Author’s note: I dedicate this race to my uncle Kenny. Kenny is a farmer and used to long extended physical efforts. But somehow I think this would make him shake his head and smile. You did what? On purpose…… Well yeah.
It was time. No really it was well past time. I had signed up for the Fat Cyclist’s 100 MoN and was unable to do the race on the scheduled date. But I wanted to get the race in. And so on Thursday October 30, and 5:29 pm I started out on my 100 MoN.
Even though I am a 4 time winner, and defending champion, of the 100 MoN I never really fully confronted an essential aspect of the race. Race on a ridiculously short course. (The N part of MoN stands for “Nowhere”.) My past routes had been 1.25, 5, 4.5, and 2.5 miles long. This year I am in Michigan for the fall and luckily for me there is a little dirt track behind my apartment. It’s 0.3 miles long. Perfect. Here it is…..
(Exciting I know!)
And so with music in my ears I set out to conquer the 100 MoN Spartan Village Short Track XC.
Now the course is really short and so I began by wondering how short it really is. I finally decided to compare it to something that is really long. Maybe epic in its length. The answer was clear. How many times could I ride around the course during Stairway to Heaven? I mean time really was an important metric for me in this race so that seamed like a good way to do some comparison. Well……
(The answer is 5, if you counted.)
15 MoN in I had enough video so I settled into the seriousness of the race.
The race director in his infinite wisdom had set the course as a counter clockwise loop. That was good for me because I needed to work on my left hand turns. I got a lot of practice. At about 30 MoN I started to wonder if they would change the direction of the course. But I figured it would be to chaotic to the field and sure enough we continued to ride counter clockwise.
At 40 MoN I realized that I had settled into my place in the pack leaving all the competition in the dust. That would remain true for the rest of the race. Pretty normal for endurance races where you find your place. Though I was shocked that I had not lapped anyone to that point.
At 50 MoN I started to see the deer that I would chase around the course for the next 30 or so MoN. They were darn persistent in being on the course.
My first play list ended at 60 MoN and so I took the opportunity to stop and start my second play list. Uncle Kracker “Keep it Coming” blasted in my head.
It gets dark early here in Michigan and at 70 MoN it was dark enough that I needed my light. I knew this was going to happen as I started very late in the day.
I had gone around the course so much that I had a well worn line on the course and so even in the dark it was pretty easy to see where I was going. I pressed on, confident as I was leading the race.
As I approached 100 MoN I became a little giddy. I heard a voice say clearly “The truth is there if only you look at it….. (Well you might need some math too, but the truth is there.)” Weird. But I was having a great time and a big smile stretched my face.
At 100 MoN I knew I had the race in the bag, but I decided to get some redemption. I did 104.1 in Leadville and had a memorable finish in which I collapsed after I finished. Today I was feeling good. I was going to do more than Leadville. My 100 MoN turned into 104 MoN.
Magically I finished (without collapsing) just as my second play list ended. I was done. And I won! This race was easy compared to Leadville. I wonder what the difference was?
Here is the obligatory “GPS shot” to prove I finished my race.
Yup. The truth is there if you look, well if you do some math. I ended up with 104.3 MoN. Mission accomplished. Oh and I won again. That should make my race sponsors happy as they make important decisions about the team for next year going into the off season. I mean I did win a REALLY prestigious event.
It’s been a difficult month. I really needed this time, just to be silly and stupid. It helped me to remember that life can be difficult but it can also be fun. Never forget to make take time for that fun. Never forget to appreciate the moments you have and to live those. Thank you Elden.
Pictures of the Day
(When times are dark, there can be light, or at the very least aliens with strange lights leading you through the dark.)