Today I’m going to take a stab at a better race report from this weekend’s Hampshire 100. To do this race justice, I may even do it in two or three installments. Here is installment number one.
During the two weeks preceding the race I found myself battling some inner demons I was left with after a somewhat disappointing Wilderness 101. I knew going into the 101 that it would be a learning experience considering it was my first “hundie” but I still had set pretty high goals for myself as I usually do. Unfortunately, between the unfamiliar territory and riding conditions and my lack of proper on bike nutrition those plans were unceremoniously kicked to the curb shortly after the halfway point and I found myself steadily falling back as I watched in despair as rider after rider passed me with ease. During those two weeks I gave plenty of thought to how to be sure I wouldn’t make the same mistakes during the H100. I figured the terrain would be a little more to my liking since NH and Maine riding is pretty similar even though the climbing likely would be tough, the feel of the course would be close enough to what I was used to make it ok and the nutrition thing seemed pretty easy to deal with. I could put my own Heed mix in my two drop bags (I prefer a much stronger concentration than what you typically get from aid stations thus allowing me more calories), I would force myself to eat more Clif Bars and I would also carry one bottle of Perpetuem. Despite the horror stories I’ve heard of people getting really sick while racing on Perpetuem I’ve had good results myself during hard and long road rides so I figured I’d give it a shot and the calories would really help.
With a course length of 62 (actually 63) miles and six aid stations available I decided to forgo the camelback. I really can’t stand the things and with so many aid stations I figured I’d have plenty of opportunity for replenishing my water (foreshadow, foreshadow).
Finally, on Saturday I made the four hour drive over to New Hampster and quickly set up camp which, because I was planning on sleeping in the Element, only consisted of setting up the Bikeman.com pop-up, my bike repair stand and pulling out my camp chair. Pretty easy. I then tooled around, got in a quick pre-ride to loosen the legs and generally killed time until Andy and Skip showed up since they would be the only folks I knew in the race. That night it got down to about 50 degrees and I slept like a log in the toaster. It was damn comfy.
At 5 am my alarm went off and my back-up alarm (Marcy calling from back home) called literally 10 seconds later to be sure I was up. I had breakfast and readied myself for the race to come at 6:45. One other change I made after my 101 experience was that I applied about 1000% of the recommended daily allowance of Assos to my arse so that I would be sure I wouldn’t have ass skin falling off in a few days time.
Yikes, I went a bit overboard on this first installment so I guess I’ll get to the actual race next time.