Owwwww, part duh.
Andrew had bike problems I wouldn't be catching him (in fact, before the race I was telling people that Andrew would break the bike leg record by 15 minutes. in the end he broke it by 14 minutes. I'm a prophet) but based on the 2008 times I figured I had a good shot at catching Rob. I finally made the catch during the nastiest climb of the day. Overall it's not that steep but it has huge 4' tall drainage swales running diagonally across the face every 20-30 feet and loose ass gravel so I ended up walking 2/3's of it. 34x34 gearing on a 29'er isn't exactly made for that type of climb. As I passed Rob he asked me if I was solo or on a team (obviously hoping I was on a team) and I briefly thought about saying I was on a team so that he wouldn't give chase but I thought, what would be the fun in that?, told him I was solo and then rode my ass off for the rest of the bike leg to open up a good gap.
Based on Rob's speed when I passed him I guessed that by the end of the bike leg I had put 5 minutes into him (I'm waiting for official times to be posted) and totally erasing the 7:30 deficit I had on from the kayak portion but, and this is a big BUT, Rob is a real triathlete so I had no idea what he would do to me on the run up the mountain. Would he be flying? I had no idea so I made a super quick transition from bike to run and headed up the hill.
It wasn't long before I realized that this would be less of a run than a fast hike. The ski slope was so damn steep that anything more than a fast walk had me practically hyperventilating and my heart threatening to leap out of my chest so I settled into a fast-ish hiking pace and hoped for the best. When racing, they always say to never look back to see if you're being caught but, I have to admit, I looked back roughly every 30 seconds to see if Rob was on the hill yet. It wasn't until I left the initial slope that I caught a glimpse of Rob near the base with what looked like someone to pace him up. That worried me. A lot. So I upped my pace the best I could and hammered for the top. I never saw Rob again after that so I knew I was safe but I had also caught a glimpse of the first place team's runner ahead of me so I now had a carrot.
We passed each other going opposite directions near the top but he had enough of a gap on me to hold it until the end. The "run" down the mountain was interesting to say the least. It was more of a controlled fall with many near misses and a couple of extremely sore quads. I somehow ran the whole way down without falling or rolling an ankle and crossed the line at roughly 2:02 (still waiting for posted times) beating the course record by 18 minutes.
crossing the line. no that isn't a t-shirt I'm wearing, that's my babe catcher skin tone.
In the end our crew totally cleaned house. Andrew's team, Poland Spring 2 took the overall victory (besting me by around 2:30) and Kevin's team took second team (and fourth overall?) with all three of us beating the previous course record. Like I said, this race is tailor made for a mountain bike specialist.
Kevin picking up his team's award.
Poland Spring 2's team award.
Kevin and Poland Spring 2's (sorry dude, can't remember your name!) runner enjoying a beer post race.
Me picking up my hardware.
and for Miff, I kept my flaming socks on for the awards ceremony.