however walk the whole wilderness climb I'll admit it this is where I decided to put on my skirt and leave whatever pride I had left on the trail I was going to finish and if that meant slowing down so be it. I take my time and compose myself then we finally get back to some road. I know the Holmes county trail is coming up so I will get a reprieve from climbing. When we arrived we did not get the paved Holmes county trail but the Mohican Trail, but wait this looks familiar to me I've actually been here before when I attempted a double century ride the day before thanksgiving last year (failed that too but I did make it 133 miles to columbus self supported close enough) When I described this trail to people I called it the Amish super highway because carriages ride on it instead of route 62. Last time I was here I was on my road bike and it was all mud! I don't know what happened whether I took it easy long enough my body was catching back up or being somewhere familiar but I finally got my second wind and with Andy starting to lose some speed I actually took my turn pulling on the flats!!
Andy and I switched back and forth and actually started making up some time we approached aid 4 and I realize where I am at...also with the realization that I could ride my bike straight to my house or get to the finish line in about the same amount of time there was no stopping me! Fellow teammate Rob Yoakum was doing the sweep for this stage and of course the first words out of his mouth was "What took you guys so long?!" I respect Rob's humor because it is sort of like mine..he'll say something to you that'll make you want to punch him in the face but you can't do it because he's right. Time for new socks and gloves I needed about aid 3...I take my gloves off to see six beautiful blisters, Rob tapes my hands up for me I get on my new gloves BS for a few minutes about what we are in for and then we are off again.
Between aid 4-4.5 I really don't remember much...just more road..I think some more single track we picked up another rider from PA not necessarily in that order, I just know I was feeling better....O I did flat on one of the gravel descents that sucked but we got up and running again but that wasn't enough to ruin my spirits.
We get to the suspension bridge and I know there is a mini station there with more water, on a better day I would have easily rode across it but at this point I just walked across (remember I put on a skirt and left my dignity behind about 4 hours ago!) I look to the station and see Doug Fisher! I met him through a few spokejunkies ride and is a great guy and once again it was great to see a familiar face. Not only did he offer up water but donuts and beer! Andy inhaled a donut with sprinkles and I hesitantly turned down the beer and moved forward.
If you are dumb enough and barely worry about self preservation you can do anything!
I can repeat a single joke every hour and it will still be funny (for those that did the race remember the sign "what's long and sticky?" "a stick!" at the climb after the covered bridge) yea I dropped that one about six times and it did get funnier every time
When you are seven hours into a race it's ok to start complementing guys on how cut there calves are
It is possible to be tired enough that you don't care that you are walking into a bathroom barefoot to use the bathroom while eating trail mix
The best part about completing the Mohican 100 is getting your growler and knowing that you never have to do it again!