well not much to say, we only made it about 90 miles before I pulled out like a bitch. The heat stroke from a few weeks ago obviously was lingering around a bit...
So Clay and I head down to Emporia at about 5:45 Friday night, roll into the Granada Theatre, Emporia around 7:30, get our packets, grab some jimmy johns, attend rider meeting, go to the hotel. Get our shit unpacked and ready for the morning and I head to Braums for a bacon cheeseburger and milkshake. Anyone who has followed this blog for awhile or knows me well, or traveled with me to Arkansas, Oklahoma, or Texas, knows that I am a braums freak. That shit is amazing, and of course, it didn't disappoint.
Clay and I set 3 alarms and finally get to bed around 12:30ish. not good when the race starts at 6:00 am and our alarms go off at 5:00. Of course you can imagine what happens next...
I wake up and clay is yelling fuck dude wake up, we have 15 minutes to be to the race. Look at the clock, 5:43, really not good. Clay is supposed to do the first leg, and he's had no breakfast and no morning shit. I am expecting a call anytime during the next 3-4 hours, but it never happens, awesome! Anyway, Clay is the very last person to roll out, literally, sprinting to catch up with the huge pack leaving town. I get back to the hotel, get out shit and head for cassody. I feel like shit cause I had horrible sleep, and am not feeling any food, but manage to stuff 2 mini powdered doughnuts down from the continental breakfast. Get to cassody and the gas station can be best describes as a circus. unfortunately this circus had one bathroom for EVERYONE. men and women. I felt bad for the ladies there, it was not pretty. So I find Tim Greene and Cliff Straub, set up camp with them and we wait for people to start coming in. We take guesses as to when the first will be there and I say 9:15. Happens to be Gunnar Shogrens on a single speed. I find out later this dude is 49 years old, running a 45x19!!!!!!!!!!! gearing (that is stupid), and is a former masters mtb and cx national champ. Well it showed. Mark Cole rolls in second 4 minutes behind and says that Gunnar is absolutely throwing it down, as in like dropping the dudes with gears. Cornbread, Joe Fox, and a few others roll in and say the same thing about shogren and that the pace is way too hot to start. His wife Betsy rolls in at 6th overall at the first checkpoint (and she finised 9th overall on the day!, 1st woman obviously), before eventual winner Dan Hughes who had a nasty sidewall tear on a brand new $100 tire. Absolutely amazing display of cycling by these west virginia folk.
so on with the story, Clay gets in right before 10 am and I take off on leg 2, which is 44 miles heading damn near straight west and into the wind. For some reason, my dumbass starts hammering it hard passing probably 60+ riders and eventually catching Tim and Cliff about 20 miles in (they had left about 30 min before me at the last checkpoint). When I caught Tim and Cliff they had made a wrong turn with a huge group and we were about 5 miles off course. Ugggghhhh! turn around and head back to the right road: minimum maintenance! a true dk road, finally! and it lived up to the hype. The creek bottoms came, and came, and came some more, then the south facing climbs started. Power from my legs started getting drained real quick, and the clif electrolite drinks I had were disappearing just as quick. 4 full bottles and 38-40 miles later I was completely out of liquid, and still 10+ miles from the next checkpoint. found a shade tree and called clay. Secured a ride and officially pulled out of the dk. I then proceeded to vomit up probably 2.5 bottles of liquid that was just sitting in my stomach while waiting for clay to get there. He did and we supplied water/gatorade to probably 10 other guys who were in my same situation. It was crazy how many people were completely out of liquids and/or laying down on the side of the roads. It was stupidly, stupidly hot and the 20+ mph wind didn't help. I'd venture to say that second leg from 10 am-1 pm when I was out was 94-99* with 15-25 mph south winds and 40+ gusts. not good when I'd had a heat stroke less than a month ago. oh well.
if this race was held in cooler weather or even later in the summer (so we could acclimate to the heat for a couple few weeks) I think i and a lot of other people would have been a lot better off. Early june is a crap shoot with Kansas weather, it can either be mid 80s and gorgeous or pushing 100* after having been literally cool spring weather the week before. The heat did a lot of people in and rightly so, it was nasty out there.
so dk is over. I may try tackling it again someday, but probably not. I'm thinking more like metric century/6-8 hour stuff is my calling. 3 hours is too intense, 12 is too long. Stuff like the Berryman Epic, Ouachita Challenge, Syllamo's Revenge, Farmhouse Classic, RIM, Spoke Pony, etc. And I miss me some CX racing. I really do love that shit! Mainly just because of the scene, but the racing is badass too.
I am ready to finally concentrate on mtb stuff for awhile. Singletrack has been yelling my name for 2 months now and trail can't build itself. gravel will be off the radar until farmohuse classic and/or unless it downpours for a week straight. I love it, but it's still a road and not a trail :)
peace and riding!
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