Race Report: 2014 Chainbuster 3 Hours of Payne

This was my first MTB race and the only thing I could think of when I was finished was “FUCK road racing.” But that was just the excitement talking, I think.
  • 4.19.2014 9:30am
  • Hartwell, GA
  • Base Male 30-39 5th of 10
  • 3 Laps in 2:52:59
  • 52 degrees, light rain/mist with wet trails
  • Day before weight 160.0lbs
  • Tire pressure @ 12-18 PSI


     This was my first mountain bike race. I ate very well the night before, a salad for dinner, some ice cream for dessert and nothing crazy.
     Race day breakfast was at 8:00am and was about 3-4 ounces of coffee, a small peanut butter, pepper jelly, sweet potato and nut/fruit bread and an apple.
     It was a little cold and rainy before the start so I rolled to the line with a ridiculous amount of clothes. I had my purple glove with my road gloves over them, arm warmers, my gaiter and my rain jacket.
On my bike I had 16 ounces of coke, a full water bottle and a bottle of fizzy electrolytes. For food I took two clif bars, one regular clif-shot gel and one caffeinated gel.
     The race started all as one, neutral at the bottom of a moderate hill. Not really knowing where I belonged I lined up at the middle-back of the pack and sort of filtered up as we climbed the hill and riders fell back.
There’s me at the back!
      Once we went over the timing mat everything sped up and it was insane for a few minutes. A 60+ person stream of riders blasting through the trails. I tried my best to follow lines and not excessively brake and stay upright. In the first left loop it was generally wet but nothing too crazy. Some mud and some roots but I kept traction pretty well. Near the end of the first left loop the lady in front of me endoed pretty hard but she looked okay so everyone just rode by. Entering the second loop the pack was still together in a line so I started getting more comfortable and moving up when I felt good. There were some spots where it was very muddy and both tires would slide sideways. Did my best to ride it out and stay loose while keeping my speed up.
     There was a lot more climbing in the right loop and people started to drop off and were easy to pass. There was a tree down that required a dismount but it was moved by the second lap. I passed several people at the start of the second lap. I asked another rider our time and found out it was 59 minutes! Which meant I was on the bubble for three laps and needed to keep the pace or speed up. I felt a real resurgence and felt like I could blast through another two laps.
     For the second lap onward I really tried to focus on eating and drinking. It was so hard to do while moving and my bottles were covered in mud. I managed to gulp most of the Coke as well as the caffeine gel before the mid-point of the second lap. My plan was to ride as hard as I could until I caught another rider, take a little break while drafting and then pass on a climbing section. This seemed to work pretty well. I could barely hold a wheel during any descending but I was able to make time on the flats and hills. I ate my clif-shot gel near the end of the second lap and once I heard the time check at the start of the third lap I put my head down and just went. Somewhere in there I changed bottles from my rear pocket to my bottle cage, drank it all and ate half a clif-bar. I remember blasting over rocks and roots and just slamming my rims all over since my tire pressure was so low. In the middle of the third lap my quads starting getting that minor crampy feeling like when I climb standing for extended periods (see: river gorge and alabama state RR)
     I caught the fourth place rider but never really tried to pass him. At the time I didn’t know his class but I should have just gone for it (see: killer instinct). Overall the final lap was very fast and I felt really good when I finished within the three hours.
     I stopped at the pit area to pick up my gloves/jacket and when I tried to stand back up my lower back was so crazy. Riding rigid really appears to stress my back. I may make some adjustments to fit and tire pressure but I’m trying not to spend anything so I can just get a new bike. I peed orange after the race (see: FBCC) which is usually a good indicator of less water consumed during the race. I’m not sure if this is bad or just a thing that happens?
Hmm. That looks a little odd. Maybe don’t buy $30 thrift store bikes that don’t quite fit to race on?
     Once I was finished I quickly rode to my car, changed and parked closer to the registration area so I could find out my placing. Really proud to come in 5th!
   I hung around for a bit in the rain and cold but once 1:00 hit I had to jump in the car and fly to my girlfriend’s to make it to the Old 280 Boogie. On the way I drank almost 0.75 gallons of water!
Here’s a link to the promoter’s page. The event was really well run and I had a blast! I’m going to try to do at least 3 of their other events. http://www.chainbusterracing.com/3-hours-of-payne.html
Here’s a link to an awesome blog with a post about the race: http://livingvandal.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/3-hours-of-payne-mud-and-pizza/

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