Maggie and I are extremely excited to now be working with Zoic. I have been wearing Zoic mountain bike shorts all summer... hands down they are the best, coolest, most functional all around biking shorts I have ever worn. Zoic, based out of San Diego, CA makes a wide range of mountain biking apparel that is not only amazingly functional, but extremely fashionable and cool. As we start our bike tour in New Zealand next week, having clothes that can be used both as something to bike in and hangout is invaluable. Zoic is an awesome company to work with and their product is a perfect fit for Maggie and I. I would recommend all of Zoic's product to anyone who bikes, mountain bikes or bike tours.
Reach The Peak-
Late last week I found out about a race that is literally in my parent's back yard... Black Mountain Open Space Park. Reach the Peak is an awesome event that has: an up-hill and down-hill mountain biking time trial that can be combined with a 4 mile trail run for the Mountain Duathlon, a 4 mile Trail Run, an 8 mile Mountain Adventure race (running and orienteering sort of event), a kids 1 mile event that has fun obstacles and finally a 3 hour Endurance Challenge where you see how many laps you can do up Black Mountain in 3 hours. The biking, trail race and endurance challenge goes up a and down Black Mountain on trails for 4 miles with 900 feet to total climbing. What an awesome menu of trail fun! Finally, Reach the Peak is put on by Outdoor Outreach an organization supporting at risk youth with amazing confidence building excursions in the outdoors. Outdoor Outreach managed to raise $30,000 for their programs at this weekends event.
I decided to run the Endurance Challenge but stand at the start line for 5 minutes (yes, the competition would get a head start) after the gun so that I could also run the single loop trail race.
It was odd to have the competition for the 3 hour endurance challenge leave with out me, but 5 minutes late we were off. A high school guy took the lead at the start with me and a very fit looking dude right behind me. My legs felt very flat and tired going up the steep hill at the start after a solid week of training and quite a bit of bike touring up the southern California coast. I kept in contact and we all 3 went up the first mile together. Shortly after a mile I took the lead and the guy behind me followed. Things were fast and everyone was working hard, there were some fast and talented dudes running this trail race. By the top of Black Mountain at the turn around I had maybe a 20ish second gap on second place. I gained some confidence and was feeling warmed up cruising back down the steep and sometimes technical trail down to the finish. I was drinking my Vitargo in my hand water bottle keeping my energy levels high.
|Race Start with my speedy competition on the right|
Then, I looked back with less than a mile to go and I had my competition less than 30 feet back. I sprinted ahead and made a serious surge in hopes of leaving him behind again. With less than a quarter mile to go on the last descent to the finish line I had a 20+ second lead again. I ran 24 minutes for the 4 mile 900 foot climbing run (21 minutes was the fastest bike time trial with a 18 up 2 down split), now it was time to run up and down for another two and a half hours. Just before the summit on the first lap I had caught the leader in the endurance race, but he was impressively not far behind me on the second lap. The day was turning out to be a real challenge of a race. I filled up my bottle with more Vitargo and began the next climb. I ran around a 31 minute split for the second lap, then 34 minute split on the 3rd, I was feeling really good with the pace relatively comfortable and I was able to cheer on the other racers, but the guy behind me was slowly catching me. On the fourth lap, I picked it back up and ran a 31 split again and gained a little more of a lead. On the 5th lap, I was getting tired but not hard race fatigue. My competition was fading and it looked like I was going to easily run 5 laps, with the old course record being 4 laps. I finished with my Dad, Felix and Maggie at the finish line in 2:44 or so minutes. Maybe I could have pushed for 5.5 laps, but I was satisfied with jogging back and running in with the couple guys behind me.
Overal an awesome race. I had never run a race where you go for laps in a set time and I had certainly never done a 4 mile race that turned into a 3 hour race... fun. This was a great event for a great cause.
Up next.... New Zealand's South Island on Tuesday!