Monday, August 25, 2008
Great job to everyone who finished or gave it their best shot out there! You all are an inspiration to me and I always am so pleased to be apart of this race! I am very pleased to see Kris and Herb finish strong in their first 100. They've been training so hard just like everyone else, and it was so great to see them having fun with everyone else out there, no matter how bad it might have been at times! Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who we couldn't have done it with out all your support!
See ya all next year!
Here are all the photos I took of CCC this past weekend.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Start at 5:00 am July 19, 2008 near
Finish at 2:21 am July 21, 2008 at Timberline Ski lodge on Mt Hood
Race website: www.raceacrossoregon.com
Well, as most of you know,
I have so much to say about this race but
Crew “coach” Linda, called me just a couple days after
“Thanks for the messages and congratulations on your reward. Glad the banquet was fun!
Hearing such kudos from a Marathon Olympic Trials qualifier makes me feel honored. I also realize that what
So where did
How did I come to enter Race Across Oregon (RAO), which a lot of people claim as the toughest 536 mile organized bicycle race in the world. It’s been almost 5 years since
Only 1 week after
From RAO Dream to Reality
Fast forward 4 and one-half months and
One month before the race
Race Week Arrives
Fast forward to the start of the event at
Oh, What a Glorious Morning:
The gun went off, but for the first 11 miles, everyone was required to follow the Race Director on his bike, as we left
As we got closer to that 11 mile mark,
Linda and Brent met up with me on Hwy 26, the point they began as crew. They handed my Ultimate Direction vest filled with food that
Shade, shade, my kingdom for some shade
My crew was there at the turn on Hwy 197 and knew where
Maupin to Fossil (mile 122 to mile 193)
I arrived in the little town of
It was in the mid 90’s by the time
End of the First Day: Fossil to Long Creek (Mile 193 to mile 272)
This section of the course starts off with a short 700 foot climb up to the
Continuing on towards
Night of Day One Brings New Problems
This next section was not as bad as the previous one, but, it was night and just about anything could happen.
A couple teams passed me in this stretch and one solo rider (Dru Dixon) passed me as well.
Brent attached my secondary light to my bike during this hopeless quest for a Coke, so it wasn’t a stop for nothing.
I still felt strong on the climb up
As it felt cold,
The Long Dark COLD Night: Long Creek to Dayville (Mile 272 to mile 323)
This section started off on Hwy 395 with a 5 mile, 1500 climb up to
The climb up to
I continued on towards Dayville on Hwy 26, still cold, with all my cold riding clothes on. This was the first flat stretch since Monument and it felt good to do some easy spinning and not push too hard. No one was around me, but
Sleep Deprived and Ready for Day 2: Dayville to Prineville (Mile 323 to mile 405)
This section was also another relentless mountainous section with one of the longest climbs on the course.
This section also is where one particular training ride paid off. Backtracking to one month before the race,
Back to the race…As we approached the area where Paula and Cris were supposed to camp, there was no sign of them. But just as we started to wonder where they were, they showed up. It was good to see them. Brent and Linda were also very glad to see them, as they drove behind me all night, taking care of me in so many ways. I’m sure they can tell you the gory details I can hardly rememberJ
My crew tried to push me on, but
Spirit Comes in Many Forms
About a mile down the hill from
And I Thought Yesterday Was Hot!
The heat of the day was upon me as I pushed down this long descent as hard as
And The Day Wore On, And On: Prineville to Pine Grove (mile 408 to mile 495)
Just When I Thought It Couldn’t Get Worse
Smoke from forest fires and a crap load of fertilizer that blew in my face (just gnarly!) increased the hellish feeling.… And to top that off, Hwy 26 was extremely busy with traffic making it hard for my crew to pull off and
Climbing the hill out of
If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Outta the Kitchen…
I got to the first climb and it actually didn’t feel bad at all…but it was only about a 700 foot rise.
Continuing up the second big climb of the Warm Springs section,
The sun was finally setting as
Night 2 and Hitting The Wall: Pine Grove to Timberline (mile 494 to mile 536…the F
This section of the course climbs about 1500 feet up on Hwy 216, takes a right on Hwy 26 for about 3 miles then twists on some gnarly forest service roads 43 and 48, descends about 500 feet into the White River valley and then climbs 1500 feet to Hwy 35. The course descends on Hwy 35 down to Hwy 26, where you climb 2300 feet in the last 8 miles, to the finish at Timberline, just under 6,000 feet in elevation, the highest on the course!
Pushing Beyond the Limit
Several people had called during the day to see how
Soon Brent pulled up beside me and said, “yes that’s great math John and 6 x 7 = 42 and 7 x 7 = 49”…He seemed to be hinting there was still hope, if I had something left still in the tank.
Brent pulled up beside me again and asked me, “Are you concerned about injuring yourself more or do you still want to finish this race?” He made it my decision, though
And Finding the Courage to Dig Deep
I got 6 miles into the climb out of Pine Grove in 45 minutes. On some descents I made even more time.
Things Go Bump in the Night
The Bank Pays Dividends
It felt good to see something that was physical evidence of the finish! Finally after pushing for about 3 hours,
Coming Down From the High
Brent drove me and my car back to
At the awards banquet they presented me the award for the second rookie to finish and also qualify for RAAM, getting within 15% of the fastest Rookie, who was Jill Damman.
Later, after the banquet,
And Now You Know the Rest of the Story
So there you have it! How
There are so many people who helped me finish this race.
And finding out later from my crew how worth it was…Linda and Brent were both driving to Minnesota a week after the race and as they pulled up into some rest stop in Montana in the middle of the night, Brent woke up asking Linda, “Where’s John, is he still riding?” This story makes me laugh but also makes me realize how much not only Brent, but the rest of the crew worked so hard…that the race was still apart of them! Thank you crew for everything!!